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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:
PinkHeart5914 · 01/11/2018 23:05

I buy tender stem, pineapple and berries but then I’m not fussed about the cost.

If your worried about the cost surely normal broccoli, more frozen veg (which is just as good for you), carrots, cabbage, salad tomatoes, cucumber, easy peelers, banana are all reasonably priced?

Not sure the obesity crisis can be blamed on the price of tender stem really.....

RunSweatLaughAndLatte · 02/11/2018 10:02

Tinned fruit and veg, and frozen veg is cheap

Bananas, apples, brocolli, carrots, pulses are all cheap

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER · 02/11/2018 13:40

Stick as far as you can to seasonal fruit and veg, and local if poss.

You can make a really nice coleslaw-type salad out of red or white cabbage, onion, carrot, celery and apple - all sliced or chopped small and moistened with just a little mayonnaise. Unlike many salad ingredients all those keep very well, so no waste, and they are relatively cheap.

Andtheresaw · 02/11/2018 13:51

Savoy cabbage is v cheap and good as a side veg or in a stir fry. I also boil the big leaves and use to wrap meatballs which then go into the oven in gravy. Seems heavy but is actually loaded with veg.
There's no cauli on your list.
Tenderstem broccoli is so expensive. Buy calabrese, trim the flowers short and steam them for 4 mins. Then chop the stalk into julienne strips and cook for 6 minutes if eating now or (as I do) freeze until you have more and then make a soup.
Onions: cheapest of all and add vitamins and flavour to anything they touch!
Frozen whole green beans are really inexpensive and can be prepared lots of ways. (try steaming until just cooked and then adding warm chopped tomatoes and a little garlic oil).
In short: eat more british greens cooked in sdifferent ways: no need to be bored even if you eat the same ones twice a week.

RomanyRoots · 02/11/2018 13:51

I don't like frozen veg it tastes of nothing, except water.
I spend about £3 a day on fruit and veg, I buy from our markets and go in the afternoon before they close, to get whats left.
We cook from scratch and shop daily though.

DarlingNikita · 02/11/2018 13:56

Cut down on the fruit, seems to be the most obvious thing. And maybe your husband should give root veg a better go –they're going to be much cheaper than some of the other veg you're buying. I don't really believe that someone just doesn't like root veg in ANY form at all. e.g. I can't stand roasted parsnips but happily eat them in curries etc.

Kewqueue · 02/11/2018 14:00

You've picked the wrong time of year really! You need to find delicious seasonal veg recipes. Broccoli with anchovies and garlic and chilli. Carrots with flaked almonds. Roasted onions. Roasted carrot, parsnip and cauliflower. Berries are horrendously expensive. We never buy them unless they're on special offer or we forage them. Fruit and veg prices are set to rise so you might just have to economize elsewhere.

reluctantjogger · 02/11/2018 14:39

Like many people have said, switch to more vegetables. Fruit is actually really high in sugar anyway, so you're shooting yourself in the foot if you're trying to be healthier.

Also, Aldi saves us a fortune on veg. We eat a lot of squash, courgettes, peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms etc. Remember that pulses are healthy, full of protein and also very cheap!

This week I made a vat of roast squash (and pumpkin carving innards!) soup with carrots, red lentils and warming spices - did both of us for lunches all week for about £3.

MiddlingMum · 02/11/2018 14:42

We spend a fortune on fruit and veg, but we don't buy any meat, fish, alcohol, milk or cheese so it tends to balance out.

Frozen can be good, and most "mouldy" veg can be cleaned up and made into soup. You may need to go for more basic fruit and veg, a lot of what you're buying is quite exotic and at the expensive end of the range.

Dixiechickonhols · 02/11/2018 14:51

Is there anything like this near you

It's a scheme run in association with the council so cheaper than usual for a veg box

Dixiechickonhols · 02/11/2018 14:53

Do you have a small co op near you. At night the reductions are great on fruit and veg - 8p for cabbage, 12p for a cauli, 20p for 6 apples. I regularly pop in.

AspergersMum · 02/11/2018 14:58

Costco fruit & veg is very high quality and comes in bulk if you can get through it. They do really good rainbow salads that last us almost a week.

