Due to a mixture of floods, war and a global pandemic, vegetable prices in our local supermarkets have gone through the roof.
Yesterday we asked the Crikey community to send in some pictures and prices of vegetables in their local supermarket — and some tips on keeping costs down while the prices are up.
From an IGA in Gordon, ACT, Dannielle Nevin sent a photo of one of the worst offenders: an iceberg lettuce on the shelf for a whopping $14.99 (one of them marked down to a slightly more reasonable $9.99).
Meanwhile, at a Coles in Berowra, NSW, Emily Kecman spotted leeks for an eye-watering $6.50 each — hard to stomach, especially in soup season.
And Yvonne Parker drove 20 minutes from home to a Fruit Shack in Geelong, Victoria, where vegetables were significantly cheaper than her local (even if you factor in the fuel cost), but the price of green beans was still “a bit of a shock” at $19.99 a kilo.
What prices are you seeing on the shelf? Take a photo and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping costs down
We also asked the Crikey readers for their best money-saving tips in these inflationary times.
Plenty of you reminded us that it wasn’t so long ago that you couldn’t get summer vegetables such as tomatoes and zucchinis during the winter months and advised going hard on the winter veggies: pumpkin, sweet potatoes and hardier winter greens.
Frozen vegetables came up as well — most veggies sold in the freezer section are snap frozen and so retain their nutrients often better than produce on the shelves. But Ritchies IGA chief executive Fred Harrison told the ABC recently that suppliers of frozen vegetables haven’t yet recovered from the pandemic, so prices will be higher in the freezer section too — though definitely still a good budget option.
As is soil, if you have the garden space. Several readers suggested sowing some seeds; leafy greens (particularly Asian greens) grow well in the winter, as do beetroot, beans, leeks and spring onions, among others.
Thanks for your tips and photos so far. Keep sending them in at email@example.com.