You’ve been buying your fruit and veg all wrong – simple supermarket mistake costs shoppers £700 a yearJanuary 28, 2022
IF you're looking for a healthy snack or something simple to cook for dinner, it's easy to grab some prepared fruit or veg from a supermarket or cafe.
Particularly in January, new year diets mean sales of fruit and veg soar.
But just how much is the convenience of pre-packaged fruit and veg really costing you?
Brits opting for healthy pots of fruit could be paying up to 15 times more for the convenience of the pre-chopped versions.
And if you do that every day, it could cost you £700 a year.
Tesco’s 550g watermelon wedges pack – which comes complete with the rind – comes in at £2.50 but you can buy an entire fruit for £2.99.
That means you had sliced it yourself, then the same amount would cost just 16p – a mark up of 1,562%.
Similarly, Greggs fruit medley, which contains melon, kiwi, apple and grapes, costs £2, but making it yourself at home would cost around 38p – making the prepackaged version five times as expensive.
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Pret's fruit salad pot costs £3.75, but if you were to buy the pineapple, melon, mango, apple, kiwi and blueberries yourself, you could have the same size portion for £1.26.
In Sainsbury's, a 500g pineapple pack is £2.75, but the total cost for slicing the same amount of pineapple at home is just 50p.
And you might think that apple snack pack in Tesco is a handy healthy snack to grab on the go, but at 50p it is costing you more than twice the 24p it would cost to buy the same amount of apple and prepare it yourself.
Asda's 200g pomegranate seeds pot is £1.69, but preparing your own would cost just 79p – less than half the cost.
Prepared veg also usually costs more than chopping it yourself.
A 400g bag of carrot batons at Sainsbury's costs £1, whereas a huge kilo bag of unchopped carrots costs just 30p.
In Tesco, a 240g bag of broccoli florets costs £1.30, but a whole head of broccoli weighing around 375g costs 49p.
Here are three tips for better fruit and veg buying, and that could save you hundreds.
Check the prices
Emma Jackson from Bee Money Savvy said: “We know that there is a cost for convenience and packaging, but the cost of pre-packed fruit is utterly ridiculous.
“Money is being wasted on paying somebody else to clean, prepare, pick out the best fruit and package it up, when it’s easy to save your money and do all that yourself."
It is worth checking the per kilogram, or per 100g, cost of your fruit and veg if you can, so you can get a proper comparison.
This can usually be found on the label on the shelf in store.
And look out for special offers. Supermarkets often have deals on particular products each week, such as Aldi's Super Six or Tesco's Fresh Five, so it is worth buying whatever is cheapest that week.
Shopping for in season fruit and veg can save you money too.
Instead of buying fruit or veg in small plastic pots or bags, consider choosing loose produce in the supermarket and using a reusable container to store it.
Buying it while you're out and throwing the container away afterwards might feel convenient, but it is doing damage to the environment.
“Another thing that doesn’t sit great with me is the impact that all this packaging has on the environment – we need to be cutting down on our plastic waste and saving the planet,” Emma points out.
It is relatively inexpensive to buy a few plastic tubs, and it will help keep your produce fresh in your fridge too.
Use waste well
Buying whole fruit and veg and not eating all of it would be wasteful.
So try and get creative with the leftovers before it goes bad.
"If you’re having to buy fruit that you don’t think you will eat you can always chop it and freeze it for later, it is easily used in smoothies or a sorbet," Emma says.
If you have veg leftover, you can turn it into soup or stews.
Here are five ways to lower your grocery bill.
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