Life in the Countryside

Saving money

So here at cottagegardentrio, we tend to do lots of things which save us money but it occurred to me the other day that we have no real way of measuring this. Yes our food shops might be smaller sometimes or our electricity bill slightly lower, but I have no real way of seeing how much of an impact what we do has. I know some gardeners will often weigh all of their produce and try to price up what it would cost in the supermarket, but I don’t feel like I have the time for this really in amongst everything else I want to do (I tried this and spent ages looking for exciting potato types at Waitrose before giving up). So instead I’ve decided on a different approach. Every time I make or use something which I would have otherwise spent money on, I’m going to transfer £1 from our current account into a specially created savings account. Whilst some of the things we do (like drying our washing on the line instead of the tumble dryer) won’t have saved us £1, some other things we do would have saved us infinitely more (how on earth do you put a value on 12 jars of organic, high fruit, plum and rum jam?) So a set value of £1 makes it much easier to manage. I don’t know how long I’ll manage to keep it up, or if the end of summer is really the time to be starting this when most things have already been harvested, but I really fancy trying it for a spell to see. 

So far my list of things I think we do include:

  • Collecting eggs from the girls
  • Growing vegetables in the raised beds
  • Collecting fruit from the trees and hedges
  • Making jams and chutneys
  • Baking cakes instead of buying them
  • Sewing and knitting some clothes/gifts/household items
  • Using a washing line instead of a tumble dryer
  • Eat in/have friends over instead of going out (we do still eat out way too much, but we keep making efforts to reduce this)
  • Shopping around online for bargains (I’m including this as it’s amazing how much you can save sometimes)

I’m sure there may be more but that’s all I can think of now. My big struggle is whether to put money in when I harvest goods, or when I use them? And do I put money in for when we collect eggs everyday? I’m going to put any money saved towards our trip away for our five year anniversary next year (as yet unplanned though we’ve had lots of ideas). Does anyone else do anything similar to keep track of money saved? Any better ways to do it? How much money have people actually found making small changes can save?

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12 thoughts on “Saving money

  1. I always admire the people that weigh the produce they get from their gardens but like you I just don’t think it’s an efficient way to use my time. The only thing I do is to try to have something I have grown in every dinner we eat at home. Even if it is just the spices in the chicken. My husband even asks now what is ours in this dish? Good luck with your money savings plan. Any way that motivates you is good!

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  2. I have to admit I’m definitely guilty of doing things the more expensive way! Would like to challenge myself to see if I can replace some ‘costly’ habits for cheaper ones 🙂

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  3. These are really great tips! I’d love to grow more fruits & vegetables – if only we had the space! I grow strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, potatoes & carrots every year! And we always go foraging for blackberries!

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  4. I’m the same in some aspects as I know we do things that save us money but I have no real way of knowing what I’m saving or how I’m saving it as I never can keep track. Maybe I will start writing down my ingoings and outgoings each month.

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