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  • How much do you save?

    Reading Mrs Doby's reponse to another thread got me thinking about money, well not about money per say but about how much one can save by growing your own.

    It has been suggested that an average plot can produce about 200 worth of fruit and veg in a year. This made me smile as I produce probably 400 worth of soft fruit on my plot and thats a very conservative figure.

    I bring home a bunch of flowers at least twice a week from May to October and they are quality, large bunches with a Tesco value of about 10 I would say, so thats about another 500 saved.

    Onto vegetables, well we are talking premier cru here, organic equivalent, finest quality, Butternut squash at 1.99 each, well thats 36 in the bank before we go onto high value crops such as herbs, sweetcorn, chillies, beans and asparaus. Tescos sweetcorn 50p a cob, 80 please (I like sweetcorn). My harvested vegetables must have have a value of several hundred pounds, bearing in mind I run two plots with a tunnel and two greenhouses.

    The biggest saving however comes from adding value to your crops. You can quadrouple the value of things such as cougettes by incorporating them into jars of pickles and relish and if you think that spare runner beans are best given away, then think again, I make a fabulous relish that is great on sandwiches, with salads, cold cuts and cheese. Jams are good as are pasta sauces, pures, even the dreaded rhubard scnapps.

    How much do you think you save?
    Last edited by pigletwillie; 03-01-2007, 10:27 AM.

  • #2
    Total spending on our plot so far

    Rent 42 a year
    Seeds - probably about 30 including potatoes
    Weed Control Fabric 25 plus some off freecycle
    Greenhouse Free, but fixings and glass about 45
    Tools - we already had plenty, so only 1 Hoe 15
    Netting 10
    Hosepipe 50m + fixings 13
    Wheelbarrow 20
    All other fruits and plants are coming from pre-existing plants in our plot or from our home garden.

    Total spend so far 200 approx

    Expected Crops

    I've been very conservative in my estimations, and have used basic from the supermarkets as a comparison, not the organic prices, so if organic prices were factored in then I recon it would add up to 20% to the estimated crop values overall.

    Soft Fruits

    84 Raspberry canes in permanent bed (already there) approx 30-45lb fruit = 30 to 90 value
    234 Strawberrys in permanent bed (already there) approx 30 to 90lb fruit = 30 to 130 value
    4 gooseberry bushes in permanent bed approx 6 to 10lb fruit = 10 value
    2 loganberry in permanent bed approx 3 to 6lb fruit = 5 to 10 value
    4 brambles in permanent bed (already there) approx 5 to 8lb fruit = 10 to 16 value
    7 rhubarbs in permanent bed (already there) approx 10 to 20 value

    Soft Fruit crops estimated value 100 MINIMUM (probable a lot more, but being very conservative with my estimates here!)

    HERBS - 2' BY 12' (permanent bed, covered with weed control fabric and planted through)

    Bay Tree transplanted from our front garden 3' tall bay leaves approx 2 a year value
    Mint (in pot) transplanted from our front garden approx 2 a year value
    Sage (English) approx 4 a year value
    Chives approx 2 a year value
    Parsley (Plain English) approx 5 a year value
    Basil approx 5 a year value
    Borage approx 2 a year value
    Taragon approx 3 a year value

    Herbs expected value 25 MINIMUM (very conservative estimate, based on how much it costs me to buy these herbs for a year as dried from a wholesalers!)

    LEGUMES

    Pea (Rondo) 2 rows of 100 plants = 200 plants = 15
    Broad Bean (Express) 2 rows of 25 plant = 50 plants = 15

    Total Legume value 30

    BRASSICAS

    Cabbage (MinicoleF1) 2 rows of 17 plants = 34 cabbages = 15 value
    Cauliflower (F1 Trevi) 1 row of 13 plants = 13 cauli's = 10 value
    Brussel sprouts (Bedford) 1 row of 15 plants= 15 plant = 25 value
    Broccolli (Autumn Sprouting) 1 row of 19 plants = 19 plants = 20 value
    Broccolli (Purple Sprouting) 1 row of 13 plants = 13 plants = 15 value
    Broccolli (Romaine) 1 row of 13 plants = 13 plants = 15 value

