Households trying to trim their grocery bills should switch to buying more frozen food instead of fresh, according to new research that shows it could save £7.30 off the average weekly food bill.
The shopping basket analysis showed that a basket of frozen family groceries costs just £15.45 compared to the same items bought fresh at £23.25 - a saving of 34%.
The study by Sheffield Hallam University for frozen food website TheNewIceAge.com compared the price of popular purchases of fresh and frozen items including pizza, broccoli, carrots, garlic bread, whole chicken, prawns, salmon, meat sausages, spinach and parsnips.
The study included value, regular, premium and organic ranges and found there is a frozen alternative to fresh for over 600 items.
Charlotte Harden, nutrition and science consultant said: "We compared items from four of the top supermarkets and found that frozen food comes in at much better value per 100g. Many families are feeling the pinch at this time of year and will be looking for cost savings so they can clear post-Christmas debts. A really simple way to make your money go further is to buy frozen food."
In addition to cost savings, Brian Young, director general of British Frozen Food Federation that runs TheNewIceAge.com said buying frozen can dramatically cut wastage. "Frozen food offers a more competitive price point as efficient production methods and a longer storage life ensure better product availability. Recent waste figures from Defra also show that 17% of purchased food gets thrown in the bin."
Young adds: "Frozen foods do not perish like fresh – if consumers bought frozen food not only would this waste figure be slashed but food purchased would be food consumed ensuring that money does not end up in the bin."
For further ideas to slash your food bill, check out our top 10 tips to save on food and still eat well.