Vegetables tend to be healthy since they’re mostly fiber, water, and micronutrients. Preservation and prep time of fresh produce can be problematic, however, so I mostly buy frozen.

Here’s the stats on a typical frozen vegetable, green beans:

serving cost calories net carbs fat fiber protein sugar
3/4 cup ~$0.191 25 3 0 2 2 2

I usually keep on hand:

  • peas and carrots
  • leafy greens like kale, collards, and spinach
  • cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower
  • brussel sprouts
  • butternut squash
  • artichoke hearts

Generally I cook them first with a bit of water, then add other ingredients afterwards. This accomodates for food safety and their longer from-frozen cooktimes.

I aim for one or two dollars per pound, which is common for local store brands. Comparing this cost against fresh produce can be tricky, since yield must be factored in. For example, ~15% of a fresh butternut squash is typically thrown away 2. Spinach, on the other hand, is entirely edible. If you’re curious about your favorite veggies, check out the USDA’s cost/yield data and interactive chart 3.

  1. green beans $1.50/24oz (Trader Joe’s, Trader Joe’s) 

  2. “rind, trimmings, and other inedible parts account for 16 percent of raw butternut squash” USDA 

  3. chart, raw data