    Total Brassica crop value 100 approx

    ROOTS - 2 BEDS 4' BY 30'

    Carrot (Paramix) 8 rows of 24 plants = 192 carrots = 15 value
    Carrot (Amsterdam Forcing) 8 rows of 24 plants = 192 carrots = 15 value
    Leek (Musselburgh Improved) 8 rows of 8 plants = 64 leeks = 20 value
    Parsnip (Tender and True) 6 rows of 8 = 48 parsnips = 15 value
    Turnip (Snowball) 4 rows of 24 plants = 144 baby & full grown turnips (eat baby until last sowing, let rest mature) = 15 value
    Swede (Ruby) 4 rows of 6 = 24 swedes = 15 value
    Swede (Brora) 4 rows of 6 = 24 swede = 15 value
    Beetroot (Boltardy) 4 rows of 24, planted 1 row at a time every 3 weeks for 7 plantings = 168 beetroot = 30 value
    Radish (French Breakfast3) 3 rows of 48, planted a row at a time every 3 weeks for 10 plantings = 480 radish! = 15 value
    Radish (Pontiville) 4 rows of 24, planted a row at a time, every 3 weeks for 7 plantings = 168 radish! = 15 value

    Total root crop value 150

    OTHERS

    Asparagus - 1 bed 12' by 9' (already there, at least 6 plants that we've seen!) approx 8 value??

    ONION - 2 BEDS 4' BY 18'

    Ailsa Craig 33 rows of 8 plants = 264 onions - should see us thru the year if they store well enough! = 26 value
    Paris Silver Skin 16 rows of 8 = 128 pickles = 10 value
    Onion Sets (Electic) 5 rows of 10 = 50 planted = 6 value
    Onion Set (Radar) 5 rows of 10 = 50 planted = 6 value
    Garlic () 70 planted = 23 value

    Onions crop value 71

    SALAD - 1 BED 5' BY 36'

    Lettuce (Iceberg Set) 6 rows of 5, planted 2 rows at a time every 3 weeks for 7 plantings = 70 lettuces = 30 value
    Lettuce (Red Salad Bowl) 7 rows of 6, planted 2 rows at a time every 3 weeks for 7 plantings = 84 lettuces = 30 value
    Spring Onions (White Lisbon) 5 rows of 10, planted 2 rows a time every 3 weeks for 9 plantings = 180 spring onions (scallions I believe Snadger calls them) = 15 value
    Celery (Lathom Blanching) 4 rows of 7, planted 1/1/2r every 3 weeks = 28 stalks celery = 20 value
    Spinach (Spinnaker F1) 3 rows of 18 planted 1 row at a time every 3 weeks for 10 plantings = 180 plants = 20 value
    Cucumber (Marketmore) 2 rows of 3 plants, planted 2 at a time every 3 weeks = 6 plants = 36+ cucumbers = 30 value
    Courgette (Zucchini F1) 3 plants = 15 value
    Tomato (Sub Arctic) 12 plants = yield at 5lb plant = 60lb = 30 value

    Total salad crop estimated value = 190

    SQUASHES - 2 BEDS 5' BY 18'

    Pumpkin (Ghost Rider) 1 row of 5 plants in single planting = 5 plants
    Pumpkin (Saved seeds) 2 rows of 5 plants in single planting = 10 plants

    15 pumpkins as yield at 2 to 4 each = 30 value

    Squash (Ponca) 5 rows of 3 plants in a single planting = 15 plants
    Squash (Butternut saved seeds) 4 rows of 3 plants in a single planting = 12 plants

    27 squash yield (minimum) at 2 each = 54 value

    Total squash crop value estimate = 84 to 168

    SWEETCORN - 2 BEDS 5' BY 9'

    Sweetcorn (Ovation) 6 rows of 5 planted in 2 sowings = 30 plants = 2 corn per plant = 2 per plant = 30 value
    Sweetcorn (Lark) 6 rows of 5 planted in 2 sowings = 30 plants = 2 corn per plant = 2 per plant = 30 value

    Total sweetcorn value = 60 approx

    GREENHOUSE - 8' BY 10'

