Melissa saves about $100 per fortnight by growing as much of her own food as possible – ABC News


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Melissa Lawson has a modest backyard, about half the size of a tennis court — and she uses every inch of it."I've always had a garden, just gardening where I could in smaller spaces," she says"Honestly, working in the garden, it's what keeps me sane."Melissa grows her own vegetables including spinach, pumpkins, artichokes, carrots and many more — all watered through rainwater tanks."Growing your own is just so much cheaper," she says."When you buy stuff at the supermarket not only are you paying for packaging, processing, you're paying for the fuel that it cost to get there." Vegetable gardens can be grown in "tiny steps" says Melissa Lawson.(ABC Gold Coast: Dominic Cansdale)What helps the hip pocketMelissa says she still does regular trips to the supermarket, but that there's consistent cost savings."It all goes towards the bills, the mortgage." All of Melissa Lawson's garden is watered through these rainwater tanks.(Supplied: Melissa Lawson)Melissa also invested in solar panels some years back. Her roof is covered with about 10 kilowatts of solar panels."Once we're in credit for that we'll get a battery so that then we can actually supply our power at night as much as possible," she says."Just trying to do good for the planet."With the price of petrol nudging close to $2 a litre, which has added significant costs to many household budgets, Melissa's hybrid car has helped keep travel costs down.Just take 'tiny steps'Growing your own produce comes with benefits beyond just the financial."I grow everything organically, I make all my own compost and all my own fertilisers so I know what's gone into that food and I know exactly where it comes from," she says."The first thing you should do is start composting — a worm farm, or a [composting] bin.""Then you can be making your own fertilisers or your own additives to your soil."It doesn't have to cost a lot of money and can be gradual process, she says."Don't overwhelm yourself straight away, take tiny steps."Even just growing your own lettuce or your own capsicum, even something basic is money saved." It take hard work, but Melissa's garden provides almost all her veggie needs.(Supplied: Melissa Lawson)Melissa admits, there are some downsides to cutting back on the grocery bill."I'm quite sick of eating bananas at the moment," she says."I just managed to get through one huge bunch and there's more coming."ABC Everyday in your inboxGet our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week
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