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    • MSE Oliver
    • By MSE Oliver 12th Jan 18, 11:54 AM
    • 15Posts
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    MSE Oliver
    In many cases buying fruit & veg in plastic packaging is cheaper than the same loose
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 18, 11:54 AM
    In many cases buying fruit & veg in plastic packaging is cheaper than the same loose 12th Jan 18 at 11:54 AM

    This is the MoneySavingExpert discussion for our investigation revealing that in many cases buying fruit & veg in plastic packaging is cheaper than the same produce loose. Read the blog first then click "reply" below to discuss it.

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Page 1
    • frugalmacdugal
    • By frugalmacdugal 12th Jan 18, 12:00 PM
    • 6,261 Posts
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    frugalmacdugal
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:00 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:00 PM
    Hi,

    fruit and veg is always cheaper loose, I checked it out one day in Tesco, 5 naked bananas, of the equivalent weight, were cheaper than the packaged stuff.
    Y'all take care now.
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 12th Jan 18, 1:27 PM
    • 827 Posts
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    NineDeuce
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 18, 1:27 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 18, 1:27 PM
    Never if you compare it to getting in a market.

    Supermarkets hire people to make deceiving price strategies all the time. You wont get this from your local F&V store.
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 12th Jan 18, 2:52 PM
    • 3,152 Posts
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    Ectophile
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 18, 2:52 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 18, 2:52 PM
    I find you're more likely to get special offers on bagged things than on loose. The trouble is that some bagged fruit is sold by numbers, rather than by weight. This makes it impossible to compare the price of a bag of 6 apples with loose apples at 2 a kilo.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 12th Jan 18, 4:02 PM
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    zeupater
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 18, 4:02 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 18, 4:02 PM
    Hi

    That's likely due to everyone & their neighbour in the do-gooders 'wrap everyone in cotton-wool' sphere telling us all that there must be a 200 mile total exclusion zone between foodstuff & even the tiniest spec of anything which looks like dirt or dust ... of course, if someone else has touched a potato or carrot, or either of them has ever toughed the ground, we'll all come down with a case of the dreaded lurgy! ...

    ... I know that the old 'peck of dirt' saying is a metaphor, but, like most others, there's a degree of truthful observation in there somewhere ... needless to say, the potatoes & carrots we grow in the garden have touched the ground (at some time!) and the ones we buy are unwashed until we want to eat! ...

    Nanny this, nanny that & nanny the other ... perhaps it's time that someone started to re-introduce & apply a little common-sense ... this could be the beginning of the long road to sanity ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 12th Jan 18, 5:01 PM
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    • #6
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:01 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:01 PM
    Hi,

    fruit and veg is always cheaper loose,
    Originally posted by frugalmacdugal
    No it isn't. Sometimes, but not always
    I checked it out one day in Tesco, 5 naked bananas, of the equivalent weight, were cheaper than the packaged stuff.
    Originally posted by frugalmacdugal
    But in the last few weeks alone I could have bought carrots, parsnips, sprouts, apples and baking potatoes cheaper in plastic packaging than they were loose. (Tesco)
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    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 12th Jan 18, 5:03 PM
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    • #7
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:03 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:03 PM
    The trouble is that some bagged fruit is sold by numbers, rather than by weight. This makes it impossible to compare the price of a bag of 6 apples with loose apples at 2 a kilo.
    Originally posted by Ectophile
    I always use the scales they have for weighing the loose stuff to find out what that pack would cost, at the price for loose - it's easy to compare then
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    • Eric_the_half_a_bee
    • By Eric_the_half_a_bee 12th Jan 18, 5:05 PM
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    Eric_the_half_a_bee
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:05 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:05 PM
    It's possible that in some cases spoilage rates are lower on the packaged version. That would give supermarket a rational incentive to offer them at a lower price. It might even (in some cases I stress) be better for the environment, once the environmental costs of spoilage are weighed against the environmental costs of packaging.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jan 18, 5:10 PM
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    PasturesNew
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:10 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 5:10 PM
    Sometimes true, sometimes not.

    It depends on what, precisely, you're comparing - on the day.

    Often the bags work out cheaper/Kg, but you can buy a single item loose.
    Sometimes the bags are much cheaper; sometimes loose is cheaper.

    It will vary on every day, in every shop, in every season.

    Bit of a cr4p thread this innit
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 12th Jan 18, 5:15 PM
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    Nick_C
    I think the main reason for selling bags of fruit and veg is so it can be barcoded. This speeds things up at the checkout. It also prevents stealing at the self checkouts by people buying one thing but saying it is something cheaper when they weigh it.
    • MrsPear
    • By MrsPear 12th Jan 18, 5:29 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 485 Thanks
    MrsPear
    Can someone please explain what veg with it is own natural wrapper needs to shrink wrapped? I am thinking cucumbers, swede and celeriac to name a few.
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    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 12th Jan 18, 5:45 PM
    • 3,847 Posts
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    Nick_C
    Can someone please explain what veg with it is own natural wrapper needs to shrink wrapped? I am thinking cucumbers, swede and celeriac to name a few.
    Originally posted by MrsPear
    "a wrapped cucumber lasts more than three times as long as an unwrapped one"

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/a-lesson-in-packaging-myths-is-shrink-wrap-on-a-cucumber-really-mindless-waste-8340812.html

    Wrapping food in plastic is usually done to extend the shelf life. It reduces food waste. It also prevents you having to go to the shops two or three times a week.

