Home gardens rise in popularity amid high inflation

Austin, Texas — When Beth Brown needs groceries, she often does her shopping in her own backyard. 

Brown estimates she’s saving $400 per month on groceries by growing vegetables like lettuce, squash, tomatoes and cantaloupe. The nurse and single mom of two boys said she’s trying to save everywhere she can as prices skyrocket. 

“The prices of food have really gone up just everywhere,” Brown told CBS News. “So I have been growing a lot more vegetables to kind of keep up with that.” 

In June, the average U.S. household spent $51 more on groceries than a year ago, according to Moody’s, as inflation pushes food prices to a 43-year high. 

“Americans used to spend under 10% of their budget on food. This compares to maybe 15% to 20% or more in the rest of the world. Now, the United States is up to 12%,” Bartholomew Sparrow, a professor at the University of Texas, told CBS News. 

Brown knows price hikes are sending people to their backyards. She runs the Central Texas Vegetable Gardeners Facebook group, whose membership has grown significantly this year, she said. 

“I think we’re close to 20,000 members now,” she said. 

Brown says — as many home gardeners know — the food she grows also tastes better than store-bought. 

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