DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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16 November 2007

How a garden can help reduce your costs

All these photos of the garden were taken this morning.

The garden is producing well at the moment so we've been able to cut back on what we buy at the shops. I thought it might be interesting to work out the cost of our food so far this week, including all meals and snacks, and see how the garden produce factors into those costs. I will also include the source of the food, from our garden, pantry, fridge, stockpile or shop.

I make a loaf of bread almost every day. This costs about $1.60 for a wholemeal, rye or white loaf. Between all of us - the humans, dogs, fish and chooks, we eat a loaf a day. When something comes from the garden, I am counting that as 0 - nil. While I'm aware that the seeds and water come at a price, that price is minimal, so I'll add $5 for the week's seeds and water. I'll add the cost of the bread and seeds to the overall cost.

MONDAY - my work day so morning tea and lunch eaten apart. DAY'S TOTAL = $1.64
Breakfast
Boiled eggs (garden - 0), homemade bread toasted (pantry), butter (10c), black tea (pantry - 10c), honey to sweeten tea (pantry - 6c). Total 26 cents.

Morning tea
None for me
Hanno - black tea/honey 8 cents, homemade biscuits - (pantry 5 cents) Total 13 cents.

Lunch Hanno
Salad sandwich on homemade bread (tomato, lettuce, cucumber from garden, avocado given to us - 0), homemade lemon cordial - 2 cents. Peaches (garden - 0). Total 2 cents.
Lunch Rhonda
Salad and cheese sandwich (cheese 10 cents, salad 0), black tea/honey 8 cents, peach (garden - 0). Total 18 cents.

Dinner
Vegetable lasagna and salad - eggplant, tomatoes, capsicum (peppers), chilli, silverbeet, lettuce, radishes, celery from garden - 0, onions (shop - 10 cents), pasta sheets (shop - 10 cents), cheese sauce - powdered milk (pantry - 20 cents, cheese (fridge - 50 cents), flour - (pantry 5 cents), butter, salt and pepper (10 cents). Dessert - fresh peaches - (garden - 0) Total $1.05.


TUESDAY - my work day so morning tea and lunch eaten apart. DAY'S TOTAL = $2.14
Breakfast
Toast with butter and homemade strawberry jam, butter (10c), black tea (pantry - 10c), honey to sweeten tea (pantry - 6c), jam (pantry - 10 cents). Total 36 cents.

Morning tea
Hanno - black tea/honey 8 cents, homemade biscuits - (pantry 5 cents) Total 13 cents.
None for me.

Lunch Hanno
Salad sandwich on homemade bread (tomato, lettuce, cucumber from garden, avocado given to us - 0), homemade lemon cordial - 2 cents. Total 2 cents.
Lunch Rhonda
Salad and cheese sandwich (cheese 50 cents, salad 0), black tea/honey 8 cents. Total 58 cents.

Dinner
Left over vegetable lasagne (0 cents) and salad - eggplant, tomatoes, capsicum (peppers), chilli, silverbeet, lettuce, radishes, celery from garden - 0, onions (shop - 5 cents). Dessert - fresh peaches (garden - 0) and bananas (shop - $1) - Total $1.05.


WEDNESDAY TOTAL = $7.88
Breakfast
Me - baked beans (pantry 25 cents) on toast - homemade bread toasted (pantry), butter (10c), Hanno - homemade quark (40 cents) on bread - black tea (pantry - 10c), honey to sweeten tea (pantry - 6c). Total 91 cents.
Morning tea
Black tea/honey - 16 cents, homemade pikelets - (flour, powdered milk, butter, whey from quark - $1) and homemade jam - 10 cents. Total $1.26.

Lunch Hanno
Salad sandwich on homemade bread (tomato, lettuce, cucumber from garden, avocado given to us - 0), tea/honey - 8 cents. Total 8 cents.
Lunch Rhonda
Egg and tomato sandwich (egg 0, salad 0), black tea/honey 8 cents. Total 8 cents.

Dinner
Spinach pie and salad - spinach (garden - 0), eggs (garden - 0), onion (shop - 20 cents), garlic (garden - 0), fresh ricotta (shop - $2.45), cheese - (fridge - 50 cents), homemade shortcrust pastry - flour (pantry 40 cents), butter (fridge - 90 cents). Salad (garden - 0). Dessert homemade yoghurt (fridge - $1), honey (pantry - 10 cents), blueberries (garden - 0) TOTAL $5.55.


