How Much Could You Save By Growing Your Own Vegetables?

Woman's hand with red chili pepper.

Garden experts at have named courgettes, aubergines and Brussels sprouts as the most cost-effective vegetables to grow in gardens and allotments, with just one packet of seeds able to save you around £149 on average. 

The team have calculated the average price of seed packets for a variety of fruit and veg and researched just how many veggies one packet could potentially provide when fully grown.

They then worked out exactly how much it would cost to buy the same amount of vegetables from the supermarket, and the mark up is enormous.

For example, a single cherry tomato plant grows around 200 tomatoes per season, so planting an entire packet of 15 seeds could provide around 3,000 fruits each year.

Cherry tomatoes growing in the garden

Pic: iStockphoto

It would cost around £135 to buy the same number of cherry tomatoes from the average supermarket, which means that – taking into account the cost of seed packets – you could save yourself around £133.51!

The most cost-effective vegetables to grow are courgettes. Although packets of courgette seeds proved to be the priciest at £3.99, just one plant can grow around 64 vegetables throughout a season.

This means a packet of eight seeds could see you harvesting approximately 512 courgettes each year.

It would cost around £179 to buy the equivalent number of courgettes in your local supermarket throughout the year, and so taking off the cost of a packet of seeds, you could save around £175 by growing your own.

Bell pepper seeds are also worth sowing as 15 plants could produce enough food to save around £57.

The average cost of a single bell pepper in a supermarket is around 50p, so when taking into account that just one plant grows between 6-8 peppers per season, the savings quickly tot up.

And although growing just one chilli pepper plant could result in you being around 74p out of pocket after paying for a packet of seeds, growing an entire packet of eight plants could save you around £7 in the long run.

A spokesperson for said:

“A lot of people don’t consider growing their own fruit and veg because they think it’s too much trouble with little reward, but if they were to really take a step back and look at how much money they could be saving, they would probably change their minds.

“Whilst some of the more exotic vegetables are near enough impossible to grow in our climates, regulars to the dinner table like Brussels sprouts, bell peppers and runner beans are easy to plant, grow and care for, and homegrown veg is guaranteed to taste just as good – if not better – than supermarket-bought alternatives.

“If you have the room to grow the maximum number of cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, radish and iceberg lettuces, for example, you could save nearly £300 on salad essentials over the course of a year.

Cucumbers growing in greenhouse

Pic: Susie White

“Of course, the average family of four will struggle to get through over 500 courgettes or 3,000 tomatoes in one go, but these are foods that could easily be made in to sauces or simply frozen for convenience. If you don’t have the room to stock up in this way, fresh veggies will always be welcomed by your friends and family too, and you’ll still be saving money.”


Vegetable Av. cost of seeds Av. number of seeds per pack Av. cost of one seed Av. number/grams of veg per plant Av. cost to buy same number/grams in shops Savings per plant (minus the cost of seeds) Savings per seed packet (minus the cost of seeds)


£1.79 10 18p 10 50p (x 10 = £5) £3.21 £48.21
Cherry tomatoes £1.49 15 10p 200 90p (x 10 = £9)

1 pack = approx. 20

200 ¸ 20 = 10

£7.51 £133.51
Iceberg lettuce £2.99 60 5p n/a 50p (x 60 = £30.00) n/a £27.01
Courgette £3.99 8 50p 64 35p (x 64 = £22.40) £18.41 £175.21
Spring onion £1.89 500 0.003p n/a 55p for 6 (x 83 = £45.65) n/a £43.76
Aubergine £1.99 20 10p 10 70p (x 10 = £7.00) £5.01 £138.01
Radish £1.89 1000 0.001p n/a 50p (x 77 = £38.50)


n/a £36.61
Runner beans £2.99 45 0.07p 500g 95p for 180g x 2.7 (to make 500g) = £2.56


n/a £112.21
Brussels sprouts £2.99 25 12p 1100g £1.25 for 250g x 4.4 (to make 1100g) = £5.50


£2.51 £134.51
Broccoli £2.99 40 0.07p n/a 50p (x 40) = £20 n/a £17.01
Bell peppers £2.99 15 20p 8 50p (x 8) = £4 £3.50 £57.01
Chilli peppers £1.99 8 25p 15 50p for six (x 2.5 to make 15) = £1.25 -74p £7.01

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Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!