Ask the Readers: Do You Have a Vegetable Garden?

By Ashley Jacobs on 7 April 2015 88 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Diane, Davalyn, and Donna for winning this week's contest!

Growing a vegetable garden can be a great way to save money on groceries, and for many people, it's a fun activity that gets them outside and moving!

Do you have a vegetable garden? What kinds of vegetables — or other produce — do you grow? Do you have any tips for producing a good harvest? If you don't have a vegetable garden, what would you like to grow if you had the time, space, and know-how?

Tell us whether you have a vegetable garden and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

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  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

I don't have a garden but if I did, I'd like to grow tulips.

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Elena

I don't have a vegetable garden, but I do have a few citrus trees

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Tina in NJ

We tried. The squirrels and the deer found the garden and ate the stuff before we could pick it. The seem to leave the herbs alone, though, so we usually have an herb garden.

Guest's picture

I do! It's nothing to brag about as it's just a tiny one, but we've successfully grown tomatoes and green onions so far. I'd love to branch out to more things we use regularly like potatoes and actual onions.

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Julian

I have a vegetable garden set on a raised bed (4ftx8ft) that I set up last year. I grew peppers, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, lettuce. This year I will have tomatoes, basil, green beans, corn and sunflower, but I have time since there is still some snow on top of it.

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T Koyama

We bought some seeds and started a small vegetable garden a couple of months ago. We grow cucumber, lettuce, spinach, bok choy, carrots, and cilantro. We've already started harvesting; the only ones not ready yet are the cucumbers and carrots. It's pretty nice to be able to pick some lettuce and spinach and eat it in a salad a few minutes later.

Donna Freedman's picture

Anchorage, Alaska isn't the easiest place to grow certain types of vegetables -- but boy, do greens, potatoes, cabbage, rhubarb and raspberries run amok. Last year we grew those crops plus spinach, turnips, carrots, beets, peas, strawberries, pumpkins and Hubbard squash, plus tomatoes and cucumbers in a little plastic greenhouse.
We eat the items fresh and also preserved (dried, frozen, canned and, in the case of the squash and spuds, stored in the basement). It's a fun hobby that actually helps with the food bill (produce is expensive up here). That is, if you can keep the slugs and the moose out of your yard.

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Gina

I don't have a vegetable garden since I don't have a yard or even a balcony. If I had a garden I would grow tomatoes and cucumbers.

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cheflisa

yes, we moved from NYC where we went to farmers markets but were unable to have our own green space. now we live in L.A. we were thrilled to get a nice apt where we can have a window box. also, my mother in law just passed and since she was sicilian and loved to eat fresh veggies and herbs, i thought i'd get my green thumb back and honor her, two birds with one stone so to speak so we planted tomatoes, basil and oregano. and our window flower box gets tons of sunlight. can't wait to watch it all grow.

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Amanda Sakovitz

I dont have a vegetable garden but would like to plant tomatoes some day.

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Shari Czerwinski

Unfortunately, I only grow tomatoes due to the nature of my disability. I would love to grow everything fresh, but I have to settle for farmer's markets.

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Ernest S.

I don't have a garden, but if I did, I would love to plant some cucumbers and tomatoes. Would be perfect for some salads.

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alona

I don't have a garden. Last year, a cherry tomato plant did grow on its own in your back yard :) Hoping it'll come back this year.

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Alexis

We just bought a house in december and are planting our vegetable garden next weekend! Steak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, colored bell peppers and some herbs.

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Mary Wright

I intersperse vegetables and herbs among my flower beds. I live where we have 4 growing seasons so I have something going all year round.

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Guest

Yes I just started a vegetable garden last year, and I love it! You can grow your favorite varieties of your favorite veggies at a fraction of the cost of buying them in the store. It's easy to do, you can learn so much from all the information that's available on the internet.

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Susan P.

I don't have a vegetable garden but I do have an herb garden with basil, rosemary, thyme, dill and parsley.

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Elle

We mostly just grow tomatoes so not really a full fledged veggie garden but we have a big problem with deer and squirrels stealing the tomatoes and eating the plants.

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Sheila K.

