Real Men Sow

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

I can’t believe how quickly the months are coming around. It only seems like yesterday that I was talking about June’s veg savings.

August is here, and I’m regularly looking out of my work window wishing I was a teacher, with six weeks of allotmenteering ahead of me.

Alas, I’m a local government officer… but I am one with a £67.32 saving from GYO during July!

This is a new monthly high, beating the previous record by £10.80. July also saw the most individual pickings in a month so far – 64 – which works out an average of £1.05.

The number of pickings is a good indicator that the high summer harvesting period is here, and tellingly, there were no massive soft fruit savings to prop the figures up. I only harvested £5.48 of raspberries and £4.12 of gooseberries this month, as opposed to forty quids worth of strawbs and gooseberries in June.

Lots of Courgettes
My three courgette plants began producing in July, and although they’re not very expensive in the shops, the sheer productivity of the plants make them a real money saver. I harvested 2.7kg, saving me £10.39 on shop prices.

There are 4 in my fridge currently, so it’s fair to say that the annual courgette glut is well under way.

Beetroots are Here!
My beets are also here at last. I picked 2.8kg, worth £9. Beetroot is such a super veg, it must be one of the easiest to grow. You can almost sow the seeds and leave completely to their own devices. Great germination rate, and even the weeds don’t seem to be able to batter them down.

Also New this Month
Other newcomers to my harvesting list were three cucumbers, two winter squashes and the first of my Early Nantes carrots. Not sure I’ll grow these next year, as we don’t eat many carrots during the summer for some reason. Might use the room to grow more Autumn King for the winter instead.

The French beans continue to be my best veg, probably of the year. I picked 2kg in July, saving £10.75. They just keep on coming, and this is still from my first sowing.

As well as tracking money savings, I’ve found that keeping a list would be a useful way comparing harvesting times. I’m troubled by my slow toms; I’m sure I was picking them in July last year, but I’ve got nothing to check against.

Alina’s Broken Even
I was also pleased to hear that fellow GYO tweeter Alina, aka Smooogle, had broken even this month. Alina has been using the spreadsheet to record her savings, and was now in to profit despite her allotment rent being far greater than mine.

I’m currently £198 up, which includes my blueberry bush purchase. I haven’t spent much on seeds this year, but it would be grand to get a saving of £400 at the end of 2011.

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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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