Vegetable Box Schemes – good value?

I was recently exposed to a minor rant from a friend for mentioning veg box schemes in her presence, as I knew how much of a budget she was on, and that veg box schemes are for “rich w*nkers”.

I didn’t see the point in interupting her tirade, as she was certain she was right. But here are my reasons why I think she is wrong. I used Riverford, but I think the same applies to most reputable independent veg box schemes.


  • It really isn’t that much more expensive, item for item. At times I have compared a box with an equivalent basket from a supermarket, it came out a little more than standard produce, but considerably cheaper than what the supermarket charge for organic (and my box is organic). When I am not growing my own veg (i.e Winter months) I take a medium sized fruit/veg box about every two weeks, and probably end up spending 6-8 quid a week. I can blow that in Tescos easily.
  • All the produce is *really* fresh. Most of it has been picked only in the last couple of days, if not the day previous to delivery. This means it stays fresh in your kitchen for longer, which means there is less waste. Even at the end of my regular two week cycle, it is pretty rare than anything except trimmings go in the bin. As opposed to supermarket vegetables, which I find seldom look appetising past the end of the week.
  • The *real* savings are that since the fruit and veg are being delivered, I have less reasons for a trip to the supermarket, which means I don’t get tempted by all those impulse buys.

Non-financial reasons:

  • Smaller carbon footprint. Many (but not all) of the fruit and veg I buy come from local farms, and are packed locally.
  • The farmers get a bigger cut, rather than being screwed by the supermarket chains.
  • It is fresher, and tastes nicer.

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