Author Topic: What price Convenience?  (Read 1324 times)

Tee Gee

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What price Convenience?
« on: February 16, 2017, 15:54:18 »
I have just been shocked into what it costs me to travel to and from my allotment let me explain:

I have an old knockabout car for popping up and down to the allotment meaning I only do about 1000 miles a year.

I put it in for an MOT on Tuesday and it failed and they wanted around £400 to make it roadworthy again so rather than do that I wrote it off.

I got to thinking do I want a replacement or not?  as it was costing me around £1 per mile when you add up tax, insurance, MOT, Fuel, AA, Servicing & repairs etc. meaning it was costing me £5-£6 every time I went to the allotment.

Silly cost really when you consider I have a bus pass that would allow me to go to the allotment FOC

Trouble is, I have half a mile to walk to and from the bus stop plus I would have to catch two buses, which is not convenient, particularly at harvest time,or when I take my plants grown at home to the allotments.

It would be time consuming as well for example: if all went well and I made good connections I worked out it would take me 45-60 mins to get to my allotment and the same back, if the connections were poor then it would be longer meaning I would be spending more time traveling to and from the plot than I spent on it.

When I go by car I can be there in under 10 minutes

Anyway I took my old rust bucket to a garage to get rid and I saw a Fiesta on the forecourt so I succumbed and bought it, I pick it up tomorrow.

I suppose the only good thing about buying it is .... it has made me decide to spend at least another year allotmenteering!

So I think I will have to sell a few plants this year to reduce my costs  because basically as it stands my allotment is costing me around a £1000 per year as this is all I use this car for..... frightening isn't it when you think of it in this way. :sad1:

I suppose the moral is " What cost are you prepared to pay for convenience"

BTW....The new one is potentially going to cost more as it is more expensive so I guess the insurance will go up! :BangHead:) I said "What price Convenience?"

Anyways when I got home this was the welcome I got when I walked through the gate:

Allotments 4 All

What price Convenience?
« on: February 16, 2017, 15:54:18 »


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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 16:00:04 »
I think the question you should be asking is "What price contentment?". I'm sure your allotment is worth an awful lot to you in terms of the pleasure it gives you, not to mention all of us sharing it with you!  :happy7:


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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 16:55:22 »
Precisely.  Hours of enjoyment and something good to eat at the end of it.  try totting up the cost in local shops or an online supermarket of all you eat or give away from your allotment.    Then put a price on the 50 to 60 mins you save going by car compared to faffing around with two buses.

Seems excellent value to me, without even thinking of the pleasure yoy give others with all your advice and experience.
Obxx - Vendée France


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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 17:41:32 »
Are you saying that you only ever use the car for the allotment? Is that because you never drive anywhere else or you have another car? If so why not use the other car or can you cycle? I am only round the corner but use a cycle and trailer.


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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 17:42:13 »
I have a similar dilemma   :glasses9:. My car costs over £500 a year in tax, insurance and MOT, which is ridiculous if I consider things rationally! I bought the car new in 2006 and it still has less than 6000 miles on the clock! For the past six years I have only driven locally because driving any distance has become too uncomfortable since my last knee surgery. But.......  it's there if I need to take garden rubbish to the tip (Torbay doesn't collect), have a doctor or hospital appointment or want to go to one of the larger out-of-town supermarkets.

Rationally, I realize that I could do all those things (except go to the tip) much cheaper using taxis, but I've had my own transportation for more than 50 years and I'm finding it very difficult to make the decision to part with those four wheels.

I have, at least, started the process by buying a mobility scooter which I now use regularly for local shopping. I seldom visit my GP, but I think I'd have enough confidence to get to the surgery on the scooter if I had to and 'scooting' into town without having to worry about parking is wonderful :happy7:.

I guess I'll have to bite the bullet sooner or later - it's just a shame the road tax is due at the end of the month :BangHead:.

