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Fruit and veg are costing us a fortune!

120 replies

hidinginthenightgarden · 01/11/2018 20:30

We have recently had a huge shake up with our diet and are eating alot more fruit and veg. This is having a huge impact on our food bill and I cannot seem to get a hold on it. I use frozen raspberries, pre-prepared med veg, peppers, onions and green beans plus a few other mix veg bits. Even so, we have, just this week (since sunday) consumed 10 apples, 8 bananas, 2 punnets of strawberries, 1 bag of grapes, 1 pineapple, a bag of easy peelers and most of the frozen raspberries. Veg wise we have had 3 lots of tenderstem broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potato x 2, corn on the cob, green beans, carrots and sugar snap peas. I bought more bananas and pineapple today and am holding out after that until sunday when we will have another shopping load delivered. I cannot see how else to bring the cost down though. The delivered shopping cost £60 and I have spent at least another £25 since then.
The markets here are crap for fruit and veg. Lidl fruit went was growing mould in 2 days. Any other things I can try or just accept that to eat well it costs alot more than eating processed shit and then wonder why we have an obesity crisis?

OP posts:
FATEdestiny · 01/11/2018 20:57

Family of 6 (DC aged 14, 13, 9 and 4) and our average weekly grocery bills is £50-60 fruit, veg, salad plus £60-80 on everything else (from aldi)

Buy cheap fruit that's in season (soft fruit like raspberries are no longer in season now). Morrison's do big bags of 10-12 apples for £2.80. Pears are so cheap atm too.

Likewise but seasonal veg. Morrisons do a 3 for £3 on green beans / baby corn / sugarsnap pea etc.

£25 per week on fresh produce doesn't sound much to me. I usually use about £5 worth of veg per main meal for my family. Thats feeding 6 though, so less than a quid each.

Sitranced · 01/11/2018 20:58

Buy seasonal vegetables and make friends with someone with an allotment who'll be trying to get rid of the gluts.

Troels · 01/11/2018 20:58

Go to Iceland, our freezer is packed with lots of veg and bags of berries from there, rarely more than £1 a bag. Usually week we get Whole green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and frozen berries from there. Then to Asda for 2 one kilo bags of carrots, at 65p each,, potatoes for under a pound, Apples 6 for $1 (we use two or three bags a week) Pears are under a pound this week, Bananas are 10 for £1.59 we use two bags a week. Dh is an Orange hog and they are £1.25
I find buying both fresh and frozen to be cost effective. Lot cheaper than the highly processed food..
When Aldi have the packs of fresh mixed peppers, we slice and freeze them so we buy multiple bags at a time when on offer.

OatsBeansBarley · 01/11/2018 21:01

We buy the fruit that's on offer. So usually 2 bags of citrus can be bought on a deal. Apples are on the cheap offer right now. Bananas are sold in most supermarkets as a loss leader.

But blueberries and strawberries are off our menu now until next summer.

Root veg and cabbage are back on the menu.

Tigerpaws57 · 01/11/2018 21:05

A huge savoy cabbage will cost about 80 p and give you about 8 portions. Just as tasty and healthy as a bag of kale but cheaper. Similarly you can do all the same things with an ugly swede as you can do with a pretty butternut squash. A heap of cheap, knobbly, unpeeled carrots roasted with some garlic and whatever herbs you have with whatever else you are cooking in the oven will be a delicious, healthy side dish for next to nothing!

Sgtmajormummy · 01/11/2018 21:05

Anything out of season like strawberries, or tropical like pineapple, is going to have added costs. And fruit is often kept in cold storage which damages it and makes it go from unripe to rotten in a short time.

Quite frankly most fruit is just sugar in disguise (bananas, grapes, pineapples, peeled apples) and you’d probably be better off health-wise to concentrate on vegetables. Not easy with small children, I know! We’re coming into mandarin season so that will keep them happy. Imported, of course...

I’ve often been impressed with the fruit selection at ASDA and ALDI’s pick of the week is good value.
If I’m trying to keep prices down I go for boxes of small tomatoes, iceberg, carrots, beetroot, white cabbage and LOTS of frozen veg like peas, broccoli, spinach, soup mixes and oven ready mixes. Frozen can even work out cheaper and fresher than produce that’s been sitting in the shop for a few days.

Dried beans, lentils etc are cheap. Tins may be cheap as a standby but not great nutritionally. I’ve seen people re-growing lettuce stalks etc. but never tried it myself!

GarethSouthgatesWaistcoat · 01/11/2018 21:11

Aldi super 6 fruit and veg? Second Morrisons wonky veg. I buy 'boring' (seasonal) fruit and veg through the winter as it's cheaper. Just buy normal broccoli. Have you tried making soups? Adding a little cheese (cheddar/stilton)/cream/cayenne/coconut cream etc can pep up mundane veg soups. I use a stick blender for ease, it doesn't take long at all. Lots of recipes online, I like BBC Good Food. Lovely with crusty bread Grin
My faves at the moment are broccoli and stilton and minestrone.

Cook a load of apple with a little brown sugar and spice to use to flavour natural yoghurt/ crumble filling etc. Can be frozen in batches.

I'm considering shopping at Iceland as their bags of frozen veg seem slightly cheaper.

Todayissunny · 01/11/2018 21:12

We have the same problem OP. We get through a fortune of fruit and veg everyweek.
We shop in Aldi where we are they have local seasonal fruit and veg quite well priced.

GarethSouthgatesWaistcoat · 01/11/2018 21:16

Also Iceland deliver so I'm planning to give that a whirl Grin

PeridotCricket · 01/11/2018 21:17

If you’ve got a garden fruit is very easy to grow...unlike veg which frankly can be a lot of work for a glut of courgettes.

