10 Frugal Reasons to Compost


You've probably heard about composting, or maybe you've even considered giving it a try. This waste-reducing activity is about way more than being kind to the environment and getting some awesome plant food for your garden. Composting can also save you a good amount of cash. So, here are 10 reasons why frugal people should start composting today!

1. It Saves You Trash Tags

Think about how many banana peels, egg shells, and other organic garbage scraps you've tossed into your bin over the last week. All that waste takes up space. Duke University's Center for Sustainability & Commerce shares that the average American produces over four pounds of waste per day. If you have to pay for a service or buy trash tags to haul it away, reducing your garbage load is sure to save you money.

2. It Gives You Free Garden Food

If you maintain a garden, you know that it isn't always cheap. The Bargain Babe explains that compost is one of the nicest gifts you can give your plants. Making your own can spare you from buying compost at your garden center each year. She typically buys two cubic yard bags per season, equaling an investment of $16.98 per year. That may not sound like a lot, but over five years, that amounts to nearly $85 in bags of fertile dirt. And the savings grows the bigger your garden gets!

3. It Improves Your Soil

Why is compost so great for the garden? It's considered a soil conditioner. What this means is that adding compost to your soil improves its texture. It's better able to hold onto nutrients, moisture, and air — all things that plants need to stay robust and healthy. As a result, you'll need to water less (cha-ching!), and your plants will likely yield a better crop. Growing your own food can definitely cut dollars from your weekly grocery bill.

4. It Controls Pests

Another merit of adding compost to your garden is that it provides you with virtually free bug control — without chemicals. Soil treated with compost "tends to produce plants with fewer pest problems," explains the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension. It can also help prevent diseases that regular old dirt cannot ward off on its own. Leaf compost, in particular, may even keep nematodes at bay.

5. It Eliminates the Need for Lawn Services

You can spread this "black gold" on your grass and skip this year's lawn spraying service. You'll get an added health boost by keeping chemical fertilizers and herbicides away from your home, loved ones, and pets. You only need to apply compost to your yard once or twice a year to see the benefits. Simply spread a modest one-half inch layer onto grass (not too deep) using a wheelbarrow and shovel, or a garden spreader. This method even treats those pesky brown spots with ease.

6. It Provides Low-Cost Entertainment

Spending time outdoors and engaging with nature is cheap and fun activity the whole family can enjoy. If you don't know where to start, try square foot gardening. A raised bed is a beginner-friendly holder for your plants. Figure out what you want to grow, pick up some seeds or annuals at your local garden center, draw out your garden plan, and go from there.

7. It Can Earn You Money

That's right! Select cities across the country and beyond may offer grants or other incentives for composting. Take Plymouth, Minnesota, for example. Back in 2012, the city offered its residents a grant of up to $100 to start backyard composting. This money helped people get composting supplies and the things they needed to start their vegetable gardens. Though programs like this one don't exist everywhere, it's worth doing a little investigation to see what incentives your local municipality provides.

8. It Can Forge New Friendships

Composting has even introduced us to people we otherwise may not have met. Check your community calendars for free composting workshops (often run through cooperative extension programs) and you may meet like-minded people to add to your circle of friends. More friends means more connections. More connections means opportunity for sharing of resources like time, tools, knowledge, etc. Plus, it's always fun meeting new people.

9. It Makes You More Food Waste Aware

One of the most notable perks composting has given our family is an awareness of our waste habits. The more we dug spoiled food out of the fridge and put it in our compost bin, the more we realized we weren't planning our meals efficiently. We started writing up our grocery list and detailing breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week. These days, we have very little food spoilage.

We even tend to use food scraps before tossing them into the compost pile in stuff like homemade vegetable broth. Simply place carrot peels, onion skins, celery leaves, and other veggie scraps into a bag in your freezer and simmer them with water for 45 minutes. Strain out the scraps to place in your compost and enjoy your broth.

10. It Costs Little to Start

You can build a basic compost bin for less than $5. In some cases, you might even have all the materials you need already on hand. Just find a basic plastic storage tub with a lid, drill holes all over it to allow for airflow and drainage, and place a layer of dirt at the bottom. Then throw your food scraps inside and make sure to rotate or shake it at least once a week. That's all it takes to get started. You should have viable compost in as little as four to six months.

Do you compost? Share your tips with us!

Like this article? Pin it!

Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Guest's picture

My husband and I started composting 3yrs ago and it has helped us with the yard. We also use the compost to fill in holes our dogs have dug. Our dogs sometimes eat the compost that put on the lawn and we are not worried about them getting sick or worse from it.