5 Frozen Veggie Options That Will Save You Money as Fresh Produce Prices Rise

Frozen vegetables on cutting board and plastic bags.
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If you have advanced past the age of two, then someone in your life has probably lectured you about the importance of eating your veggies. It might never have occurred to you to say, “But they are so expensive!” You could say that now — because it’s true — but you should still eat your veggies.

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The price of fresh vegetables rose about 1% year-over-year through the first 11 months of 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. That’s not much compared with the overall food price increase, estimated at about 6%.

The bad news is, veggie prices have been rising at a much faster pace of late. The USDA notes that farm-level vegetable prices increased 11.5% from October to November 2021.

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But that doesn’t mean you get to skip your veggies. Buying them frozen is typically cheaper than buying them fresh, the Guardian reported last year. What’s more, some veggies are just as tasty and nutritious when frozen as they are when fresh.

Here are five frozen veggies that can save you money as fresh produce prices rise:

  1. Peas: The sugar in peas turns into starch as soon as they are picked, which can hurt their texture and flavor, according to the EatingWell website. But because frozen peas are frozen at the peak of ripeness, they will have a sweeter taste with the same nutritional value.
  2. Spinach: Because you can pack a lot of spinach into one frozen container, one cup of frozen spinach has more than four times the amount of nutrients than a cup of fresh spinach, EatingWell reported.
  3. Broccoli: You’re usually better off with fresh broccoli if you want to retain the right flavor and texture. But frozen broccoli still provides a cheaper alternative, with the added bonus of being able to grab a bag of only florets if that’s your thing.
  4. Corn: This is another veggie that freezes well. While it can’t replace that sweet, delicious crunch you get from a fresh ear of corn, frozen corn can still deliver enough flavor to make the savings worthwhile — especially when corn is not in season. Frozen corn also has fewer calories and carbs than fresh corn, according to Southern Living.
  5. Carrots: Fresh carrots have a pretty short shelf life, usually lasting only a few days in the refrigerator before they start to turn brown. Because frozen carrots are chosen shortly after harvest, they can still maintain their fiber, vitamin A, and beta-carotene nutrients.

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Whether you roast them or steam them, you’ll still get much — if not more — nutrients from these frozen veggies while also saving money.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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