How I calculate my fruit and veg challenge...

16 May, 2013

A little while back Jodie asked how I calculate my fruit and veg grown vs bought for my fruit and veg growing challenge.

Here is my secret: my excel spreadsheet.

I apologise for the poor quality photo. I tried to get a screen shot, but my IT skills (which are negligible) did not stretch into making a screen shot into a jpeg. So I resorted to my camera.

All fruit and veg are listed on the left, with a columns for each month split into bought (in the grey - bleugh grey) and grown (in green, which is a fresh and lovely colour deserving of homegrown produce data.)

For ease of entering I've listed all veg under categories like salads, brassicas, cucubits, root crops, alliums and then of course the ubiquitous miscellaneous category for all the others.

The quantities get documented in either 100g lots, or single lots (for things like corn cobs and artichokes, or bunches of herbs.) Obviously this isn't perfect, but I figure it's close enough.

Now the magic part of the spreadsheet is right down the bottom, where it magically totals the 100g lots and single items then averages them and spits out the total for the month.

At the end there is also the total for year column, which will be handy in writing up what I've grown for the year come October when the challenge is up.

But how do you know how much you bought and grew, I hear you ask. Excellent question.

By my trusty fruit and veg challenge journal, which houses all the bought and grown veg that enters my house.

This sits right next to the scales in the kitchen, so whenever I bring in some produce it all gets weighed and documented. Weights get rounded up or down to the nearest 100g. I do guess some things, but I'd say 90% gets onto the scales. Bought stuff is easy, as I generally can check the receipt, except produce from farmers markets. That gets weighed like the grown stuff.

Come the end of the month I just tally it up, whack it into the spreadsheet and voila. Results.

So there you have it. Just a bit of excel magic.


  1. What a good idea! And so motivating, to see that you're not only eating delicious things, but also saving money.

    1. It is motivating, and a great way to see what I buy so I can plan better to grow it next year (if possible.) I've never actually worked out how much my produce would cost to buy - maybe I should do that! Cheers.

  2. That is great! I'm wondering whether you find keeping a tally actually helps you to remember to eat what you grow, and grow more? I'm feeling like I need a little motivation to keep on planting..

    1. For me it's not so much remembering to eat what I grow, as it is making me better at growing what I eat. Whenever I buy something I could have grown I hate writing it down on the 'bought' page, and that motivates me to grow it next time. And I think it helps me plan how much I grow, but without the records to look back on I reckon I'd forget by next year's growing season!

  3. I like your comment from 19 May- Bek- I agree I think once you think.... 'I could have grown that'.. it keeps you motivated to keep growing new stuff.