Real Men Sow

How Much Money Can Growing My Own Save Me? February Update

gooseberriesDuring February, the Veg Savings Spreadsheet currently tells me I got my hands on produce worth £20.33 over 22 trips to the allotment, store or freezer. That’s an average of 92p each time, and a couple of pence down on last month.

However, this doesn’t include the gooseberries…

Big Old (Potential) Gooseberry Saving…
See, if I were to add the 658g of summer goodies that I plucked from my freezer, I could be looking at a massive £9.45 saving. None of the supermarkets presently stock gooseberries, and the nearest I could get to finding a price was Goodness Direct, who listed their organic, English grown gooseberries at £3.59 per 250g, or a whopping £14.36 a kilo!

They were of course out of both season and stock, so I wasn’t sure whether to add the berries to the spreadsheet. I could have bought tinned gooseberries in syrup from a supermarket, which were priced at 71p per 300g, and might be a more realistic spreadsheet entry.

A Tasty Treat
Even so, it highlighted that not only will I be saving a lot on gooseberries come summer, it is also nice to have a fruity treat in the middle of winter, especially when that treat is Eton mess (bottom of page in link).

Should I Add the Gooseberry Savings?
I suppose the question is, should I include the gooseberries in the savings, and if so, should I put the price of a fresh tub, or the tinned stuff, as mine are frozen?

Given that I’m essentially munching preserved gooseberries on my muesli, I’ve decided to include the fruit at the tinned cost, which then gives me a total monthly saving of £21.91.

Other Produce
Apart from the gooseberries, I used the same produce as last month – French beans (frozen), squashes (stored), curly kale (loads), spinach, Brussel sprouts, leeks and a couple of stray parsnips I found hiding.

I also bought seed potatoes, and two blueberry bushes, which actually brings my totals to a £13.77 loss for 2011 so far. I’ve got to confess though, I did feel a tinge of excitement when ordering the blueberry, as it made me feel like I was reinvesting back into the homestead!

You can have a look at my up-to-date spreadsheet at the 2011 Veg Savings Spreadsheet page by clicking here. Please feel free to download it, and let me know how you get on.

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  1. JelliebabeMarch 2, 2011 at 11:52 amReply

    Perhaps you should only add stuff onto the spreadsheet as they are picked so the Gooseberries would have been added in for last summer when they are in season…but then if you wanted to buy and use gooseberries now then its the NOW cost that you want… Ooooh I’m confused. I’m going for a lie down!

    • Jono

      JonoMarch 2, 2011 at 7:49 pmReplyAuthor

      Hey JB. I tell you, if I start to think too much about it all, it sends me in a right spin. At first, I was including the stored squashes, but not the frozen stuff. So decided to just include everything I consumed in the calendar year. Reckon it’ll all come out in the wash.

  2. HazelMarch 2, 2011 at 12:49 pmReply

    I did a similar thing back in 1998 (first year of having allotment). I spent £150 on the plot, including buying tools, wheelbarrow etc. and got back £450 in produce. My efforts were featured in the Dec 1999 issue of the Kitchen Garden mag.

    • Jono

      JonoMarch 2, 2011 at 7:47 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Hazel.

      Thanks for your comment. That’s great to know.

      Have been thinking about a couple of comments I had about whether allotmenteerists do think they actually save money. I’m lucky, am at the stage where I’ve bought most stuff I need. I’m interested in how much it costs to start up, and how long it might be before that’s recouped.

  3. xmarkstheplotMarch 2, 2011 at 9:05 pmReply

    I’m really impressed reading this. Unfortunately I’ve spent so much money on the plot already that even if I did scale back it would take years to pay for itself. I say stick the gooseberries down as fresh not tinned.

    • Jono

      JonoMarch 2, 2011 at 10:05 pmReplyAuthor

      Thanks very much, glad you like it.

      Been trying to work out roughly what I might have spent to get to this stage tonight.

      Its very easy to get excited and buy loads. You’ll know all about that with your potatoes!

  4. Real Men Sow » Blog Archive » How Much Does It Cost to Get Started on an Allotment?March 4, 2011 at 7:28 amReply

    [...] How Much Money Can Growing My Own Save Me? February Update [...]

  5. Tim HoltApril 15, 2011 at 2:18 pmReply

    The closest equivalent to what you’ve done would have been buying the gooseberries fresh and putting them in the freezer, so use the fresh price.

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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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