    Melon (Gallia) 3 plants = approx 6+ melons = 6+ value
    Pepper (Gourmet) 4 plants = approx value 2 per plant = 8+ value
    Aubergine (Calliope F1) 3 plants = approx value 3 per plant = 9+ value
    Chilli (DeCayenne) 3 plants + approx 5 value per plant = 15+ value
    Tomato(Black Prince) 3 plants yield @ 5lb a plant = 15lb = 8 approx value
    Tomato(Lilliput) 4 plants yield @ 5lb a plant = 20lb = 12 approx value
    Tomato(Tamina) 5 plants yield @ 5lb a plant = 25lb = 16 approx value
    Tomato(Sweet Million) 4 plants yield @ 5lb a plant = 20lb = 12 approx value

    Total greenhouse crop value 84

    POTATOES

    1kg of Charlottes
    1kg of Pentland Javelins
    1kg of Desiree
    1kg of not sure yet, another maincrop variety tho!

    Approx 60lb spuds @ 1 for 5lb = 30

    Total Tattie crop value estimate 30

    Summary of estimated crop yield prices (if had to buy equivalent veg from supermarkets)

    Soft Fruit crops estimated value 100 MINIMUM
    Herbs expected value 25 MINIMUM
    Total Legume value 30
    Total Brassica crop value 100 approx
    Total root crop value 150
    Asparagus approx 8 value??
    Onions crop value 71
    Total salad crop estimated value = 190
    Total squash crop value estimate = 84
    Total sweetcorn value = 60 approx
    Total greenhouse crop value 84
    Total Tattie crop value estimate 30

    Total estimated crop value (if purchased from a supermarket) 932

    So, if we take away the spending of 200 so far, then that gives us a nett profit of 732

    Anyone care to voice their opinions on my figures? Please?

    Ok, I havent factored in any labour, but as thats a personal choice and we enjoy it, then I dont feel it should be included!

    Plus the saved gym membership, the free exercise and fresh air, the socialization and all the environmental benefits to boot!
    Blessings
    Suzanne (aka Mrs Dobby)

    'Garden naked - get some colour in your cheeks'!

    The Dobby's Pumpkin Patch - an Allotment & Beekeeping blogspot!
    Last updated 16th April - Video intro to our very messy allotment!
    Dobby's Dog's - a Doggy Blog of pics n posts - RIP Bella gone but never forgotten xx
    On Dark Ravens Wing - a pagan blog of musings and experiences

    Comment


    • #3
      Eek! Too many numbers!

      I don't even think of it in terms of money, but rather in growing our own to help the environment and become healthier....

      Comment


      • #4
        You've also saved on not needing a gym membership!

        It probably depends on what you grow really as spuds etc are pretty cheap in the shops but as somebody said on another thread, growing your own gives you the variety you want. Soft fruit costs a fortune but is only worth growing if you'll use it and whilst flowers are very nice (hint to OH!), they're not a saving unless you'd otherwise buy them.

        Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

        Which one are you and is it how you want to be?

        Comment


        • #5
          cant do the maths,.....too many numbers!!!!but our plot is 25 a year so thats less than a months membership - no lycra to buy which is a blessing looking at my post christmas stomach!!! no fancy trainers just strong boots and wellies if its really wet, so more saving... and although there have been some initial setup costs for us (shed/coldframe/etc) these will last years so that can be proportioned over the next ???years. Flowers I always have some in the house so will save that expense...and lots of nice tasty fruit & veg with no additives & air miles is priceless is my opinion
          The love of gardening is a seed once sown never dies ...

          Comment


          • #6
            I've got an old book at home (LJ remembers it being opublished ) and that give details of what can be expected & costs.

            Maybe we should run a total as it's January as to what cost/savings we make.

            I'll dig the book out and post the 1930's opinion for you to compare. I'm sure there's a website that you can type in figures to give up to date costs for direct comparison.
            ntg
            Never be afraid to try something new.
            Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
            A large group of professionals built the Titanic
            ==================================================

            Comment


            • #7
              Cheeky sod Nick!!
              [

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nick the grief View Post
                Maybe we should run a total as it's January as to what cost/savings we make.

