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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:
bumblebee39 · 03/11/2018 09:47

Oh and tinned fruit in juice is great as are the cheaper frozen berries which contain less trendy things like black currants and red currants which are really good for you and make wonderful smoothies. One of my fave smoothies is 2 slices of tinned pineapple, two handfuls of cheap mixed berries, 1/2 a banana, tbsp of oats and a glug of milk. Comes out creamy fruity and a little bit of zing from the berries and pineapple and is dirt cheap to make...

bumblebee39 · 03/11/2018 09:48

Also look in the reduced section, I often by pre cut leeks on the day and things like apple and grape bags which the kids love and which end up cheaper on the day and don't get the chance to go off anyway!

Runnynosehunny · 03/11/2018 09:57

I agree there are some areas you can cut back on, but at the same time if you are feeling healthier then maybe look on the extra expense as a worthwhile health payment.

Feawen · 03/11/2018 10:08

Fruit as a snack is a better option than chocolate or a bag of sweets, but it’s pretty sugary, and most fruits aren’t very filling. By all means enjoy some fruit but - if you need to snack - plan more substantial healthy snacks so you aren’t eating multiple pieces every day. Peanut butter on a slice of wholegrain toast, carrot sticks with a tbsp of hummus, a handful of nuts, a boiled egg, etc are tasty and filling - but not the kind of thing where you’ll be tempted to eat 4 or 5 portions a day.

I agree with what’s been said about choosing veg that is seasonal, unfashionable, and not pre-prepared.

mugginsalert · 03/11/2018 10:12

Congratulations on making the change - I'm attempting something similar and finding the same. My solutions include investing in a couple of good cook books about frugal healthy cooking ( I just bought 'A Girl Called Jack' on kindle for 99p for example). You mention not having much freezer space, might also be worth looking at that long term as a wide variety of frozen fruit/veg is really helpful alongside a stock of tins.

Thebluedog · 03/11/2018 10:17

I’ve not rtft, but where are you shopping? I buy all frozen chopped onions, peppers, mushrooms, and a variety of frozen veg from Aldi and it’s a lot cheaper than say Tesco or Asda.

But people are right, there’s a link between obesity and poverty. We try and home cool a decent meal every day, me and my dh have salads dor lunch which we prepare at home and the kids have sandwiches for lunch (1dc has free school dinners) and between the 4 of us we prob spend about 150 a week on food. And we don’t have treats such as biscuits and cakes etc, that’s just staples (washing powder etc is in there) and we plan a menu so the food for that.

OneStepMoreFun · 03/11/2018 10:25

Best bet is to shop around and not decide in advance what to buy. Also to shop more than once a week. Shame that your local markets are no good. Ours are fantastic and 1/4 the price of supermarkets.

If I'm doing a weekly shop. I look for what's in season and/or on offer. Co-op had usual packs of 4 jazz apples for £2.20 which is extortionate. But next to them where bags of six big cox's apples for only 89p. I bought two bags. they were so good.

Also, use frozen a lot. Bags of frozen peppers, spinach, sweetcorn, peas and berries cost a fraction of fresh, you only use what you need and keep the rest for weeks without losing flavour or nutrients.

Notsoaccidentproneanymore · 03/11/2018 10:53

Home made coleslaw is great value. I use red cabbage. You can vary the dressing.

You said your dh doesn’t like root veg, but there’s no reason the rest of you can’t eat it.

I saw a recipe for roast sprouts which looked nice.

You will get fed up just eating the same things over and need to mix things up again.

There’s 3 of us and we spend about £30 a week on fruit and veg. DH and ds are both fruit monsters. Fortunately we have mini 2 apples tree in our garden.

Chinese cabbage is good raw in sandwiches, but is also great in a stir fry. It’s cheap and lasts at least a week.

nordlac · 03/11/2018 11:10

My PT recommends I keep fruit to 1 piece a day as it has a lot of sugar even though it’s natural sugar

Wow, and you pay this "professional"??

nordlac · 03/11/2018 11:10

Bananas, apples, etc. are dead cheap.

Whatamuddleduck · 03/11/2018 11:21

Your DP may not like root veg on their own but how about in a cottage pie, stew, stir fry? We get a veg box eeekly so only seasonal veg. I use the bbc food website to find recipes to use what we have.
Eg I search parsnip recipes and make something. It helps us to eat a variety, cuts out plastic and we try new recipes all the time. Costs £22 a week for our organic veg,fruit and eggs!

Bloomcounty · 03/11/2018 12:17

If you prefer the more expensive varieties of veg (eg tenderstem over basic broccoli) then have you checked if it's available frozen (perhaps online?).

We're lucky enough to live fairly rurally, so have a farm shop a couple of miles away. It's quite literally a barn on the farm, with produce in boxes on hay bales, cats wandering around saying hello to their visitors (cos we come to see them, not buy veg) and beef cattle in the other end of the barn. You may not have access to something like this, but is there anyone doing a seasonal veg box delivery that covers your area? Have you asked on your local community facebook page? I bet someone can help you.

Bloomcounty · 03/11/2018 12:20
planechocolate · 03/11/2018 12:30

You are buying a lot of out-of-season and tropical fruit, which is expensive.

Tenderstem broccoli is the dearest version of the brassica family I can think of. You need to start buying the cheaper in-season veg, and when you go shopping, make sure you are checking the price per kilo on things like apples etc.

Never buy pre-prepared veg, it is ridiculously over-priced and doesn't keep.

Serin · 03/11/2018 15:04

I buy reduced veg whenever I find it then chop and freeze.
It’s not a short term solution but is there anyway you can plant an apple tree/blackcurrantbush/rhubarb?
I have been sneakily planting fruit trees for years, we are now up to 4apple trees, 2 plums, 2 pears and an eating cherry. They produce such a huge amount that we literally have to give buckets away every year.

bellinisurge · 03/11/2018 15:07

Pre-prepared is hugely expensive. Also Check out the reduced section next time you shop. Cut up, blanch and freeze. Might be a ball ache but it will save you a lot.

redsummershoes · 03/11/2018 15:12

I don't even bother with blanching before freezing.

if you can't be arsed to chop and freeze, I have a cheap(ish) (supermarket own brand) food processor. I use that to chop or grate and then freeze. food processor bowl then goes in the dishwasher.

bellinisurge · 03/11/2018 15:17

And look at trying to grow your own a bit. Baby spinach leaves make a great salad or addition to soup. Dead easy and quick to grow; don't take up much space; cut and come again.

BitOfFun · 03/11/2018 15:32

BirdsGottaFly, I didn't have the land myself for growing vegetables (small backyard on a terraced house), but I put my name down for an allotment AGES ago, and one came up a couple of years ago, so I've gone Full Corbyn ! It's been a steep learning curve, but I can honestly say that it's one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done. I'd definitely recommend it to anybody interested who has children.

EmNetta · 03/11/2018 15:59

I see people have already mentioned shopping after supermarkets have marked down produce for the day, so I'll just suggest maybe buying a second -maybe second-hand?- freezer, which would provide space for cheaper frozen veg and bulk cooking recipes, which do make life easier.
Thanks for info about frozen tenderstem broccoli at Iceland, new to me.
If you enjoy avocados, reduced ready-to-eat ones have always been good quality, sometimes half-price and usually perfect for up to a week.

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