    The main problem with plastic is the way it is disposed of.

    And much of the plastic in the ocean comes from countries who simply throw their waste into rivers.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 12th Jan 18, 6:13 PM
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    molerat
    Bananas seem to be the only fruit / veg that is cheaper loose.
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    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 12th Jan 18, 11:27 PM
    • 3,152 Posts
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    Ectophile
    Bananas seem to be the only fruit / veg that is cheaper loose.
    Originally posted by molerat
    If only it were that simple. Looking on the Tesco web site, loose baking potatoes are currently 1.10/kg. A pack of 4 wrapped are 1.43/kg. But a 2.5kg bag is only 0.80/kg.

    The trouble is, I don't need 2.5kg of potatoes. They will have sprouted before I have eaten most of them.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • I Love comps
    • By I Love comps 13th Jan 18, 7:46 AM
    • 1,109 Posts
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    I Love comps
    The only item I could find cheaper in our local supermarket was bananas. I would gladly buy items loose if they were cheaper.

    Also the supermarkets should start supplying paper bags to put your loose items into, as the bags are plastic that they supply.
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    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 13th Jan 18, 10:10 AM
    • 3,847 Posts
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    Nick_C
    ... the supermarkets should start supplying paper bags to put your loose items into, as the bags are plastic that they supply.
    Originally posted by I Love comps
    Why? Plastic bags use less energy to produce and distribute than paper bags.
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 13th Jan 18, 4:11 PM
    • 2,933 Posts
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    Ben84
    Why? Plastic bags use less energy to produce and distribute than paper bags.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    In terms of energy and resource use, plastic wins over paper. Plastics however, being light things usually that can blow out of bins and bin trucks, need to be disposed of carefully. I put them in a bag of rubbish and tie the top tightly before throwing out to ensure they make it to the power station that burns our rubbish.

    However, I think there may be a case for paper bags in this situation - I find fruit and vegetables last far longer in paper than plastic. I just wrap them in newspaper when I get home, but many people don't buy papers and might appreciate a paper bag.
    • Ben84
    • By Ben84 13th Jan 18, 4:41 PM
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    Ben84
    Plastic packaging has I believe become very popular because it allows for many things that benefit retailers and consumers. Choice is one of them, it would be challenging to offer multiple varieties of apples at different prices if they were all sold loose. How does the cashier know which is which? There's also the speed of shelf filling - which relates to how much our shopping bill comes to. Packaging items as units also allows for better stock keeping, reducing wastage (also impacts our shopping bill) and makes it easier to stock items more reliably, so you don't turn up and they are often out of items you want. There are good and bad sides to packaging, I don't believe it's simply a needless habit supermarkets just started doing. It has its purpose.

    In general, the packaging on fruit and vegetables is much less than that on ready-made foods, often it's just a thin plastic film. Soft fruit comes in boxes, but they're pretty light things. None of it adds up to much. With its modest environmental impact, saving a few grams of plastic a week isn't a big deal to me, so I wouldn't want to give up much to do it. I've cut weekly waste down dramatically anyway - and largely by switching to products in lightweight plastic packaging. Coffee refill bags instead of glass jars, detergent refill bags rather than a new bottle every time.

    I feel the idea might all be a response to consumer pressure - which is often coming from assumptions that plastic is a highly destructive material rather than a resource efficient way to do useful things. As long as you're not throwing your plastic waste in the river or sea, using lightweight, low resource consuming plastics is I believe the greener option compared to paper, glass or metal alternatives. If you're living in Europe, or the US and properly disposing of your rubbish in the waste collection, then there's not much reason to skip plastics - you're not the origin of the ocean plastic problem:

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/891361/Plastic-waste-pollution-90-per-cent-rivers-India-China-Africa
    Last edited by Ben84; 13-01-2018 at 4:45 PM.
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 13th Jan 18, 5:57 PM
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    Ectophile
    Supermarkets already do offer a variety of different apples loose. The suppliers stick little labels on the apples in the factory, saying what they are.

    As to stocking the shelves, that's easy. The produce arrives in big plastic boxes. Just drop the entire box onto the shelf and take the top wrapper off.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 13th Jan 18, 6:13 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 1,884 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    I had words with Waitrose last year, both in store and on the phone with customer service because of the discrepancy in prices of loose versus packaged potatoes. Exactly the same variety cost nearly double when loose - 1.75 per kg loose and 90p per kg pre packed. I was told that it is what all the supermarkets do. I now buy my spuds from the local greengrocer for 1.20 per kg and I can buy the amount and size that I want. Offers on fruit and veg in supermarkets are always on prepackaged items, never loose.
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