Last year was not a particularly healthy year for me. Unless drinking lots of green juice counts.
Okay, I occasionally bought the small bags of pre-cut frozen mixed vegetables. But not that often, and so the high price didn’t really bother me as much as if it was a regular purchase.
Now that I’m back to a healthier life, and a tighter grocery budget, it’s time to get serious about veggie savings again. So off I went to the local independent market the other day and I got a nice bunch of mixed veggies for $7, including an onion, red and green peppers, purple cabbage, broccoli, carrots, and zucchini. The cost was probably about half what it would have been if I’d purchased these items at the larger supermarket across the street, so that’s a pretty easy savings right there. For example, I paid $1.29 per pound for the peppers as opposed to easily spending $3.99 or more per pound.
I know, you are super busy and may not have time to spare to chop veggies, but I’m hoping the numbers will be inspiring for you. It took me about half an hour to chop, mix, and place all the veggies in six separate bags weighing about 500 grams each, or totalling 3 kg. If I go through a total of two bags a week, costing a total of about $2.33 per week, they will last me three weeks, and happily find their way between soups, fajitas, pasta, and stir fry.
In comparison, at the average cost of $5 for 500 g, I would easily spend $10 for two very modest sized bags of premixed veggies to reach the same level of veggie consumption. So my savings are almost $8 a week or an easy peasy $400 a year for an average of ten minutes of effort per week. Just for one person. So imagine for a larger family, who loves their veggies, how much you could save.
I know, the bags of cut veggies are so convenient. But take a look inside and check out the three bits of cauliflower, the five small chunks of broccoli, and the pile of diced carrots and think how much more you could get for the same cost for only a minor effort.
If you are just too busy to do the chopping, you can check out the larger bags of frozen veggies at stores like Superstore where you can get e.g. 2 kg bags for about $5. (The last couple of times I did this though, I found some holes in the bags and serious freezer burn to the vegetables.)
The options of veggie consumption and savings are almost as plentiful as the nutrients to be found within them, whether you check out different brands (e.g. no name), different stores, different size bags, varying degrees of using some bagged and some fresh, etc.
Even the choices of buying organic vs. non organic can help you save as some veggies (and fruits) are considered the “clean fifteen” according to the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) and therefore going organic on those specific items may not be worth the increased expense (such as for onions, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, sweet corn, and cauliflower).
So how about a healthy year, and lots of greens, yellows, reds, and purples, etc., while we imagine what to do with all our colourful veggie savings…