Could your green fingers be netting you homegrown gold?
New research has shown that people living in the UK are potentially wasting money every year buying vegetables instead of using their back gardens for growing vegetables themselves.
Reaping the rewards
Courgettes, aubergines and brussels sprouts have been revealed as the most cost-effective vegetables to grow in gardens and allotments, with just one packet of seeds able to save you around £149 on average.
The team at Garden Buildings Direct have calculated the average price of seed packets for a variety of fruit and veg and researched just how many veggies one packet could potentially provide when fully grown. They then worked out exactly how much it would cost to buy the same amount of vegetables from the supermarket, and the mark up is enormous.
A spokesperson at Garden Buildings Direct had this to say:
“A lot of people don’t consider growing their own fruit and veg because they think it’s too much trouble with little reward, but if they were to really take a step back and look at how much money they could be saving, they would probably change their minds.
“Whilst some of the more exotic vegetables are near enough impossible to grow in our climates, regulars to the dinner table like Brussels sprouts, bell peppers and runner beans are easy to plant, grow and care for, and homegrown veg is guaranteed to taste just as good – if not better – than supermarket-bought alternatives.
“If you have the room to grow the maximum number of cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, radish and iceberg lettuces, for example, you could save nearly £300 on salad essentials over the course of a year.
“Of course, the average family of four will struggle to get through over 500 courgettes or 3,000 tomatoes in one go, but these are foods that could easily be made in to sauces or simply frozen for convenience.
“If you don’t have the room to stock up in this way, fresh veggies will always be welcomed by your friends and family too, and you’ll still be saving money.”
For example, a single cherry tomato plant grows around 200 tomatoes per season, so planting an entire packet of 15 seeds could provide around 3,000 fruits each year.
It would cost around £135 to buy the same number of cherry tomatoes from the average supermarket, which means that – taking into account the cost of seed packets – you could save yourself around £133.51.
The most cost-effective vegetables to grow are courgettes. Although packets of courgette seeds proved to be the priciest at £3.99, just one plant can grow around 64 vegetables throughout a season. This means a packet of eight seeds could see you harvesting approximately 512 courgettes each year.
It would cost around £179 to buy the equivalent number of courgettes in your local supermarket throughout the year, and so taking off the cost of a packet of seeds, you could save around £175 by growing your own.
Bell pepper seeds are also worth sowing as 15 plants could produce enough food to save around £57. The average cost of a single bell pepper in a supermarket is around 50p, so when taking into account that just one plant grows between 6-8 peppers per season, the savings quickly tot up.
And although growing just one chilli pepper plant could result in you being around 74p out of pocket after paying for a packet of seeds, growing an entire packet of eight plants could save you around £7 in the long run.