If you want to save as much money as possible, then growing high-value crops is a great place to start.
Here are some of the best big-value crops to grow at home.
Prices are taken from Ocado as of 09/02/2023 and are for organic produce.
Asparagus is both expensive to buy and easy to grow, the perfect combo for significant savings.
Once an asparagus patch is established, it comes back year after year, giving you ongoing harvests.
Organic asparagus is £3.05 for 200g! According to Thompson and Morgan, you get 25 spears per year from each established crown.
Each spear is between 20-30g in weight, equating to 500-750g of Asparagus spears per plant. This equals £7.65 to £11.47 of savings per plant.
Blueberries are very easy to grow and provide harvests year after year.
As they are a compact bush they can even be grown in pots on patios and in small spaces.
Organic blueberries are £2.65 for 150g. According to the RHS, an established blueberry bush will provide 2.5 to 5kg of fruit in a season.
That means you could get £88.33 worth of blueberries in a year!
Who doesn’t love strawberries? And homegrown strawberries are even better, but they are also a big money saver.
A single strawberry plant can provide 1000-1500g of strawberries per year. This is a well-looked-after plant, and for this example, it is a productive variety.
Strawberries are £3.00 per 250g.
So by growing your own, you could save £12 to £18 per plant per year.
Raspberries are easy to grow, in fact, you can often have more trouble trying to contain them rather than make them grow.
But raspberries are not cheap, particularly organic ones. This makes them a great crop to grow if you want to maximise how much money you save.
Organic raspberries are £3.25 per 125g. You can get 400 – 800g per cane on well-established plants. This equates to £10.40 to £20.80 per cane.
Considering you can have a lot of canes in a raspberry patch, this soon adds up to a lot of money.
Peppers can be productive plants given the right conditions.
For most of us in the UK, that means planting in a greenhouse or polytunnel. If you are going to give up your prized indoor space for them, then they need to earn their keep.
But how much money can you save by growing peppers?
A large bell pepper plant can produce 8-10 bells per season, in the UK, that will usually be a little lower, around 6-8.
Organic bell peppers are £3.50 for three peppers or £1.17 each. So you are saving £7.02 to £9.36 per plant.
An organic mixed-leaf salad is £2.75 for 200g. Because a mixed-leaf salad is made from various plants, the expected yields can be tricky to work out.
A loose-leaf generally yields 75-150g of lettuce per year.
That equals £1.03 to £2.06 per lettuce plant. Considering you can grow a lot of loose-leaf lettuce in a small area the savings soon stack up if you eat a lot of salad.
One Jerusalem artichoke tuber can easily turn into 15 or 20 over a growing season.
They cost £1.50 for five tubers (non-organic – couldn’t find organic ones).
This means you save somewhere between £4.50 to £6 per tuber planted!
Crops like Jerusalem artichokes are great money-savers because they don’t store well. If something doesn’t store well, it will cost you a lot more at the supermarket.
Tomatoes can be a money saver, but how much will depend on the variety grown. One of the best reasons for growing tomatoes isn’t money saving but taste.
Homegrown tomatoes are very different to store-bought. Tomatoes grown for supermarkets need to store well and survive transportation without damage. They are also picked unripened often, even those that say vine-ripened.
Your own tomatoes can be left to ripen on the plant, and more delicate but better-tasting varieties can be grown.
With that said, let’s get some rough figures for how much you could save.
An organic box of vine-ripened tomatoes will set you back £2.90 for five medium-sized tomatoes. Yes, that’s right, I couldn’t quite believe it myself!
You can expect anywhere from 15-30 tomatoes off a larger-style vining plant. So somewhere between £8.70 to £17.40 per plant.
Tenderstem (sprouting) broccoli comes in at £2 for a 200g bag.
You can expect somewhere between 200-250g per plant so £2 to £2.50 in savings.
Sprouting broccoli is easy to grow and a pack of nearly 1000 seeds will only cost 99p. So even at lower values, the savings can still stack up.
As someone who doesn’t like courgettes, I was surprised to see how much it costs in supermarkets.
Courgettes are well known for being highly prolific, so I thought this meant it would be cheap to buy, but boy was I wrong.
Organic courgettes are £2.65 for two. You can get 4-5 courgettes per plant per week throughout their growing season.
This is usually from June through to the first frost in the UK. Let’s say you get three months of harvesting to be on the conservative side.
This equates to between 48 – 60 courgettes per plant in one growing year! At £1.32 per courgette, this is a lot of money!
I will put a little note here saying that courgettes can be unpredictable croppers, some will go wild and some won’t produce anywhere near these numbers so it can be a bit hit-and-miss.
Organic curly kale comes in a £3.50 per 300g.
Curly kale grown as cut and come again can yield up to 3kg per plant over the full growing season, according to Sarah Raven.
So if we say somewhere between 2-3kg then you are looking at between £23 and £34.50 per plant.
Sweet potatoes can be a real money saver if you get them to grow, but they are tough to do successfully in the UK.
This was my annual harvest last year, and I bought plug plants that cost a few quid themselves, so I definitely lost money here.
But how much could you save if you were successful? Or if you were growing in a more suitable environment? Let’s find out.
Organic sweet potatoes cost £2.50 per 750g. Expected yields are 500 to 1000g per plant. But let’s lower that for the UK and say 250 to 500g per plant.
As you can see, you are suddenly not saving much money. But if you can get good harvests, then you could save between £1.67 and £3.34 per plant.
I will attempt to grow them again this year, more for the fun of it than any money saving. Follow along here.
So there we have it, some great money-saving crops.
I must admit I was surprised by just how much money you can save growing your own crops.
This obviously doesn’t take into account all the time and money you put into your veg patch, but it is nice to know that all that money I spend on seeds, compost, and accessories might actually save me some cash in the long run.