Tricia :wave:


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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 21:46:49 »
personally i cant put a price on fun i am lucky I'm 10 min walk from my plot in ten years prob 30 Min's however I've been retired for 8 years due to arthritis  and my allotment is my escape even though I've 120 ft x 50 ft garden which i keep also as an 3 x 20 rod allotments  as  you have said to me in the past you get nought for nought i think that's the northern way of saying things there are some things in life you cant put a price on i know you have had reservations  about your plots in the last year or so maybe its time to let go and enjoy your fantastic garden and give us all advice about growing you own however only you will know this  getting back to the road tax thing i just bought a new car on the first of march its zero tax so i  will keep it until  i   it falls apart your a great gardener dont let the govenment stop you in your passion what ever suits you enjoy
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you


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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 22:33:43 »
No not just convenience.  It is also independence.  You don't have to take the car to the allotment, although this is probably most of the miles you do.  You could take it anywhere.  The fact that you don't, does not mean that you could not.  If you can afford it, enjoy the 'I can do independent travel'.  If you prefer to do something else with the dosh,  enjoy that instead.  It is ok that it is a pound a mile.  If you did lots more miles, it would still be 25 pence or 30 pence depending on the car.  But independence - well for some people it is probably priceless.  :wave:
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 22:36:33 by galina »

ed dibbles

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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2017, 00:33:14 »
The other thing is that all hobbies cost money, collecting things, astronomy, bee keeping, winemaking, etc.

Once you deduct from the annual cost the price of the produce you harvest. (as well as its freshness) The ornamental plants you raise and plant that would cost money otherwise. (as well as limited variety choice)

Our site is eight miles from home and while I spend quite a bit on my plots the shear pleasure I get from growing the majority of our own fresh fruit and veg, growing flowers, attracting wildlife, (jackdaws and pigeons excepted) and even the smugness of not being totally reliant on big retail/agribusiness for my food. :coffee2:

Tee Gee

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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 17:15:37 »
Thanks Guys for all your comments but I wasn't actually 'moaning' my comments were more of an observation of what hidden costs can be!

I always knew that because I do so few miles the cost per mile is much higher than it would be if I did say 10000 miles.

It was not until I had decided to write my car off and saw the cost of a replacement that got me thinking about the cost of convenience and as Caroline mentioned 'Contentment'

Caroline/Obelixx: Glad you like to see the pictures and info I put up now and again.

Sometimes I wonder if you guys think I do it to go on a bit of an  ego trip but in actual fact I find displaying photos (that speak a thousand words) is easier than typing.

As you said Obelixx : "try totting up the cost in local shops" you are quite right! I had a chat with the wife (she does all the shopping) about the price of fruit & veg and was quite taken aback at some of today's prices!

To answer your question Pumpkin lover:

Are you saying that you only ever use the car for the allotment?

Is that because you never drive anywhere else or you have another car?

If so why not use the other car or can you cycle? I am only round the corner but use a cycle and trailer.

Essentially yes I only have it to go to the allotment as we have another car, although if needs be I use it to run a few errands and the like but I think it would be fair to say that 90% of its use is to the allotment.

Regarding the 'bike' No WAY not with the terrain around here!

Let me tell you this: the Tour de France and The Tour de Yorkshire passes through my village as  the hills around here are huge and very steep which suits these cyclists but to me it is a big No! No!  :glasses9:

Similarly with Tricia's idea of a mobility scooter I think this would grunt too as it negotiated the hills around here. :toothy10:

Johnny you seem to have it all!!! The Sunshine, Sandy Soil, 10 minute walk to the plot but yes you are right about comments I have made in the past, my heart is not in my allotments as much as it once was due to the attitude of some people on the site.

However having said that I will keep going at least until I can find a hobby as therapeutic as this one, more so now that I have new wheels.

I have been looking at my 'herbaceous bed in my back garden with a view to turning that into a 30ft x 5ft Veg bed but that will be a last resort!

Galina: Your right about on  the "Independance" thing!

Although we have two cars the wife needs hers to do her regular weekly 'baby sitting' chores, plus shopping, plus visiting her aging sister every week.

This means that to wait for her to do her chores would be frustrating. Having two cars gives us both our independence!

And to you Ed yes most hobbies cost money but apart from my car my hobby is free.

For example two or three people on the plots depend upon me for their tomato, pepper and Cucumber plants because they do not have the facilities to germinate them and grow them on.

Add to that: if I have any surplus the village shop takes them off me. I only charge a nominal fee for them e.g I check with local retailers & garden centres as to their selling prices and I sell mine at half that price!

I find this basically covers my seed & compost costs each season and basically I more or less get my plants FOC.

So there you have it folks now you know as much as me.

But once again thanks for your comments they were appreciated.....Tg


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Re: What price Convenience?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2017, 10:48:47 »
Hi Tee Gee,
There is one point nobody seems to have thought about, I had heart surgery mainly some years ago but another sent last year and although I am retired now (86) I a few weeks I find the allotment gives me the exercise I need to keep going. We all enjoy reading your hints and tips as we all have different ways of doing things.