10 cheap vegetables to help you eat well for less

10 cheap vegetables to help you eat well for less

If you’re trying to eat well on a budget, it’s easy to put the ‘budget’ before the ‘eating well’. When I tried searching for cheap vegetables, I couldn’t really find a list.

There’s so much information out there, but it’s almost too much. So, I thought up a load of vegetables, added them to a shopping list on mysupermarket and had a look for which vegetables you could get more of for your money. The prices were sometimes per 100 grams and sometimes per kilogram, so I’ve worked all these out in kilograms to make it easier to compare.

It then made me think, how would you know what the cost of the portion size would be? Well, according to Change4Life, a vegetable portion size equates to approximately 80g.

So, here’s my list of 10 cheap vegetables. Every single one comes in at £1 per kilogram or less. At this time of year, at least!

These were based on prices at Asda, September 2016. Prices may be even cheaper in Aldi or Lidl (or in any other supermarket), but in case you don’t have one near you, hopefully you’ll still at least be able to get some bargain veg!

(By the way, the nutritional facts all came from healthaliciousness.com.)

1. Carrots

Starting with the cheapest vegetable, carrots surely feature in every shopping trolley, and from 45p per kg, it’s hardly surprising.

Tempted to go for tinned carrots? Whilst they’re only 67p per kilo, why not just scrub a whole carrot, chop off the ends, and throw it in the pan whole? Since you have to cut up the other food on your plate, it doesn’t make your dinner much less convenient.

They’re not just cheap, they’re also a fantastic source of vitamin A and beta keratin… the second best source of these vitamins after sweet potatoes (don’t worry- they made it to the list too!)

2. Baked beans

Beans (lentils, and pulses) count as one of your five a day, with the obvious choice being baked beans! They’re perfect for a convenient snack, so there’s no need to opt for nutrient devoid lunch time snacks, and only 56p per kilo.

3. Onions

This is an easy way to add to your 5 a day; you could add them to your salad, or hide them in all manner of evening meals. It might be tempting to go for pre-chopped onions, but they’re nearly 3 times the price of a bag of onions, which comes in at just 59p per kilo.

4. Butternut squash

This didn’t even occur to me as being a cheap vegetable- we have parsnips and turnips more often as I always think of those as being cheaper. Perhaps it’s because they’re in season, but they’re currently 75p per kilo. (You also have the option of paying £2.10 per kilo for someone to chop it for you.)

5. Peas

A bag of frozen peas comes in at 76p per kilo. They’re basically a convenience food, I mean who doesn’t have time to zap them in the microwave or pop them on the hob for a few minutes? A cheap and easy way to add more green to your plate.

6. Red cabbage/ White cabbage

For fresh red and white cabbages, you’ll currently pay around 80p per kilo. It cooks super quick, isn’t much hassle to roughly, but finely, chop, and you can chuck it into stir fry or even make homemade coleslaw, if you don’t fancy it boiled or steamed!

7. Sweet potato

I’m extremely excited that sweet potato made It to the list. After looking up swede and parsnip, both of which are way above £1 per kilo, I almost didn’t check sweet potatoes. You can get these for as little as 80p per kilo, and even if you go for the smaller bag, its still below a pound at 95p.

Obviously they’re delicious, but they the best source of vitamin A and, when you cook them in the oven, the best source of beta keratin too. What’s not to love? (Did I mention, they’re delicious?)

8. Broccoli

This is a vegetable I used to despise as a child. I can’t say I enjoy broccoli now, but I enjoy looking after my health and it’s a good, simple veg to throw in with a variety of dishes. What’s more, I’m advocating you go for pre-prepared bag, costing 90p per kilo  for the basics range. I think this is a bargain for a pre-chopped veg that is cooked in minutes. Not just that, it’s the 5th best source of vitamin C and the 8th best source of vitamin K.

9. Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn is convenience food number 3; a bag of frozen sweetcorn equates to 99p per kilo. If you’ve always got a bag of sweetcorn and bag of frozen peas, you’re a few minutes away from having 2 cheap vegetables on your plate for very little hassle!

10. Brussel sprouts

Number 10, and I’m pleased to have found frozen sprouts for £1 per kilo. Fresh sprouts are easier to not overcook, but they’re currently 3 times the price, so if you’re shopping on a budget, this is a brilliant addition. If you only have these at Christmas, then you need to introduce them to your shopping trolley year round, as many of the green leafy vegetables have a hefty price tag. You may already have noticed, but this is another convenience option!

 

So there’s my list of 10 cheap vegetables. And I’m going to throw an 11th in there; frozen Cauliflower. Its above the £1 target, but not by much. You can get a bag of frozen cauli equating to £1.10 per kilo.

So if you’ve walked past the veg aisle, but picked up a packet of rich tea biscuits and a 6 pack of walkers because unhealthy stuff is cheaper, those biscuits cost £1.25 per kilo and the crisps £9.67!

Whoever you are and whatever your situation, if you’re trying to repay debt, live on a low income, save for your future or just want more cash to spend on swanky cars(!), this is a great list of 10 cheap vegetables to help you eat healthily without spending a fortune.

 

Do you have any cheap vegetables that you’d add to the list or tips to get more vegetables into your diet?

4 thoughts on “10 cheap vegetables to help you eat well for less

  1. Great list!!! I love onions- I always buy a bag of them and keep them around- they also last quite a while too!

    And sweetcorn- mmmmm. Also a common side item in our household.

    I don’t know prices, but I love sugar snap peas. They’re crunchy, and easy, and taste great with hummus.

    1. I love sugar snap peas too… they come in at £6.45 per kilo!! I’m also a huge fan of spinach, instead of lettuce in a sarnie or in a salad, but its £4.91 per kilo unless you go for a frozen bag but the texture of cooked spinach reminds me of slugs :/ I try to rely on cheap staples every week, and throw a few more expensive items that I love in, to give us more variety but keep us in budget.

  2. Potatoes and celery are pretty cheap here too. We buy a lot of both because that’s what both kids are willing to eat. I love cabbage, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. I’ve been making a crust-less butternut squash “pie” lately (without much sugar) and the kids eat it up!

    1. Kids that eat celery? That’s brilliant! Even I take some persuading to eat celery!! Potatoes are always cheap here too… the only reason I didn’t include them was because they’re not counted as a vegetable for one of your 5 a day 🙁

      I’d love that butternut squash pie recipe, do you have a link to it?

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