Fresh vs Frozen: Save time and money by buying frozen vegetables

Fresh vs Frozen: Save time and money by buying frozen vegetables

Bad weather and cold temperatures can cause the price of vegetables to sky rocket at this time of year, making it expensive to get your daily dose of vegetables.

While winter seasonal vegetables like pumpkins, parsnips, cabbages, silverbeet and celery are filling the shelves at the moment, even they can be costly.

So how can you ensure that you are still dishing up your family’s vegetable requirements, without breaking the bank?

Frozen vegetables are a saviour in winter, coming in at a fraction of the cost of fresh vegetables. Not only are they a far better bang for your buck, they won’t go off in a few days like fresh vegetables do. The best thing is – they’re already prepped and chopped ready to go, saving time and money.

Nutritionally, frozen vegetables can be just as good, if not better, than the fresh version, according to nutrition expert Dr Libby Weaver.

“Frozen vegetables have virtually the same, if not slightly more nutrition than fresh vegetables,” said Weaver.

“When vegetables are picked, they begin to lose nutrients, so how long they’re left after harvesting impacts their nutritional value. Generally, frozen vegetables are frozen shortly after they’re harvested, they’re allowed to fully ripen, which means they contain good levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

“The freezing process actually in a way “locks in” many of these nutrients.”

Frozen spinach

But is it really cheaper to buy frozen vegetables?

To find out, we compared the cost of fresh versus frozen vegetables based on prices at Countdown online supermarket.

To buy a collection of family staples, including broccoli, carrots and peas, would cost $22.75 if you bought them all fresh, versus only $16.86 if you bought frozen versions – a saving of $5.89!

But wait, there’s more – for $16.86 you are getting four kilograms of frozen vegetables, which is double the amount of the fresh vegetables.

There were some exceptions where fresh trumped frozen in terms of cost, which was the case for cauliflower and carrots.

Fresh vs Frozen vegetables table

Note: This was calculated with prices as at 14 August 2017, as per the online shopping option at The cheapest brands were used in the calculations.

Tips for using frozen vegetables:

How to make fresh vegetables go further: