But before you read on, you should know:
* My estimates are conservative. Quite conservative. Although the food we produce is organic and ultra-fresh, whenever possible, I compared the cost of our produce with prices at our local chain grocery store. Yes, it would be more accurate to compare what we produce with farm fresh, organic produce (or even grocery store organic produce), but frankly, we can't afford to buy organic. But if I did use farm fresh organic or grocery store organic with what we produce, this would greatly increase the value of our home grown food.
* When I couldn't find a particular food locally, I looked for a price online - always trying to choose the lowest price I could find. I did not include the cost of shipping I would have to pay if I chose to buy these items online.
* My garden is small: The main bed is 12 x 14 ft. with wide pathways; I also have a bed about 33 x 3 ft.) (To see how I laid out the garden this year, click here.)
* My garden is still producing! I still have carrots, parsnips, collards, kale, Jerusalem artichokes, in the ground. And, of course, the chickens are still laying eggs. I used totals from December 8, 2013 for my calculations.
* I didn't harvest as much of certain things (like herbs) as I could have, simply because I couldn't use as much as I grew.
* I had to exclude the value of certain items that I can't buy locally and couldn't find online.
Total Estimated Cost of Purchasing that Food: $1,770.89
Total Cost of Producing our Food: $278.00
Money Saved: $1,492.89
BREAKDOWN OF COSTS:
Seed starting containers: free
Seed starting soil: $10
Chicken Bedding: $10
Chicken Feed: $84
BREAKDOWN OF PRODUCE: