Do you want to save on your shopping? It’s really easy: just buy the less-than-perfect fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. They are usually marked as being ‘ugly’ or ‘wonky’ and have hefty discounts because they’re a little misshapen, despite being just as fresh and tasty as their more beautiful cousins.
If you don’t believe me, check this out. Even I was surprised by my bargain yesterday at Morrisons. I was about to throw a medium cauliflower for £1 in my trolley when I caught sight of its big brother in the tray above. Nestling inside its ‘wonky’ branded wrapper, it was twice the size and half the price at 54 pence. It was perhaps a little more yellow in colour than its neighbours but there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. More than enough for one curry and one cauli-cheese. Kerching!
Morrisons also do other wonky lines. Ugly parsnips are 52p for 500 gm versus 64p for pretty ones. Carrots are normally 60p a kilo but 35p if you choose the irregular pack, while a 2.5 kg bag of potatoes (non-offer) is £1.76 against the homely version which costs £1.12. Would that have been enough of a saving to add a pudding to your bank holiday family roast?
I’ve mentioned Morrisons because it’s my nearest supermarket and I tend to shop there a lot. They aren’t the only ones getting in on the wonky veg action though. Asda have 5 kg wonky veg boxes for £3.50 which it says works out 30% cheaper than the standard offers. It’s a mix of stuff though, so you’d have to be quite imaginative on the weekly menu to use it all up.
Wonky veg is really a win-win situation because the supermarkets jettison millions of pounds worth of fresh produce every year just because it doesn’t meet their exacting standards. The waste is criminal, especially when there’s people going hungry in the UK. Some celebrity chefs have launched campaigns to turn it around, such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. You might’ve seen the TV programmes.
Using stuff up is another great way to save: one meal becomes two. Odd bits of meat (cooked and raw) and veg can easily be recycled into stir fries, curries and spaghetti sauces. Pasta Surprise is a regular item on the Minted weekly menu, usually appearing on a Monday night. The children don’t complain: I’ve learnt you can get away with most things so long as there’s loads of cheese on top. And if there's half a sausage from the bank holiday BBQ or a few beans from the roast hanging around in the fridge, check out leftover recipe sites such as https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for some ideas on what to do with it today.
If you've any great recipes, post them in the comments box below!