After all the water, the space, and the maintenance, some vegetables aren’t worth the effort to grow. But with food costs rising, some are definitely worth your time! Here are the cheapest vegetables to grow that will get you the best bang for your buck.
This post at a glance:
- The 7 Cheapest Vegetable Seeds That Are Worth Your Time
- 1. Lettuce
- 2. Sprouts
- 3. Tomatoes
- 4. Rhubarb
- 5. Swiss Chard
- 6. Radish
- 7. Carrots
- Cheapest Vegetables: Honorable Mentions
- Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Vegetables
- More Posts About Growing Food
The 7 Cheapest Vegetable Seeds That Are Worth Your Time
If you want to reduce your food bill while also enjoying fresh, delicious produce, I encourage you to turn to your garden rather than the grocery store for these specific veggies.
Lettuce is the one vegetable I consistently grow in my garden. If you’ve seen the price of lettuce lately, then you will want to go out and get a packet of seeds ASAP.
One packet of seeds will cost you the same amount of money as one container of lettuce at the grocery store, which you’ll inevitably throw out half of.
The one packet will last you all summer, and you can easily succession plant for an endless supply of fresh greens. You can also cut off leaves and leave the root to produce even more lettuce for your table. Talk about cheap vegetables!
Sprouts are an underappreciated vegetable, in my opinion. You can grow them any time of the year, even in the winter when it’s difficult to get fresh vegetables.
With a few seeds, you can have a Mason jar full of sprouts to put on salads, sandwiches, bowls, garnishes, and more. Or, try these 2 other sprout-growing methods and grow them on your kitchen counter!
If you haven’t eaten many sprouts before or aren’t sure which to start with, I highly recommend you check out this post about the best sprouts to eat and what they taste like. You’re sure to find a sprout for you!
If your climate is warm enough for tomatoes, they are definitely some of the cheapest vegetable seeds. One tomato plant gives you SO much fruit to enjoy.
When you grow tomatoes, the taste is infinitely better than store-bought. They’re delicious straight from the vine, sweetened in the sun.
And yes, technically, tomatoes are a fruit, but they get the vegetable treatment in my eyes.
Rhubarb isn’t the most popular vegetable, so it’s not always easily accessible at the grocery store. If you love to make rhubarb pie or freeze the stalks, it’s worthwhile to dedicate a little corner of your garden to a spring rhubarb plant.
5. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard grows well in cold climates, adding a pop of colour to the garden. You can eat both the stems and leaves, so it’s a vegetable you can get some value from.
At the grocery store, Swiss chard can sometimes be hard to find. It grows well in the garden, so it’s easy to get the seeds instead of buying them from the grocery store.
Swiss chard can get lots of holes from bugs, so you may also want to grow it in a container (or a vertical planter like I did) if possible.
Even those who can’t keep a houseplant alive can grow a radish. They are one of the easiest and cheapest vegetables to plant since they have an ultra-quick maturity rate of about 3-5 weeks.
You can pop them just about anywhere, working well between rows of other veggies. Plus, they’re a great companion plant!
Last on this list of the cheapest vegetables, we have carrots. Carrots grown in the garden have a much better taste than anything you get at the store, and it’s easy to grow them.
Carrots also can stay in the ground long, getting even sweeter after a frost. Most climates can grow them, so they get the check of approval from me.
Cheapest Vegetables: Honorable Mentions
These cheap vegetables didn’t make the cut, but they may be worthwhile for some.
- Asparagus. Asparagus is a notoriously expensive vegetable to buy. However, you can’t harvest it in your first season, so it’s not necessarily easy to grow for someone looking to save money on vegetables.
- Potatoes. Potatoes are very cheap and easy to grow. However, they take up quite a bit of space and are already pretty cheap to buy at the grocery store. But if you have the room (hint: a wine barrel might be the perfect place to plant potatoes!) and want special varieties, go for it!
- Zucchini. Zucchinis are an incredibly prolific plant for someone who eats a lot of it. So much so that we often have to joke about giving them away. They do take up quite a bit of room and aren’t necessarily expensive to buy at the grocery store in the first place.
- Garlic. Also incredibly easy to grow but very cheap at the grocery store.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Vegetables
These are some great veggies to grow if you’re a beginner: lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, peas, beans, Swiss chard, potatoes, garlic, rhubarb, sprouts, and microgreens.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Vegetables that have a high yield, grow quickly, start from seed easily, and aren’t high maintenance are often worth the effort. Otherwise, it can be cheaper to buy them from the grocery store.
Growing your own vegetables is best when you have room for it, you can easily preserve the extras, and can extend the growing season through seed starting or season extenders.
There you have it! What vegetable caught your eye? I’d love to hear what you’ll be planting.