I tried to grow a vegetable garden a few years ago but the South Florida bugs destroyed everything!

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Geo Benz

Eating vegetables, fruits and herbs that you have planted, nurtured and watched blossom makes the meal so much more tasty! Even if you only have a window sill, start a few small herb pots!

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Jennifer

You do not have to own a house (or a yard) to plant a veggie garden! I am an apartment dweller and I plant a container garden every year. This year I have two types of lettuce, sugar snap peas, a patio tomato, kale, basil, nasturtiums, and thyme.

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Jeff

no vegetable garden but sure would like to have one

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Linda

I love to garden and have a vegetable garden of my own.

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Emily

Yes! But all things that are pretty easy and mostly things that can be started from seed: greens (kale, mustard), squash (kabocha, pumpkins), herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, oregano), tomatillos, cherry tomatoes, green onions. I love it. I don't consider myself to be a person who knows a lot about gardening but there is something very satisfying about cooking with things from your garden!

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Christianna

Heck yes I have a garden. I plant a cool weather and warm weather one. There is nothing better than taking a garden ripened tomato off the vine and eating it on a BLT. Does a garden save money? Probably. But the produce quality is the reason I do it.

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nicole dziedzic

Yes we have a vegetable garden every year. We grow squash, tomatoes, green beans, and onions.

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KelR1

I wish I did, but I do NOT have a green thumb. Every time I've tried having plants they just die right away. If I did have a vegetable garden I would love to grow bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, sugar snap peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and a bunch of herbs too!

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Megan

I have a small plot and some containers for veggies, but we do have an asparagus patch and are thinking of adding a peach tree this year, so it's always getting bigger and better.

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Joan

Yes! Only enough space for tomatoes, bell peppers and herb plants that I get from a local organic farmer. Tried eggplant last year but something ate the leaves up. :(

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Christina

I have some herbs inside, but outside isn't good for gardening, we are redoing our landscape and I may add one then.

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Martha

Yes, though we share the garden with the deer, we manage to get beans, lettuce, onions, beets, and a few tomatoes. The herbs are the best though.

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Pamela

Yes, we plant a vegetable garden every year.

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Deb

I have several raised garden beds. Making my soil mix was much easier than amending my very compacted, clay soil. Used the Square Foot Gardening method. Have grown tomatoes, peppers, herbs, beets, carrots, Swiss chard, onions. Disappointed that I don't get the bumper crop of zucchini that others do.

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Kristina

This is my second year growing a vegetable garden. I just planted seedlings this past weekend! I save so much on vegetables in the summer and nothing is better than eating organic greens from your own back yard! On tap for this summer is spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, sweet white onions, carrots, eggplant, cilantro, and parsley. I live in Massachusetts, so it's really helpful to get things started indoors, and then move outside in May once the risk of frost has passed. You have to be sure to give plenty of water to freshly transplanted veggies and herbs as it can be traumatic on a plant to move it to the outdoors. I always try to buy organic seeds, and use organic soil. I found great deals on both at Target this year. It's really important to read what sort of sunlight different produce needs, as some veggies thrive in shaded areas, whereas things like onions do best in full sunlight.

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Susan Smith

I don't have a vegetable garden as I don't have a yard.

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sonja

I do. I will grow zuchhini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and strawberries. Love having the garden!

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An G

Yes we plant one every year. It's almost time to get started.

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Betty

I don't have my own garden, but shared one at my sister in law's house. It was a lot of work, and a lot of money! We grew tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, mint, cilantro. I did love the vegetables.

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Guest

I do! I grow tomatoes, lettuce, winter squash, zucchini, herbs, beets, and peas.

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Kaitlin

I like planting calla lilies but would love to have a vegetable garden. I would plant squash, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini!

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lostAnnfound

Since we bought our house over 20 years ago we have always had a small garden. At a minimum we have tomatoes, bell pepper, summer squash and zucchini. My husband also grows some strawberries.

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Ronda

I'm renting right now so no. But I do have herbs on my kitchen windowsill that I use often.