April2020mom · 02/11/2018 15:39

We tend to buy fruit and vegetables from a farmers market. It’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly. I hardly ever buy fruit or vegetables from my local supermarket anymore. Veg boxes are another good option.
Not sure where you live but in my area there are is a Indian shop which sells fruit and vegetables. Or you could always grow your own fruit and vegetables. Even better and you can teach the children about the environment too.
Make sure that you wash the fruit carefully. Be aware of expiration dates. Good for you.

helacells · 02/11/2018 16:52

Cut down fruit to a minimum, too much sugar. Only buy veg that's local and in season- cheaper and better nutrition. Accept that eating healthy diet costs more and make cuts elsewhere in your budget. I did the same when we shifted to organic only . Wild fish, organic meats, eggs and dairy cost a fortune but so worth it.

SpaceCadet4000 · 02/11/2018 17:29

We grow some of the more expensive veg- tender stem broccoli included, but also cavolo nero and swiss chard. Not an immediate solution I know! If you don't have growing space look for a community sponsored agriculture project perhaps?

Do you eat many pulses? They also provide fibre and vitamins and dried pulses are exceedingly cheap.

Having transformed our diet we found you also need to force yourself to eat the things you're not keen on/find ways to make them interesting to you. I love Brussel sprouts now after trying recipes for roasting them. DH really likes raw asparagus shredded in salad but won't touch it steamed.

RedneckStumpy · 02/11/2018 17:31

Only buy stuff when it’s in season,

Secondly if you can grow your own do so.

WorldofTofuness · 02/11/2018 17:45

Would 2nd (3rd/4th/5th...?~~) the comments that your selection doesn't seem very local or seasonal. On trips out of London, I actually quite enjoy pointing out to DD the stuff growing in fields that we'll eventually eat: for reasons I can't quite explain, I think it's important for kids to get a sense of growing cycles. (Still doesn't mean DD will eat it, though!) Exotic veg can be quite cheap if you have a large local 'ethnic' population--but not if you're relying on the big supermarkets.

If you find local, seasonal veg boring, you probably need to find a cookbook that uses it to good effect. Eg broccoli macaroni cheese doesn't matter if you use tenderstem or the bog standard stuff.

The freezer will be your friend for things like Iceland big bags of stuff. Also, while I'm a fan of seasonal, come mid-January and even I want a taste of summerwhich is where rasps frozen a few months back are handy. (I dehydrate a lot of stuffsome things you just can't find dried in the shops, others are overpriced--although that's probably taking it a bit far Grin.)

Smallholders/hobbyists sometimes sell home-grown stuff at the side of the road for bonkersly low prices, because they're not doing it for a living. Just means getting to know your local surrounds. Knowing your area is also good for spotting foraging possibilities: apples, plums, blackberries and wild garlic are all pretty obvious ones.

Eeeeek2 · 02/11/2018 17:56

Have you got a shop close by? Fresh fruit and veg is often knocked down to silly prices at 7pm. Only buy what you'll eat within a day or 2 so it doesn't go to waste.

Labradoodliedoodoo · 02/11/2018 18:02

Eat carrot or celery sticks and seasonal veg/fruit

Racecardriver · 02/11/2018 18:02

Choose cheaper veg. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage are quite cheap for example. You also seem to be eating a lot of food (assuming that you are not vegan or carb free). How big are your portion sizes? You may be overeating.

user1499173618 · 02/11/2018 18:10


You need to buy the staple seasonal vegetables, not out of season and imported fruit.

Labradoodliedoodoo · 02/11/2018 18:28

Only buy what’s seasonal and cheap

StrippingLLamaWhisperer · 02/11/2018 18:34

Fruit's pricey - it mostly has to be imported and all the contortions required to get such a perishable item onto our shelves year round = £££s. It's also mostly sugar and in the case of supermarket stuff, really bland and unrewarding.

I only buy seasonal stuff when it's cheap, as a treat.

Kezzie200 · 02/11/2018 19:15

Broccoli is cheaped than tenderstem. If you want crunch, grill it with pepper and a little oil. Probably get 3 heads of broccoli for one pack of tenderstem.

Dont buy preprepared med veg. A bag peppers, cheap cherry tomatoes, bag of onions. Plus any of these on offer if you want to cater for more people/meals: mushrooms, leeks, courgettes. Cut them up and you have your own. Much cheaper per portion.

Also make ratatouille with onions, chopped canned tomatoes and courgettes.

Buy the fruit on offer and vary it each week.

Use Aldi. Great prices and quality.

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