Could you save nearly £2,000 a year on your weekly food shops?

Food is an unavoidable expense which can see much of your hard-earned cash being handed over at a checkout till – but could you be paying less for your weekly food shop?

According to new research you could save yourself almost £2,000 a year by simply swapping fresh food for frozen alternatives.

In a two-week long experiment, conducted by experts at Manchester Metropolitan University, 20 British families were asked to eat one week of meals made from fresh ingredients, and then replace the same meals with frozen products.

The aim of the study, commissioned by British supermarket chain Iceland, was to compare waste, costs and taste of the fresh ingredients against their frozen counterparts during the two weeks.Results claimed that 18 out of the 20 families found frozen to be better value than fresh, with families of four saving on average £37.62 a week – the equivalent of almost £2,000 a year.

The study also found that many families agreed that their frozen meals were as good as, or better than the ones cooked using fresh ingredients.

Big frozen winners included pastries, fruit, vegetables, mashed potato and fries – especially the sweet potato fries.

In the end, fresh food beat frozen by just seven points (150.7 versus 144) in the taste test. However, families generally agreed that they would buy more frozen items in the future.

The study also found that food waste was reduced by nearly half, or 47 per cent, due to the convenience of being able to take frozen food out as and when you need it.

Commenting on the study, Iceland’s Head Chef Neil Nugent said: ‘The results of this independent study are really promising with many newcomers to frozen particularly impressed by the huge waste reduction, range and quality of food available, as well as the cost, convenience and taste.

‘The families involved have said they will increase the amount of frozen food they use and cook with a mixture of fresh and frozen – nutritionally they are the same so this is a great direction to go in.’