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suz_glo

We create a straw bale garden with tomatoes, herbs, squash and okra. I try to tuck in a few flowers, also.This year I hope we can add beets and sweet potatoes, too.

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Judy

I don't have anywhere to put a garden so I have a flower pot/bucket and coffee mug garden. I plant herbs in coffee mugs and tomato, pepper, and/or squash plants in flower pots or buckets. I keep them on my porch. I sit all the mugs on a small metal table. I also am putting up a net in the yard this year to grow several different varieties of moonflowers and morning glories.

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Betty Spraker

Planted herbs, lettuce , and potatoes so far

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April

I have a small garden, I plant squash because they are so easy to grow and tomatoes because we love them. It is bunny proofed with 4 foot chicken wire.

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Louly

I do have a vegetable garden but it looks more like a graveyard. I just don't have a green thumb at all. :/

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Alexis MSW

I have a container/patio vegetable garden - tomatoes, lettuce, chard, radish, carrots, herbs, and more. Keeping the birds away is a challenge but not impossible, and it definitely saves us money!

Guest's picture

I have a square foot garden (4' x 4') in my front yard (the sunniest spot). I grow more peas, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers than I can use for my family of two.

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Cassie

We do! This year, we're growing peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, basil, and mint.

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Cassie

We do! This year, we're trying peppers, tomatoes, squash, avocados, mint, and basil.

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Bethany M

We live in an apartment. I have one potted tomato plant.

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Guest

One day when I have my own home I would love to have an herb garden. My dad has a great vegetable garden that I envy!

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Lynda

no garden but i wish i had a greeen thumb

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Sherry Clark

I have two 4' x 8' raised beds. I don't have full sun so I grow beans, green beans, kale, Swiss chard, garlic, and other greens. I also grow thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary, cilantro/coriander. Great eating in the spring, summer, and fall! I had kale until January this year.

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Sherry Clark

I have two 4' x 8' raised beds. I don't have full sun so I grow beans, green beans, kale, Swiss chard, garlic, and other greens. I also grow thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary, cilantro/coriander. Great eating in the spring, summer, and fall! I had kale until January this year.

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Renee

I do not have a garden yet, but do have a couple half-barrel planters on my balcony in which I plant tomatoes and cucumbers. The rest is supplemented with CSA and farmers market purchases until I one day have the yard and space to grow my own.

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Cindy

This is my second year growing a garden. I grow peas, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers.

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Kim

I don't have a vegetable garden, but I have a patch of land I want to use for that purpose.

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Karen

I have been planting a large garden for the past 4-5 years. I plant all of the usual vegetables - cabbage, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and peppers, tomatoes but each year I challenge myself to try something more. Last year it was celery, butternut squash and pinto beans. This year's it beets and planting heirloom tomatoes and peppers from seed. I also plant a huge crop of sunflowers and zinnias to attract beneficial bugs and pollinators. This year I'm adding cornflowers, marigolds and poppies. I have a small herb garden by the kitchen door that I plant oregano, basil, thyme, chives and green onions plus I have pots of peppermint, lemon balm and lavender. For me working in the garden keeps me grounded. I love it when a recipe calls for ingredients that I have to go out and pick them in the garden. I freeze, can and dry as much as I am able and it's a blessing when at dinner I realize how much I'm feeding my family from our own garden and not the grocery store.

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NYCMartini

I don't have one but would love to grow one. I would love to grow spinach and tomatoes.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

My husband and I always try to plant tomato plants each year, but we don't get too much more ambition than that. My husband usually takes care of them, though, b/c I tend to kill anything green!

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Diane byrne

I live in Chicago and have a small city lot. I have raised beds and grow cherry tomatoes that my grandchildren and neighbors love to pick and eat, kale, Swiss chard, peppers, okra and beets. I use Ollas and rain barrels to conserve water and provide for my beds.

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Barbara

I have a garden in Maryland with raised beds because of heavy clay soil. In the winter, I have a hoop house covering about 1/2 of the garden which allows winter salad greens and herbs. It is quite a luxury to have that hoop house. The garden is surrounded by a six foot high fence to keep out deer. We make our own compost and have added 10 hens who contribute their manure and excellent compost scratching ability. Summer brings tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, basil and other herbs, lots of green beans. Our spring garden has peas and salad and herbs left from winter. Our fall planted spinach failed this year.

