We have some handy tips on how you can be a smart fruit and veg shopper. Eat well AND get good value for money!

Fresh vs alternatives

Canned and frozen are good options and are often cheaper than fresh produce. Produce for freezing and canning is processed immediately after harvesting, sealing in nutrients. If fresh produce has been sitting in cold storage for some time, then frozen and canned varieties may have higher nutrient content! Look for “no-added salt” canned vegies and “canned in juice” fruits. For more info about these convenient options, check out our Convenient Truth page.

Fruit and vege basket

Same food in different forms and packaging

Check the price difference between loose fruit and veg, compared to packaged varieties. Pre-cut, pre-washed and ready-to-eat produce is available. Check how much they cost compared to their most basic forms. For example, loose spinach leaves ($17/kg) vs pre-packed ($2 for 60g = $33/kg). Pre-bagged apples are often smaller and cheaper though. Loose mushrooms ($10.80/kg) are often (but not always!) cheaper than pre-sliced mushrooms ($4.30 for 200g = $21.50/kg). Be sure to check cost per kilo to find the best value.

Mixed salad leaves
Rocket leaves
Spinach leaves

Seasonality

The price of fresh fruit and vegies can fluctuate based on supply and demand.  So it makes sense to shop for fresh produce that are in season. Fruit and vegies in season are at the lowest price, greatest supply, freshest on the market, packed with nutrients and when flavour is at its best. If you can be flexible to substitute your meal ingredients for something that is in season, or plan with seasonal produce before you leave home, then there’s definite cost savings. Your local farmer’s markets and independent grocers often have seasonal produce. Read more about seasonality over here.

Buy small amounts or bulk buying?

Fresh produce is perishable so buying smaller amounts, more often, can reduce waste if it means you’re actually using it all up.   

 It can be cheaper, per kilo, to buy in bulk. But this is ONLY good value if you can use what you buy before it goes off. If a 5kg bag of carrots is too much for your family to use, see if you can share it with someone else. Don’t forget to consider if you are able to store it. Is there enough space in your fridge or fruit bowl? If not, consider if you can freeze it for later use.

 Canned or frozen fruit and vegies can be bought in larger quantities when they are on sale since they last much longer!

Make vegies the hero

Vege lasagne

Vegetables usually come in at around $2 – 10 per kilo. This is a lot cheaper than meat, which often takes the centre-stage at dinner time. Even giving a few meals a week a vego twist can make a big difference.

When you’re cooking this…

Swap this…

For this…

And save…

Lasagne

500 g beef mince

500 g pumpkin

$4 at the checkout

Stir fry

2 chicken breasts

300 g tofu or 6 eggs

$6 at the checkout

Curry

500 g lamb

2 cans chickpeas

$8 at the checkout

$18 per week… or… $936 per year

When you’re having this…

Add this

Cost

Number of extra serves of fruit/ veg in a dish

Spaghetti bolognaise

Tin of lentils

$0.80

3

Stirfry

Bunch of Asian greens

$2

5

Crackers and dip

Carrot sticks (2 carrots)

$0.70

2

Mexican

Can of kidney beans

$0.80

3

Cheese on toast

Tomato

$0.60

1

Cereal

Banana

$0.63

1

Roast dinner

½ a butternut pumpkin

$2

9

Beef and Bean Burrittos

You can also use vegies to bulk up family favourites. Just a couple of dollars goes a long way to helping you hit your target of 5 vegies every day!

 

Check the specials

Use the catalogues and online shopping for specials that can help cut down your fruit and vegie grocery bills. Use this to help plan your weekly menus and shopping.

 Using these tips can help you have a diet full of fruit and veg for a healthy diet, and save your budget too.