Organic Fruits and Veggies: Store-Bought vs. Home-Preserved

Whether you can or freeze the produce that you buy in bulk, you’re almost always going to save money compared to buying in supermarkets.

The chart below summarizes the costs of canning or freezing some typical items versus what you’d likely pay for them in a supermarket. In some instances, you can save more than 75 percent by canning — and more than 80 percent by freezing — produce purchased in bulk. Don’t forget to account for waste, such as tomato cores or corn cobs, if you do your own calculations for other fruits and veggies.                                                    




Fresh Bulk Cost


Home (16 oz)


Store (16 oz)


Home (16 oz)


Store (16 oz)

green beans  $1.00/lb $1.00 $1.31 $1.00 $1.99-$4.62
sweet corn  $2.00/dz $0.83 $1.31 $0.83 $1.99-$4.62
shell peas  $2.00/lb $6.00 $1.31 $6.00 $1.99-$4.62
whole tomatoes  $1.00/lb $1.50 $1.31-$1.84 $1.50 N/A
beets  $1.00/lb $1.00 $1.31 $1.00 N/A
broccoli  $1.50/lb N/A N/A $1.50 $2.29
spinach  $4.00/lb N/A N/A $4.00 $4.62-$5.74
pears  $1.00/lb $1.00 $2.19 $0.50 $3.59-$4.78
blueberries  $0.50/lb $0.50 $2.19  $0.50 $3.59-$4.78
peaches  $1.00/lb $1.00 $1.99-$2.59 $1.00 $3.59

“Home” prices are based on reports from co-author Roberta Bailey and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. 

“Store” prices are for organic brands sold at Hannaford supermarkets and health food stores. 

Read Save Money on Groceries for more money-saving ideas.

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