One simple switch could save Aussies thousands of dollars on their grocery shop, as the cost of living continues to bite.
Melbourne mum of two Karthika Vijaykumar started buying ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetable boxes during the pandemic and said it was saving her around $50 per fortnight, or $1,300 a year.
It’s estimated that 20-40 per cent of fruit and vegetables don’t make it to the supermarket shelves because they don’t meet strict cosmetic standards. But the imperfect produce still tastes just as good.
Do you have a grocery savings hack? Contact email@example.com
“I like the idea that you are not throwing away produce that is being rejected by the supermarkets. Instead, you’re repurposing it,” Karthika told Yahoo Finance.
Karthika said she had noticed the cost of her regular grocery shop had increased “significantly” in the past year, particularly the price of eggs, milk and bread.
“It’s gone through the roof. We used to spend $150 a fortnight for our groceries. Our family has grown as well but now we are spending anywhere between $250 and $300 per fortnight for pretty much the same thing,” she said.
Karthika - who has a three-year-old and one-year-old - is saving cash by buying a $68 box of imperfect fruit and vegetables each fortnight from Farmers Pick. She then bases her meal prep on the produce she receives.
She was previously spending between $75 and $100 per week on fruit and vegetables at Woolworths. While it is cheaper for her family, she says the savings quickly get eaten up by other rising costs.
“It’s just insane at the moment. Mortgage interest rates have gone through the roof. It hasn’t spared us either, to the point where I’ve had to return to work slightly earlier as well with the second baby because otherwise it’s not sustainable,” Karthika said
“But it’s a vicious cycle because then you spend all that money on child care. So it’s a constant battle.”
How much money can I save?
The average family spends $68 per week on fruit and vegetables, according to new research by Farmers Pick.
By switching to imperfect fruit and vegetables, the company estimates families could save $37 per week, or $1,924 per year in total.
Where can I buy imperfect fruit and vegetables?
All of the major supermarkets now sell imperfect fruit and vegetables at a discounted price.
Woolworths has The Odd Bunch range, which it says can save shoppers 20 per cent off standard shelf prices.
Coles has its I’m Perfect fruit and vegetable range. It doesn’t put a hard savings figure on the range but a bag of imperfect carrots is currently selling for around 30 per cent less per kilogram than its perfect counterparts.
ALDI offers its Market Buy products, which it says provide the lowest price point for produce in the supermarket’s range. As an example, the supermarket says customers can buy its Royal Gala apples for around 27 per cent cheaper.
Harris Farm has Imperfect Picks and claims some fruit and vegetables are up to 70 per cent cheaper than their perfect counterparts.
Outside of the supermarkets, there are also a number of delivery-box options such as Farmers Pick, Good & Fugly, Funky Foods and The Odd Prod.