Real Men Sow

A Belated April and May Grow Your Own Money Saving Experiment Update


Back in the middle of April, I made my first harvest of 2015, helping myself to just over a kilo of rhubarb.

A kilo of rhubarb is actually quite a lot – a good carrier bag full, and enough to make carrying the fruit back to the house a bit of an effort. At £5 for a kilo of rhubarb in the shops, it’s also a very valuable crop on the allotment.

As I posted previously, this year has been a fantastic one for rhubarb, and since that first harvest, my five crowns have yielded over 5 kilos, to a shop value of £25.78. I’m pretty ecstatic with that figure, as it has covered my seed and multi-purpose compost for the year already.

Grow What You Eat!
Of course, you’ve got to actually like a fruit or veg to consider this a saving. You can’t really call the crop a saving if you’re only eating the stuff because you grew it. Fortunately, I love rhubarb, and would be buying stems from the shops if I wasn’t growing them.

I enjoy some fruit after dinner, so have mostly been baking the rhubarb in honey and eating it mixed with natural yoghurt, but I have enjoyed a crumble too, as well as a humungous trifle for my birthday.

The rhubarb success has contributed to a total crop value so far of £40.47, which was also made up of 928g of greenhouse salad leaves, worth £9.28. We eat a lot of salad with our dinners during the summer months, so again, the mantra of grow what you eat is really relevant.

Not Much Else Cropping… Yet!
There wasn’t much variety coming off the plot during April and May. In addition to the rhubarb and salad were a couple of handfuls of radish, some chard and a few Spring herbs. However, what has already been shown is that rhubarb is definitely a star when it comes to growing high value crops to save cash.

This is even more pertinent given that the rhubarb crowns were freebies, split from the roots of a friend’s plant. Even the manure I’ve spread over them cost me nothing. :)

As we move into June, I’m hoping for some hefty soft fruit savings from strawberries and gooseberries, as well as welcome variation via an early mangetout sowing and my overwintered broad beans.

See the Working Spreadsheet
I’ve uploaded my working spreadsheet with all my harvests, and if you’re interested in calculating savings or curious as to what I’ve been harvesting, you can view the spreadsheet by clicking here.

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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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