You bought your fruits and vegetables incorrectly

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IF you’re looking for a healthy snack or something simple to cook for dinner, it’s easy to pick up prepared fruits or vegetables from a supermarket or cafe.

Particularly in January, New Year’s diets mean sales of fruit and vegetables skyrocket.

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Buying pre-chopped fruits and vegetables could add hundreds of dollars to your grocery bill each year

But how much does the convenience of prepackaged fruits and vegetables really cost you?

Britons opting for healthy fruit jars could pay up to 15 times more for the convenience of pre-chopped versions.

And if you do this every day, it could cost you £700 a year.

Tesco’s 550g pack of watermelon wedges – which comes with the rind – costs £2.50, but you can buy a whole fruit for £2.99.

That means you cut it yourself, so the same amount would only cost 16 pence – a markup of 1,562%.

Similarly, Greggs fruit mix, which contains melon, kiwi, apple and grapes, costs £2, but making it yourself at home would cost around 38p – making the pre-packed version five times as much Dear.

Pret’s pot of fruit salad costs £3.75, but if you bought the pineapple, melon, mango, apple, kiwi and blueberries yourself, you could have the same portion for £1.26 £.

At Sainsbury’s a 500g packet of pineapple costs £2.75, but the total cost to slice the same amount of pineapple at home is just 50p.

And you might think Tesco’s apple snack pack is a healthy and convenient on-the-go snack, but at 50p it’s costing you more than double the 24p it would cost to buy the same amount of apple and the prepare yourself.

Asda’s 200g jar of pomegranate seeds costs £1.69, but making your own would cost just 79p – less than half the cost.

Prepared vegetables usually cost more than cutting them yourself.

A 400g bag of carrot sticks at Sainsbury’s costs £1, while a huge 1kg bag of uncut carrots costs just 30p.

At Tesco, a 240g bag of broccoli florets costs £1.30, but a whole head of broccoli weighing around 375g costs 49p.

Here are three tips for buying better fruits and vegetables, and it could save you hundreds of dollars.

Check prices

Emma Jackson of Bee Money Savvy said, “We know there is a cost for convenience and packaging, but the cost of pre-packaged fruit is absolutely ridiculous.

“Money is wasted paying someone else to clean, prep, pick the best fruit and pack it, when it’s easy to save your money and do it all yourself.”

It’s worth checking the cost per kilogram or per 100g of your fruits and vegetables if you can, so you can get a proper comparison.

This can usually be found on the label on the store shelf.

And pay attention to special offers. Supermarkets often have deals on particular products each week, such as Aldi’s Super Six or Tesco’s Fresh Five, so it’s worth buying whichever is cheapest that week.

Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables can also save you money.

Think about the packaging

Instead of buying fruits or vegetables in small jars or plastic bags, consider choosing bulk produce from the supermarket and using a reusable container to store them.

Buying it while you’re away and throwing the container away afterwards might seem convenient, but it hurts the environment.

“Another thing I don’t like is the impact of all this packaging on the environment – we need to reduce our plastic waste and save the planet,” Emma points out.

It’s relatively inexpensive to buy a few plastic bins, and it will also help keep your produce fresh in your fridge.

Make good use of waste

Buying whole fruits and vegetables and not eating them all would be wasteful.

So try to get creative with the leftovers before it goes bad.

“If you have to buy fruit that you don’t think you’ll eat, you can always chop it up and freeze it for later, it’s easy to use in smoothies or sorbet,” says Emma.

If you have leftover vegetables, you can turn them into soup or stew.

Here are five ways to lower your grocery bill.

This savvy shopper spent just £12.50 on her family grocery store.

And here are four supermarket heroes to help your food go further.

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