Having a garden is wonderful. You have an outdoor space to relax in, entertain friends, or let the kids (or pets) run wild. But did you know your garden could actually be saving you money, too? Here are just four ways that your garden can be beneficial for you, your family and your wallet.

Grow your own herbs

Whether you love to cook, are interested in aromatherapy or even a fan of holistic medicine, herbs will be a crucial part of your life. The great news is, there’s no need to spend a fortune on shop-bought herbs when you have a garden. So many herbs can be grown outdoors from seeds, which makes them even cheaper. Most herb seeds can be started off in a little pot of soil, then transplanted into the garden once they have several leaves. Of course, growing any food will save you some money, but growing herbs tends to save you the most as herbs can be extremely expensive. Herbs can also be frozen in ice cube trays or dried and kept for a very long time, making them great value.

Get the BBQ out

It’s estimated that in 2017, the UK spent £54.7 billion on eating out. Cut back on restaurant bills by buying charcoal, firelighters, and hauling the barbecue out from the back of the garage. Many supermarkets or local shops do great meat packs with sausages, burgers or steaks. For vegetarians and vegans, halloumi, vegetable kebabs, chargrilled aubergine and sweetcorn and stuffed mushrooms are just some of the delicious options for the barbecue. Much cheaper than a meal out, and a great way to socialise too.

Create a kids’ haven

Taking the kids out every day can get expensive, especially in the school holidays. But when the weather is great, you can’t expect them to stay indoors. Make your garden a place they want to play in with the following ideas:

• Make a bug hotel with sticks, bamboo canes, pine cones or stones

• Buy giant chalks and designate an area of path for drawing on

• Buy or make a playhouse

• Create treasure hunts

• Buy or make giant versions of games like Connect 4

• Let them have their own area of the garden to grow things in

Make a compost heap

Sustainability is important, and it’s great that as a society, we’re starting to take it seriously. Did you know that a recent study found that 71.4% of shoppers take into account the environmental impact of their purchases? Sustainability can extend into the garden, too. Reduce your waste and carbon footprint by making a compost heap. A couple of old pallets can keep it fenced in, and you can throw in vegetable peelings, fruit stones and cores, teabags, paper and even eggshells. It’s a free source of nourishing compost for your garden, it encourages local wildlife, and it prevents a good portion of your waste from ending up in landfill.