                I'll dig the book out and post the 1930's opinion for you to compare. I'm sure there's a website that you can type in figures to give up to date costs for direct comparison.
                That sounds like a plan Nick! Sounds good to me, if anyone else thinks so?
                Blessings
                Suzanne (aka Mrs Dobby)

                'Garden naked - get some colour in your cheeks'!

                The Dobby's Pumpkin Patch - an Allotment & Beekeeping blogspot!
                Last updated 16th April - Video intro to our very messy allotment!
                Dobby's Dog's - a Doggy Blog of pics n posts - RIP Bella gone but never forgotten xx
                On Dark Ravens Wing - a pagan blog of musings and experiences

                Comment


                • #9
                  1930's plot.pdf

                  Here is the info from the book with the equivalent value in yellow as best as I can work in out. Unfortunately it does't give a rough idea of the rent.
                  Last edited by nick the grief; 03-01-2007, 08:09 PM.
                  ntg
                  Never be afraid to try something new.
                  Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
                  A large group of professionals built the Titanic
                  ==================================================

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So even accounting for all the tools its still a saving of over 100 on those figures Nick! Not bad at all!

                    What do you personally recon you save?
                    Blessings
                    Suzanne (aka Mrs Dobby)

                    'Garden naked - get some colour in your cheeks'!

                    The Dobby's Pumpkin Patch - an Allotment & Beekeeping blogspot!
                    Last updated 16th April - Video intro to our very messy allotment!
                    Dobby's Dog's - a Doggy Blog of pics n posts - RIP Bella gone but never forgotten xx
                    On Dark Ravens Wing - a pagan blog of musings and experiences

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Don't know Mrs D,

                      I know last year we never bought any spuds from September 2005 till March 2006 and before we used to buy a bag of spuds a week from the supermarket at about 1-50 a time as we couldn't store bigger bags.

                      SO thats 42 less about 10 for the cost of the seed spuds = 32

                      Plus I grew 100 Dahlia's & 100 Chrysanths so don't buy flowers now so if you work on 1-50 a bunch every week from May till December (I grow late chrysanths as well)

                      48 less the cost of compost & electric 18 ish for ease = 60

                      Plus all the other veggies and Fruit that I've no idea how much we have had.

                      And so far I don't think I had a full plot in production as I've either had part of it covered to suppress the weeds or it was just being left covered to rest it while I tried to sort it out.

                      So I would guess it has to be at least 100 if not more. But I only grow a limited amount of veg as we don't eat many types so the more "exotic" expensive stuff is where a lot of folks will win.
                      Last edited by nick the grief; 03-01-2007, 08:35 PM.
                      ntg
                      Never be afraid to try something new.
                      Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
                      A large group of professionals built the Titanic
                      ==================================================

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was just thinking this at work today. I havent had to buy potatoes since June and still have 3 sacks left, still have 3 trays of onions and some Garlic. There is loads of fruit in the freezer and about 60 jars of Jam and chutney.

                        Every time the family come over they go home with Potatoes and onions.

                        I would say we grow 40% of our own veg.

                        This year I am going to focus on the stuf that did well last year.
                        My phone has more Processing power than the Computers NASA used to fake the Moon Landings

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My friends Wellie and trousers (be gentle with them, the're forest folk) grow a stupendous amount of their own veg from a quality potager right outside their back door. I bet they grow well over half of their own veg.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            all of this is what i can only hope to aspire to! i know setting up our plot has cost a fortune due to clearing it. See thread 'new year new challenge' for pics.
                            well done to you all. i hope i can produce just a small amount of what you seem to produce.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well I haven't bought any veg, salad or potatoes for nearly 18 months now (well perhaps a couple of cabbages in late Spring last year), but I don't know that I save any money! By the time I've bought all the compost, grow bags, feed, etc. that costs a bomb up here! But I only grow what we normally eat, and so do freeze alot of rhubarb for pies and crumbles and make ratouille, soups and veg gratins to last us through the winter.

                              But for me its not the cost, I want to eat fresh produce. Witht he weather we get here I certainly dont do it to save money. No one would be out digging in a Force 7 cold northerly wind, just to save money! But I also enjoy the fresh air and the exercise and the knowledge that what I put on the table is "green".
                              ~
                              Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway.
                              ~ Mary Kay Ash

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