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How much $ does gardening really save?

(post, Caroline Cummins)

Everybody these days is gardening to save money on produce. Or raising chickens to do the same on eggs. 

The articles tell you things like, say, one flat of bok choy starts will save you hundreds of dollars come harvesttime. sure, if your boy choy starts actually produce a prolific (i.e., lots of crop) and edible (i.e., the bugs and birds don't destroy it) harvest. And if you can actually eat the dozens of pounds of bok choy you've grown come harvesttime. freezing all that extra bok choy? Not so appetizing.

At my house, we've already blown several hundred dollars in the past year on raising chickens (counting the cost of building a home for them, plus their feed costs) and another several hundred dollars on gardening supplies and classes for the veggie beds. 

Yes, we get 1 to 3 eggs a day. Yes, we have unlimited amounts of parsley in the yard. But our radish crop has already failed. And we love eggs so much, we still buy supplemental eggs at the store.

Are we raising chickens and growing a garden to save moola? Heck no. We do it because it's fun and, when the urban-homesteading stars align, über-fresh and therefore way tastier than anything at the farmers' market. Our eggs are awesome and so, in years past, have been our raspberries, peas, favas, and eggplants. But are we laughing all the way to the bank? No way.