Real Men Sow

Happy New Year and the Real Men Sow 2011 Veg Growing Savings

If you’re a regular reader of Real Men Sow (I think I’m up to about 5 now) you might know that I’ve been keeping count of the value of veg I have grown during 2011.

Back in January, I put a spreadsheet together with the help of my accountant mate Russell and published it on my blog. The spreadsheet worked out the price of each vegetable and fruit quantity I harvested if I had bought it in the UK’s most popular supermarket.

Also taken into account were outgoings, such as rent and seed cost, to give me a profit / loss position after every harvest.

There has been nothing particularly scientific about this experiment, and it was more a bit of fun than anything. I’ve not included manhours spent working the allotment, and my plot is also four years established, so annual outgoings have reduced since I started growing my own back in 2007.

Saying this, I did try to have a rough guess at how much I’d spent getting my plot up and running, which included purchases of tools, fruit bushes and a shed.

Many of my seeds were leftover from last year too, and I also managed to get hold of quite a few free packets. One of my most popular posts of 2011 gave suggestions on getting seeds for free.

Every month I’ve posted monthly updates on the value of my harvests. There has been a steady ‘up’ pattern from January, which peaked in August and has fallen with the onset of winter.

I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone. It only seems like yesterday that I was posting with pride about my first leek, spinach and kale based saving of £3.48.

I’ve had great enjoyment with this experiment, and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be running a series of posts summarising my experiences, as well as a few recommendations on what to grow for the biggest bang for buck.

(clue: its not potatoes..)

Have a great New Year, and I’ll hope you’ll join me for all the geeky goodness I found out during 2011. Please can I say a massive thanks to all those who read and commented on my blog, thought me worth a follow on Twitter, and voted for me in the Horticultural Channel Awards. It’s much appreciated.

Happy Gardening.


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  1. SeanDecember 28, 2011 at 7:30 amReply

    Am guessing it will be fruit.

    • Jono

      JonoDecember 28, 2011 at 8:28 amReplyAuthor

      …and you wouldn’t be far wrong!

      There are a few non-fruity ones in there too though.

  2. KayleighDecember 29, 2011 at 10:47 pmReply

    Happy New year when it comes Jono, hope you have a fruitful year!

  3. Jono

    JonoJanuary 2, 2012 at 9:02 amReplyAuthor

    And you Kayleigh!

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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, over a decade later, 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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