Woman shopping at farmers market

Thrifty tips: Navigating vegetable shopping for one or two

In a world that often promotes bulk buying and family-sized portions, it can be challenging for singles or couples to navigate the grocery aisles without straining the budget. While there is abundant advice available for families, our focus in this blog is on offering support specifically for smaller households.

Here are 5 practical tips for Australian singles or couples looking to save money on vegetables while still enjoying nutritious and delicious meals.

Embrace frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables are a game-changer for those cooking for one or two. They are not only convenient but also cost-effective and easy to prepare1. Frozen veggies retain their nutritional value and often come in smaller, resealable bags, preventing waste. Stock up on a variety of frozen options such as peas, broccoli, and mixed vegetables, and you’ll always have quick and easy vegetables ready to go in your next snack or meal.

Open bag of mixed frozen vegetables

Plan your meals and shop smart

Avoid impulsive purchases by planning your meals for the week ahead. Make a list of the vegetables you need and stick to it when you hit the grocery store. This not only prevents overspending but also minimizes the chance of vegetables going to waste. Consider buying smaller quantities of fresh produce or opting for loose vegetables if available, allowing you to purchase only what you need. If choosing fresh vegetables, picking what is in season will mean they will be more affordable and at their nutritional peak. Don’t forget to plan for snacks and when you will use up your leftovers to save food, money and time2. Discover more helpful tips on planning your meals.

Explore local markets and embrace the imperfect veg

Local fruit and vegetable markets, or farmers markets can be treasure troves for budget-conscious shoppers. Explore your neighbourhood markets for fresh vegetables at competitive prices. Consider imperfect (also known as odd, budget, seconds, farmers pick, or ugly) vegetables to save money whilst reducing farm gate waste, supporting farmers, and still enjoying the full nutritional benefits vegetables offer. You can find these unique gems at your local supermarket, fruit and vegetable market, or farmers market.

Woman shopping at farmers market

Keep an eye out for sales and promotions to maximize your savings on fresh, canned or frozen vegetables. Explore our website for great vegetable recipe ideas, tips and veggie-cation blogs full of inspiration.

Master the art of batch cooking

Cooking in batches is a time and money-saving strategy that works exceptionally well for singles or couples. Prepare larger quantities of meals that incorporate a variety of vegetables and freeze them in individual portions. This not only reduces your overall cooking time but also ensures that you use up all the vegetables you buy before they spoil. Soups, stews, and casseroles are excellent options for batch cooking and can be easily portioned for future meals. Check out some freezer hero meals to get you started.

Portioned out meals from batch cooking

Grow your own mini veggie garden

For those with a green thumb (and those aspiring), consider starting a small vegetable garden. You don’t need a massive backyard – even a balcony or windowsill can accommodate pots or containers. Growing your own herbs, tomatoes, and other veggies not only saves money but also provides a sense of satisfaction and a supply of fresh produce at your fingertips. Plus, it’s a sustainable and enjoyable way to connect with your food. For helpful tip on growing your own head here.

Saving money on vegetables while cooking for one or two doesn’t mean sacrificing nutrition or flavour. By incorporating these practical tips into your shopping and cooking routine, you can enjoy a variety of vegetables without straining your budget. With a bit of planning and creativity, you’ll discover that eating well as a single or couple can be both affordable and enjoyable.

Discover more tips on making healthy meals on a budget.


Health and Wellbeing Qld. Frozen and tinned veggies: get to know them, they’re aok! 2021. Accessed: https://hw.qld.gov.au/blog/frozen-and-tinned-veggies-get-to-know-them-theyre-aok/

Nutrition Australia. Try for 5: Plan ahead to save time and money. Accessed: https://www.tryfor5.org.au/plan-ahead