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Suzyq

We always have a big garden, maybe 5000 square feet. We grow most of our own produce.

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Dee Dee

Oh yes, I actually take most of my vacation time from work to enjoy working in the garden during the summer and cooking the fresh vegetables. It would be much larger if we didn't have to have it fenced with tall fencing due to deer. We just love the fresh veggies and being able to share the bounty too.

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jackie

This is awesome! I have a veggie garden on the balcony of my condo. Tomatoes, greens, strawberries, bell peppers, basil, oregano, mint, lavender, nasturtiums. It is a great way to relax as well.

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Cynthia

I do not have a vegetable garden but I kinda wish I did.

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Cindy Lilly

I do not have a vegetable garden yet, but once I have the space I am going to grow cucumbers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. There is just something about home-grown produce that enlivens the cooking (and eating) experience.

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Toni B

I have a vegetable & herb garden, along with some strawberries. It really helps if you keep up on the weeding so veggies don't have to compete for nutrients & water. I also collect seeds at the end of the season to use for next year's garden.

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correy

My garden dirt was destroyed in storm sandy. I have tried mulch.new dirt etc and it still wont take the seeds, 0r plants. Any suggestions?

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MyBekki

I don't have a veggie garden, but I really want to start one. I grew cucumbers a few years ago, and they really took off :)

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Kate Kyleen

I plan to start my first garden once the spring weather gives me more sunny skies. I'm skipping the flowers and going for foods & herbs that I frequently buy. So far I'm planning on tomatoes, cucumber, hot peppers, cilantro, basil, and maybe a few more if space allows.

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MELISSA HANSSON

I don't especially like to be outside or dirty, so no gardening for me. I do love to shop at the farmer's market, though.

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Jill Elzinga

Yes we do! We have a small spot, about 30 by 40 feet, and we grow corn, tomatoes, pole beans, beets, carrots, various squashes, and tons of lettuces, chard, and kale. We freeze and can most of it, enjoying the fruits of our labor during harsh WI winters!

Guest's picture

Yes! We have a large garden totally fenced in to protect it from deer. I planted salad greens, spinach, butternut squash, beets and carrots last week!

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Maura

I live in a city but still have a small plot to plant in. It's amazing how much you can grow in a small area. I usually give away most of my vegetables because it's more than I can use. I love to watch the process of growth which is mainly why I do it.

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Catseye

I live in an apartment, so don't have the room for a vegetable garden. I'd love some homegrown tomatoes!

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Lisa

I love my garden!!

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LiisaKR

Yes, a small one out back. I need to get busy and plant!!! :)

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Happy Love

We've grown a garden for a few years now. We grow fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and cantaloupe. We also grow Romaine lettuce, spinach, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, and basil. We freeze diced tomatoes and grated zucchini for use year round, and we dry the basil. The produce out of the garden tastes better as well as saving money.

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GB

I do not have a veggie garden.

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Jennifer

Yes! I do have a vegetable garden!
We have veggies and we have herbs galore. We also have a few fruit bushes.

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DGReid

We grow several gardens at various locations every year. It's tough to garden in the city but it is possible if you're willing to be creative!

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Kim

No, we live in an apartment so don't have room for a full garden. However we have some herbs like basil in our window - we love adding those to sauces for a fresh garnish. Hopefully our next move will allow us to grow some food!

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Thomas Murphy

I don't have a vegetable garden

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Tabathia B

We usually grow tomatoes and basil/thyme during the summer in a small garden

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J. Pario

Yes! In fact, we are turning our entire backyard into an urban homestead, starting tonight. (We're going to map it out and make plans. This weekend--planting the cool-weather crops!)

We'll be blogging about it intermittently if anyone is interested.

I will say that growing your own food is not necessarily the most frugal move in the world unless you are on the 5+ year plan. (There are a lot of initial costs that add up.) However, we are hoping to scale it up and reduce our grocery costs eventually. Plus the food tastes so much better!