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Thread: How much do you reckon to save by growing your own?

  1. #41
    muck lover is offline Tuber
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    Well growing my own food means much more to me than a hobby. But even if it were just a hobby most people spend money on hobbies and don’t expect to break even or make a profit. With physical and mental health benefits and helping the planet the rewards are multiple.
    I would never factor in the labour costs at any rate- more likely to PAY to pursue my ‘hobby’

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Puss View Post
    And VC, this is such a complicated scheme you've cooked up that I can't see it lasting long. Why not just carry on growing, eating and enjoying?
    Do my schemes ever last long?
    I was trying to think of a way of not weighing and pricing everything that was grown and making it more relevant to what is actually eaten in the home.
    For example, last autumn I left boxes of apples and tomatoes at the front gate for passersby to take - free.. Putting a value on something I have grown but for which I have no use seems meaningless to me - its not a "profit" over the cost of running my "plot" - its a surplus to be written off.

    I started the year with a little book that lists what I spend on the garden (plants, seeds, compost etc) and what I harvest - and what I do with that harvest - like eat, freeze, pickle etc. The shop price for these things isn't really relevant as I wouldn't buy them unless they were yellow-stickered.

    Bet that's made it sound even more complex.
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  3. #43
    bikermike is online now Cropper
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    You can price for taste/smug feeling etc.
    It's effectively the differential between the costs you are willing to spend (including your time) over and above the cost of getting it from a supermarket (see "Goodwill" in business accounts)

    i.e. if a tomato cost 10 when you add up all your time/plot rates/depreciation on tools/fertilisers/fuel/etc, and a shop bought tomato costs 0.50, you are effectively valuing the benefit of growing it at 9.50 (provided you did it again once you knew the numbers).

    The problem with any valuation is that it always full of assumptions, and is only really useful as a comparator. Only the sale price is actually transferrable - if a tomato is for sale at 50p in the supermarket, that is a set number. You can value the tomato at any price you like (and thus decide if you want to buy it or not), but that will not change the price it is sold at.


    The problem manifests itself in the price of labour: if a premier league footballer and a roadsweeper grew the same tomato and valued it in the above way, the "value" of the tomato to the footballer would be hundreds of pounds greater if he used his footballer wage-rate, so it's only meaningful as a comparison to yourself as which you would rather do - ie if you are paying a 50p home-grown premium on a tomato, would 100 home-grown tomatoes give you more pleasure than a ticket to the opera. But your tomato-growing footballer might be comparing 100 tomatoes to a new Bugatti Veyron.

    I have a friend who is an accountant, and had a number of museums and galleries in his portfolio, and thus used to say that phrase "there is no accounting for taste" is demonstrably wrong...
    Last edited by bikermike; 12-03-2019 at 12:49 PM.

  4. #44
    PepperMonster is offline Seedling
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    I enjoy keeping records and working with data so this is a fun part of the hobby for me.
    But I did a degree and briefly worked in a field that is...pretty much completely that so it kind of fills the hole between science jobs.
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  5. #45
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    We have had our allotments for a good number of years so it is rare we have to buy any tools etc. So apart from rent our expenses are mainly seeds (50p sale mainly) or self saved and half a load of manure a year. 5.
    We do however put in a lot of effort but then again we don't have to pay for gym membership.
    How do we value our crops? We give lots away to our extended family and other allotmenteers when we have gluts but you can't really value goodwill although we have indirectly received tangible benefits from our generosity.
    I know my husband's doctor (not the one he gave a carrier bag of PSB to) has told him under no circumstances give the Allotment up!
    All in all we probably save no money by growing our own but there are so many other benefits.
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  6. #46
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    I remember reading in an old gardening book about a professional man who the author described as paying 1 a meal for his fresh peas to eat in the evening. This would have been the equivalent of about 20 a serving in modern terms.

    Turns out the calculation was based on the gentlemen in question having a paid gardener to grow his peas etc and also being at a time when the income tax rate was about 80% - so the gardener was being paid out of money which had already been taxed by 4/5ths - so if you put that in to the calculations it magnified how much each serving of peas cost to the garden owner by that amount.

    So those of you who employ a gardener to grow your veg might need to rethink the costs :-)

  7. #47
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    ^I employ Mr Snoop, but he doesn't charge me anything. Just as well, though, as I'd start thinking about charging for meals cooked!
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  8. #48
    PepperMonster is offline Seedling
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    I'll be sure to pass that on to all the people who ask me for veg and plants...!
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