THURSDAY TOTAL = $4.63
Breakfast

Me - baked beans (pantry 25 cents) on toast - homemade bread toasted (pantry), butter (10c), Hanno - homemade quark (40 cents) on bread - black tea (pantry - 10c), honey to sweeten tea (pantry - 5c). Total 90 cents.

Morning tea
Black tea/honey - 16 cents, homemade pikelets - (flour, powdered milk, butter, whey from quark - leftover from yesterday - 0) and homemade jam - 10 cents. Total 29 cents.

Lunch
Both
Salad and tuna (pantry - $2) sandwich on homemade bread (tomato, lettuce, cucumber from garden, avocado given to us - 0), tea/honey - 16 cents. Total $2.16.

Dinner
Leftover spinach pie (0) and salad (garden - 0).
Dessert
Poached peaches (garden - 0), syrup - vanilla (pantry- 50 cents), sugar (pantry - 10 cents) and Maleny Jersey cream (shop - 60 cents). Total = $1.20
Hanno - tea/honey (8 cents)

Snacks included peaches from the garden (0) and cashews from the pantry, I buy these in 1 kilo packs, so I'm guessing our snacks cost about $3. Salad dressing was made from olive oil , dry mustard, S&P (pantry) and lemon juice (freezer). I'm adding $1 for the dressing I made. Add the cost of the bread $1.60 x 4 = $6.40, the cost of gas for the cooking = $3 and various sundries I can't think of but I'll add anyway = $2.

TOTAL
Monday $1.64
Tuesday $2.14
Wednesday $7.88
Thursday $4.63
Cashews $3.00
Dressing $1.00
Bread $6.40
Gas $3.00
Chook food $2.00
Water and seeds $5.00
Sundries $2.00

TOTAL FOUR DAYS = $38.69 or $9.67 per day for two people.

22 comments:

  1. Our growing season is over now,(boo hoo) so I'm enjoying looking at your beautiful garden.


    coleen

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  2. Rhonda Jean,
    Your garden is awesome. Your fruit trees are making me drool. I dont suppose those bags, are packinging for sending that homegrown fruit my way.

    Done dreaming, I know fruit fly protection.

    Suzen

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  3. I just love the pics of your garden. At the moment NOTHING edible is growing in mine. I actually grew more stuff in my tiny town centre garden than I do in this house. We are now into winter and I'm planning my kitchen garden for spring already. I'm thinking raised beds are the answer to the wildlife that passes through including a neighbour's horse who has taken to visiting us!!

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  4. ooohhhh I am missing my garden and winter isn't even here yet...could you send me some lovely fresh veg please??? lol

    We too can look at our table and almost all of it has been produced by us...

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  5. Rhonda,

    Since everything is brown now (well a few leaves are orange and yellow)I love seeing the "green" You garden looks great!!

    Thank you so much for the menu's. You did a great job on this post:)

    What kind of tea "other than black" do you drink?

    Thank you Rhonda:)

    P.S Kind of netting is over your tomatoes?

    Renee

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  6. Rhonda,

    I am so sorry I thought thoses were tomatoes. Forgive me it has been a long day:)

    Renee

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  7. Hello everyone, thanks for your comments. We are very lucky to be able to garden year round here. I'm not sure how I'd go without a garden during winter.

    Renee, the exclusion bags over the peaches and nectarines were bought from our local organic co-op - green harvest. The black bags are much better than the white ones. A lot of the peaches in the white bags have rotted. The black bags are made of a fine plastic gauze that is used for fly screens, with a solar resistant cord.

    I also drink green tea and earl grey. I never have milk in my tea, but do in coffee, and I don't like any flavoured tea (or coffee). I am plain, plain, plain. : )

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  8. Hey Rhonda, just popped over from ALS to see how you're going - did you post a new picture? Red suits you! LOVE your garden, very inspiring :) I am hoping to have some sort of produce going by this time next year - although we may be able to fit a tomato crop in by the time we move. I also loved your post re housework, and I've decided I'm all for the idea, if it never ends, I never have to finish it. Phew, that takes the pressure off a bit, doesn't it?! Best, Becca

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  9. Wow - lovely new pic. I've been reading in bloglines recently and haven't had time for a "real" visit in the last week or so (not sure how long it's been there). :)

    I love seeing photo's of your garden. Keeps me inspired with keeping on with mine. I'm really excited with how it's going and we even had 1 meal last week where ALL of our vegies (except for potatoes) came from the garden. I know that's nothing unusual for you but it was HUGE for me (who started vegie garden just this last May).

