There’s been a discussion on mustbethrifty about the virtues of fruit and veg market shopping; unfortunately, I rarely go to markets but end up at Coles instead due to a combination of Flybys incentives, a weird work schedule and possibly laziness. The problem with Coles is that I believe its fresh produce is overpriced and doesn’t have staying power. I really need to stop buying fresh food from Coles.
Meanwhile, a new grocer has opened near my work. I thought I’d take advantage of their weekly home (and work) deliveries.
Organising a weekly fruit and veg drop off ticks all the right boxes:
- You pay a set amount of money each week, making it easier to budget for.
- Your grocer usually puts together seasonal produce that tends to be tastier and better value for money than out of season produce.
- Your grocer usually bulk orders for all of their customers and packs them into boxes on the same day, which means fresher fruit and veg for less.
- The convenience of a weekly delivery means less frequent shops at the supermarket.
What I like most about the arrangement is that I get to try food that I would not normally select if left to my own devices. For instance, I would never eat apricots since I’m not a huge fan of them. But after trying the super tasty in-season ones in my box, I’ve been converted.
My weekly buy also forces me to cook more instead of eating out since I have a set amount of perishables that need to be used up by a certain date.
But how does buying a fruit and veg box from the local grocer compare to the local supermarket? I’ve been weighing my weekly boxes to ascertain their comparative supermarket value:
As predicted, buying the family box and going halfies with the work colleague was WIN. I saved $5.99 (nearly 25%) by going to the local grocers instead of my local supermarket*. Buying a couples box also saved me $4.22 (around 13%)*.
Of course, these savings would be negated if some of the food gets thrown out**. To minimise waste, buy less than what you’d eat in a week. For instance, if you’re a three-person household, opt for couples box instead of the family box.
Personalised service from a boutique business doesn’t necessarily cost more. Make friends with your local grocer and organise a weekly box. Not only will you save money, you’ll get to converse with people who are genuinely excited about produce and can point you towards the best flavours/bargains of the day. As an added bonus, they’ll greet you by your name.
*I used the Coles online shopping website to calculate the comparative costings. Costs are based on today’s prices for my local area.
**In spite of my best intentions, this does happen, especially when Melbourne has a 40 degree C day kind of week and all your peaches go kind of squishy after one day of sitting on the kitchen bench.