Real Men Sow

How Much Money Can Growing Your Own Save Me? November Update

And so the seasonal decline continues. During November I harvested produce worth £31.32, averaging 85p over the 37 individual pickings. This is my fourth smallest harvest value of the year so far.

My cash crops have long gone, and winter veg doesn’t seem to command anywhere near as high a price. For example, I’ve helped myself to 1.1kg of potatoes this month, but at only £1.35 a kilo, I saved just £1.54.

Contrasting with the summer months, the same weight of tomatoes saved me £4.40 and strawberries an incredible £9.16.

Beetroot is probably my biggest saver at the mo. Its still keeping okay in the ground, and November saw me pick 2.25kg worth a healthy £7.86.

I did get a great return from one of my three hardy pak choi. I treated myself to the biggest plant in a stir fry, worth £4 all by itself.

Picking Patterns
It is interesting to monitor how picking patterns change now the clocks have gone back and the gates shut at dark. I can’t always get down to the plot to harvest, so have to plan ahead. This Sunday I harvested spinach, carrots, beets, salad leaves, my first parsnip, cavolo nero, curly kale and all of my allotment sweet potatoes in one go (pictured). That little lot saved me £8.95.

From the Store
Another interesting factor is how stored veg has started to contribute. A couple more squashes in November saved me £3, on top of the 4 squashes at a total of £6.69 during October.

I’ve also used plenty of onions too: 8 at 32p each saved me £2.56.

Sadly, I’ve got no leeks to bolster my savings this winter, but I’ve got some more pak choi, sprouts and a few decent parsnips to come in time for Christmas, as well as more sweet potatoes and lots of squashes.

Total Profit So Far
At the end of my penultimate month I’m registering a profit of £417 for the year so far, which I’m over the moon with, especially given that I’ve not really pushed my plot that hard this year and am only growing for me and Ailsa.

You can have an in-depth look at my progress by clicking here to view the 2011 Veg Savings Spreadsheet working version. Please feel free to download it, and let me know how you get on.

If you’d like to read my previous montly updates, click here.

I can’t believe I’m heading in to the last month of my experiment, the year really has flown by. I’ll be rounding everything up in January, so please check back for my grand total.

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.

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