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Seasonal Fruit the answer to saving money

Australians are combating the increased living costs with 'tactical shopping'; buying seasonal fruit when it's at its best price, according to the results of the Australian Pears Consumer Fruit Index.

The Consumer Fruit Index polled more than 1100 grocery buyers^ on behalf of the Australian pear industry. It found 83% of Australians have noticed an increase in the cost of fruit and vegetables over the past 12 months. But 80%, or four out of five Australians, believe buying in-season fruit can save money.

"The survey results indicate a return to the ways of our grandmothers who knew the value of eating fruit at the peak of the season when both its flavour and price is at its best," says Tony Russell, General Manager of Apple and Pear Australia Ltd.

"Although Australian pears are available all year, pears are now in-season so available in bulk and reasonably priced," he says.

The Consumer Fruit Index revealed 60% of Australians buy in bulk to save money on their weekly groceries.

"Buying in bulk is the most cost effective way to stock your pantry. Grocery shoppers can save money on fruit by applying an 'eat now/eat later' selection strategy. Simply choose a mix of ready-to-eat pears for immediate eating along with yet-to-ripen pears that will last longer.

"Pears can then be enjoyed as a great low GI snack or can be added to your staple sweet and savoury recipes to create interesting new meals and prevent menu-fatigue," he added

Forty percent of Australians spend $31-$50 each week on fruit and vegetables alone.

"We estimate that Australians could reduce their weekly fruit & veg bill by a substantial 20% if they shopped for in-season fruit and vegetables," says Russell.

Despite the rising cost of living, Australians remain committed to a healthy lifestyle with 90% rejecting the notion that they would cut back on buying fruit and vegetables. Instead a quarter of Australians are reducing takeaway dinners and eating out, another third have stopped buying brand name products.

^Online poll conducted in August 2008 on - 1105 respondents

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