    If you don't mind me asking, what would be a "typical" amount for you to spend on groceries (as a weekly or monthly average)? I'm thinking your figurings are on the generous side and you'd usually spend less than $70 a week for the 2 of you? (taking your figurings of $9.67 per day). I guess I was a little surprised as we spend $100 a week for the 5 of us and we eat meat most meals as well as having to buy fruit and veg. I don't include energy costs or chook food in that (we get our chook food free) though.

    I noticed you have an extremely healthy diet!!!! My family need to work on that a little.

    Alright, I'd better go and see if I can gather enough strawberries off my plants to do 5 of us for dessert tonight. :)

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  10. I came across your blog on technorati.com and fell instantly in love with it! I too am drooling over your gorgeous garden. Very inspiring!

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  11. Hello Becca dear, it's good to see you here. Give little S a hug from me please.

    Lightening, I am always inspired by others who start their gardens up and reach the point where it is feeding them. Well done! I encourage you to grow potatoes too. They're easy, they taste MUCH better when fresh and store bought potatoes are generally sprayed just before picking to kill off the green bits. Ack!
    I budget $72 a week for groceries but we always have money left over which goes into our change jar. That gives us plenty and we never feel deprived. I shop at Aldi and IGA, never at Woolworths or Coles. My one big extravagance is to buy Maleny dairy products. The Maleny milk and cream are divine, and from a Jersey herd. We feel we're supporting an important local industry, and even though we could buy milk and cream much cheaper, we don't mind.
    You are being frugal and doing very well with your budget and how you cook and organise your kitchen to buy all food for a family of five for $100. : )

    Hello Shawndra, welcome. : )

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  12. Sorry to say there has been no work in my garden this year, still waiting for the ivy to be cleared and the ground levelled before I can plant anything. I am thinking I might plant a cherry tomato and some salad greens to at least supplement our diet for summer. Fighting off a summer cold right now so trying to rest a little :)

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  13. Rhonda, I love your new look blog. You look great in that red top.

    Your garden is inspirational. I have planted out the summer vegies but seriously expect them to die from heat and lack of water. We are using the shower water to keep the fruit trees alive, which is a greater priority, so the vegies have to make do with mulch, chook poo, and not much else. We've had about 50 mm rain in the past three months, and 30 mm of that was on one day, so it's *terribly* dry down here.

    It's so frustrating not to be able to grow the things I would like to. Sorry, just realised I've been ranting. It is so great to see a productive garden.

    Kate

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  14. I'm very jealous of your greenery. We're baling water from the washing machine, showers and baths to keep the spuds and tomatoes going. Just as well the baby gets all of his (and my) clothes filthy, otherwise I wouldn't be able to water anything.

    Unfortunately our bathroom/laundry is an internal room, so we're lugging buckets through the house and leaving little puddles.

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  15. Rhonda, I just popped in to wish you a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

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  16. "I'm not sure how I'd go without a garden during winter."


    Yes, LOL! I go through severe withdrawls every year from lack of sunshine & garden growing but even still try to keep a little something edible going to snip at!

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  17. Rhonda Jean, I am new to vegie gardening and my capsicums are growing great but I noticed in your photo it looks as though your capsicums are staked. Is this necessary and how do you do it so as not to damage them? Many thanks for any advice you can provide!!
    Madly Saving

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  18. madly saving, I always stake my capsicums because if you have good crops, the caps will bend the plant. I put the stake in when I plant. Putting one in after the plant has grown may well damage the roots. See how you go, you might not need to stake. If you do, I think bamboo stakes might do well and bypass the root system of your plants.

    Depending on where you're located, you'll be able to cut them back when the plants start to die back. We do this and often get plants to grow uninterrupted for two years.

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  19. Thank you so much Rhonda Jean, I will keep an eye on them!
    Madly Saving

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  20. So interesting to see the cost broken down by meal and by day. It inspires me to calculate this myself.

    You're very inpiring, Rhonda Jean!

    Slowly but surely I'm learning to bake our bread, make cheese, jam, butter, etc. (my husband used to do most of those things!). I'm looking forward to the days when all we have to buy at the store is milk, oil, salt and pepper!

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  21. I so appreciate this post because putting a garden into dollars and cents really adds a new perspective. I just put in my winter garden yesterday (I'm on the west coast of the US) and now am really looking forward to its bounty since reading your post! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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  22. Wow! Those are some great pictures. My parents always had a garden when i was growing up, so those pictures bring back some memories. :)

    Just out of curiosity….Do you know where I can get quality organic ingredients online? I am now trying to order from online stores only because of various reasons…….can anyone with any suggestions??????

    These are the places I have tried:
    delivery.com
    celebrityfoods (best out of the 4)
    dinewise.com
    seamlessweb.com

    ReplyDelete

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