The Fruit & Veg Money Saving Experiment

Question: Does Growing Your Own Fruit & Veg REALLY save you Money?

The question I asked many of the gardeners when I joined.  I received many different answers from yes to no to maybe and also it depends on how you calculate it.  So I have decided to take all my costs into consideration here and see if you can indeed save money by growing your own.  This is on my allotment, however it doesn’t have to be done in an allotment if you have a small garden or large one that will do.

Starting Out

Realistically I would be happy to break even in the first year.  After all I am new to veg growing and owning an allotment.  I am running on a very, very tight shoestring and have to get all my own equipment.  The weather is changing making it harder even for seasoned gardeners to succeed.  All of which needs to be taken into consideration.  You might not really need everything at once but it certainly feels that way.

The news says that veg is going to be more expensive due to the poor growing season.  So it is really worth it for that reason alone.

Initial Costs and Outlay for Gardening Tools Basics

It always pays to buy quality but you have to be realistic when on a budget and starting out.  It may be false economy to buy cheap, but just may be that is all you can afford at the moment so you may want to get more and/or better equipment later.  One of the advantages of starting in the autumn is that many things are on offer so you can save money.  I kept costs down by investing in quality heavy equipment but buying cheaper lighter use equipment with the knowledge that they will have to be replaced.  I have Small Trowel sets on my Christmas list!

Spade

Fork

Trowel

Gloves

Rake

Diber*

Hoe*

Wellington Boots

£62

 OTHER

Netting*

Ties*

Tent pegs*

Feed

Slug pellets

Wood for paths FREE!  I was lucky my allotment had some paths and a very kind allotment neighbour was left some by someone moving up country so he let me have those he didn’t want.

Start Date 7 September 2012

Vegetables,

NO FRUIT OR VEG TYPE QTY COST YIELD SUPRMKT COST SAVING
1 Cabbage 11 2 10 0.80 each 6
2 Broccoli 11 2 1 1.00 – £1.00
3 Salad Leaves 11 2 harvested 1* 1 for 90g -£1.70
4 Onions 50 2.99 6 so far 0.18 see 2013
5 Garlic 20 2.99 13 0.30/£3.90 in 2013 £0.91
7 Curly Kale 25 2 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
18 red onions No Cost
Cost Of Plants and Yield

*I planted these far too late.  All did grow but I didn’t like them so didn’t use them.

Fruit

NO FRUIT OR VEG TYPE QTY COST YIELD 2013 HARVEST SUPERMARKET COST  SAVING  
1 Blackcurrents 2 bushes 0 not known 7.4kg/16.36lb £2.00 per 150g/£98  £98.66**
2 Strawberries many 0 not known 1 punnet £2.00  £2.00
3 Pineberries 2 0 5 0 0  0
4 Other 11 0 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
5 Rhubarb 3 0 3 plants £2 £2  £2*
6 Redcurrants 1 5 Died Died Died  -£5
7 Blueberries 1 5.33 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
8 Loganberries 1 5 died 0 -£5  -£5
9 Raspberries Red 3 0 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
8 Raspberries Gold 3 5 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
Cost Of Plants and Yield

Everyone’s results will be different depending on costs, time, whether and what they decide to grow.

Note:  Where there is no cost that is because the plot already had the plants or because a kind allotment neighbour gave me the plants or seeds.

1.  What I like to eat.

2.  How expensive it is in the supermarket

3.  What I have been told and observed will grow in my particular allotment.

4.  What I have space for.

Welcome to 2013

We are now in 2013 just and the gardening year is in full swing.  Costs so far

Cost of allotment full year
Mini Green house £10
Cost of seeds £5.80

Blood Fish & Bone £5
Other fertilizer £5

Vegetables Planted in 2013

NO FRUIT OR VEG TYPE QTY COST YIELD SUPRMKT COST EA/ Tot Saving  
1 Cabbage 8 £2  8 1.27=£10.16 8.16
2 Broccoli 16 1.99 14 £1=£14 £12
3 Salad Leaves 11 1.99 1.99 1.99  0
4 Onions 50 2.99 50 0.20=£10 £7.01
5 Spring Onions (lisbon) 1 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
6 Spring Onions (silver skin) 200 0 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
7 Curly Kale (mini) 6 0 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
8 Curly Kale Red 2 0.40 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
9 Kale Black 1 0.20 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
10 Curly Kale 2 0.40 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
11 Brussel Sprouts 6 0 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
12 Peas 2 0.40 awaiting Results awaiting Results 0
13 French Beans 10 2.25 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
14 Runner Beans (from plants) 12 1.99 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting
Results
15 Runner Beans Seed 10 0 awaiting Results awaiting Results awaiting Results
Cost Of Plants and Yield 2013

*Rhubarb:  First Year shouldn’t really take any but had a few.  Left most on the plant.

**Blackcurrants price based on red currents in supermarket see post.

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