Living a vegetarian life and finding ways to save money can go hand-in-hand quite a lot. It’s often misunderstood that making the shift and living the life requires a large sum of money to do so, and while it’s true that having a lot of expendable income will me it simpler, doing so on a budget isn’t very difficult either. For instance, one of the best things you can do for yourself is start your own vegetable garden. Do you have some veggies growing in the backyard? Here are just a few reasons why you should!

It Costs Less:

Produce at the grocery store costs what it does not necessarily based on the popularity of the food itself but rather as a result of the extra work it takes to get from a farm to your door. If it were as simple as a farmer plucking right from the ground and handing it to you, things wouldn’t be as expensive, but as it currently stands, produce bought at the grocery store had to be picked, cleaned, packaged, shipped, and stored, and that all adds to the cost. Growing in your backyard will cost the original seeds and perhaps fertilizer if you feel the need, but other than that, everything you grow yourself goes straight to you at no charge.

It Tastes Better:

There’s just something about knowing what’s in your food that can improve its taste. Being able to watch from seed to harvest and knowing what is and isn’t going into your produce makes a world of difference. No pesticides. No growth hormones. Just water and sunlight. Plus, no wait between picking and eating. You don’t have to go through the long packaging and shipping method. With your own veggies, it’s just pick ‘em, clean ‘em, and eat ‘em. Simplicity at its finest.

You’re Being Active:

The one possible negative for gardening is also one of its biggest bonuses, and that is the active nature of the hobby. Gardening can be hard work, even more so if you go bigger and bigger. But working hard and getting your fingers dirty is not a downside here. Getting into gardening gives you and excuse, as well as a demand, to get outside and move around. You have to get down and till the soil. You have to pull weeds every week. You have to go out and water the crops. Gardening is not a passive activity, but the ultimate reward of fresh veggies and good, honest exercise is well worth it.

You’re Helping Conserve Resources:

Probable the biggest net positive of the entire gardening experience is the knowledge that you’re doing something that helps rather than hurts the environment. Don’t get a swelled head or let your eco ego rage uncontrolled, but take some pride in the fact that your veggies don’t require a truck to drive a few hundred miles to haul them to your grocery store. Take pride knowing that potentially harmful chemicals and pesticides came nowhere near your garden. Take pride knowing that you were able to reduce your reliance on a larger company and were able to keep things local.

Granted, this doesn’t mean that your local fruits and vegetables stand or your farmer’s market is the enemy or something. Not at all! Growing your own vegetable garden at home is just a way to save you money, keep you active, and do some smart part toward the greater good. If you haven’t given the hobby some serious though, you might as well start planning as April is right around the corner.