Strawberries are free if you know someone with an allotment as they throw out runners, raspberries are easy, apple tree and plum trees give loads of fruit. Black currants are really easy.

Now is perf3ct tome of year to plant.

Short term, frozen veg and tinned fruit. Eat in season and look at ways of making root veg interesting. Winter coleslaw is ace, winter veg stew, roaste£ winter veg, mash made dorm carrot, parsnip swede.

MissSusanScreams · 01/11/2018 21:18

You need to eat more seasonally, when things are cheaper. Also, skip faddy, imported stuff like avocado and pineapple.

Staples are cabbage, sweet potatoes, broccoli, onions, spinach, swede etc. All can be made into lovely dishes. I’m afraid that kale leave me cold. Cabbage is just as good!

OatsBeansBarley · 01/11/2018 21:21

I find a windowsill pot of parsley good value for the extra taste it gives salads, soups and fish.

Tinned fruit has less goodness than frozen. I buy a bit more dried fruit in winter : soaked prunes are quite a nice winter addition to my breakfast. (The kids will eat them with custard!)

I second the dried beans and lentils, together with chickpeas these get used more in the autumn/ winter here too. Frozen spinach is great in casseroles and cheap.

redsummershoes · 01/11/2018 21:25

lots of exotic and out of season in your mix.
stick to frozen for berries, peas, sweetcorn.
onions, potatos, cabages, brassicas, squashes (get yourself some halloween pumpkins for the freezer for soups), root veg are cheap(ish).

maddiemookins16mum · 01/11/2018 21:45

You’re buying fancy veg. Stick to the basics, carrots are dead cheap, cabbages, frozen peas, sweetcorn, ‘normal’ broccoli etc. You can get basic tins of fruit for 30p.

Ohyesiam · 01/11/2018 21:58

I’d go for less fruit( apiece a day) and more veg.

noeffingidea · 01/11/2018 22:01

Look for yellow sticker packs. Yesterday I got a bag of crispy salad for 24p and a bag of diced carrot and swede for 18p from Asda. The carrot and swede made a lovely soup with lentils (4 good sized portions), just finished the salad today, it was still nice and fresh.

xsahm · 01/11/2018 22:04

If you're shopping online always make sure you look at the price per kilo, not as easy when looking round supermarket.

Some farmers markets can also be good value, they're often on at garden centres mid week and weekends

Believeitornot · 01/11/2018 22:06

You can increase your pulses so use tinned chickpeas, lentils, beans etc alongside veg and you’ll use less veg but still be healthy. Have a nose of vegan recipes to get some ideas.

Try spicier foods eg curries, stir fries etc which help with veg you might not be massivey keen on but is cheaper. Eg normal brocolli not the fancy stuff.

You don’t need to have a plateful of loads of veg - some veg, some legumes and some flavour can pack quite a punch. Eg one of my fav dinners is white fish (cheap) topped with a mix of mint, brocolli, frozen broad beans and walnuts.

UnderMajorDomoMinor · 01/11/2018 22:13

Aldi do a weekly ‘super6’ which are 6 random cheap fruit/veg:

Tesco do similar but draw less attention to it.

Sounds like DH needs to be less picky!

TillyVonMilly · 01/11/2018 22:15

As mentioned by other posters, Morrison’s wonky range, both fruit and veg including frozen berries. Have a look online Smile

noeffingidea · 01/11/2018 22:19

Don't forget tinned tomatoes/passata. They're very cheap if you buy the supermarket own brands.
A couple of years ago I had to feed my teenage daughter and myself on around £20 a week, and I still managed 3-4 portions of veg a day, just by following similar advice to this thread. We did go short on fresh fruit though.
And I don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but frozen spinach is fantastic value.

Camelsinthegobi · 01/11/2018 22:19

I find Aldi fruit and veg better than Lidl. Buy lots of super 6 fruit and veg. Keep everything except potatoes and bananas in the fridge as it keeps longer. I understand wanting some frozen berries as treats, and you may need this to stick to a healthy diet. However, tenderstem broccoli is 3 times the price of the normal stuff. I only buy sugarsnap peas when they’re on super six. Don’t buy strawberries out of season. Satsumas are amazing right now instead. Try different ways with root veg - eg roasted with oil and dried thyme, then bunged in a risotto.

PickAChew · 01/11/2018 22:22

A head of savoy cabbage for a quid will go as far as your probably £6 worth of tenders ten brocolli. It's really versatile, too.

Don't discount root veg just because your DH doesn't like them. He can just not be served any or pick it out.

NotMeNoNo · 01/11/2018 22:31

Fruit is great but there's nothing heroic about gorging on it. It often doesn't really fill you up.
Buy local, buy seasonal, buy frozen/tinned.
Look at what is cheapest and build a menu around it. If your family will only eat imported exotic veg you're a bit stuck.

notacooldad · 01/11/2018 22:36

I find frozen sweet pototoes and butternut squash good value. There's no waste, no chopping and peeling tough skin and its about a quid a bag. Great for curries, risottos etc.
I also have frozen sliced onions, mushrooms, carrots. I also freeze tyme and other woody herbs so I can make a soup very quickly and cheap.
I put the veg into individual containers, that way I don't have to partly defrost the whole packet when I only want enough for a quick stir friy!
Although you was asking about fruit and veg I also cook a lot of chick peas in a slow cooker and then put then into indvidual portions and then freeze them.

Some tinned veg is great. I like tinned potatoes for a quick meal ( add salt, lemon and coriander for a quick side dish or added to a salad.
We don't tend to have a lot of fresh fruit outside summer but I usually have tinned peaches or pineapples in that I like to grill. Occasionly I will get grapes or plums in to roast or to nibble on.
The key, as other people have already said, is to eat in season and meal plan and shop wisely.

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