How loose fruit and veg can save you a packet… literally

Jordon Cox

By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox

MSE Update Fri 19 Jan 2018: Since Jordan published this blog in February 2016, we’ve had another look at loose vs wrapped vegetables and our investigation has shown in many cases it’s no longer possible to save money buying loose. See our blog MSE investigation reveals in many cases buying fruit & veg in plastic packaging is CHEAPER than the same produce loose. We’ve kept the original blog up for reference.

If you look closely at what’s on the shelves and you’ll often find exactly the same produce at different prices depending on whether it’s bought loose by weight or pre-packaged at a set price – it’s almost as if they’re deliberately trying to make it confusing.

I conducted a test at a few supermarkets and was amazed by what I found…

How much are we being overcharged?

From my research at several stores, it seems we’re being tricked into paying A LOT more for fruit and veg wrapped in cellophane when the same foods are being sold individually much cheaper.

This wasn’t always the case, but as you can see from the below it wasn’t a one-off. Buying each of the following on a weekly basis, you could save more than £110 a year!

Bananas – Asda

I first tested a pack of five ‘ready to eat’ bananas. I did a test to see whether you’re getting what you’re paying for by weighing five loose bananas and comparing the cost.

  • Pack of five bananas – 77p
  • Five loose bananas – 39p

Buying near the same bananas in a bag costs you 38p more. Buying the loose ones every week for a year saves you £20.

Broccoli – Asda

A single stalk of pre-packed organic broccoli (the only type they had in stock when I visited) and the loose counterpart were right next to each other on the shelf.

  • Pre-packaged broccoli stalk – 98p
  • Loose broccoli of around the same size – 41p

Just for having a plastic seal around it, in t