Save money on fresh groceries with Farmers Pick

Collage of a white man holding a delivery basket of fresh groceries.

Many complaints about the rising cost of living concern grocery prices, which ballooned in the last year thanks primarily to supply chain issues. 

“In a traditional supply chain, groceries will run from farm to pack houses, distribution centres, trucks, more distribution centres, more trucks, supermarkets, supermarket shelves, and then finally, you’re at the checkout with your zucchini that’s been on a truck for a week in various states,” explains Farmers Pick co-founder Joshua Ball. 

When any of those steps uptick in price, it gets passed along to you. As a result, Money app Frollo reports Australians now spend roughly $815 per month on groceries – up 24% from last year.

But Ball says there’s another money drain on household grocery budgets: food waste. Australians could be losing up to $2,500 a year in food we simply don’t eat – and that’s providing the food even makes it to our fridge, since about 1.7 million tonnes of produce gets thrown away on farms.

However, Farmers Pick aims to change all that – and shave up to 30% off your weekly grocery spend. 

Interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What is Farmers Pick, and how could it save you money?

Collage of a net bag of fresh produce emerging from a smartphone, like fruit and veg meal kit delivery services.

Farmers Pick is a Melbourne-based startup revolutionising how we think about fresh fruit and vegetables – all with a modern and sustainable twist. 

Customers subscribe to one of four weekly box sizes and then enjoy a food package with bespoke recipes, delicious flavours, and affordable prices. All produce is sourced locally and seasonably from Australian farmers who couldn’t sell it to big chains. 

Why? Often, the crop is ‘imperfect’, meaning it falls short of the strict and somewhat ridiculous visual standards set by supermarkets.

“For example, a vegetable can be bendy, blemished, or soft,” explains Ball. “Size is a problem if it’s too small – or even too big in some cases, which is even more absurd.”

But this looks at all the wrong things, he argues. “Why does it matter if the zucchini is bendy or the carrot has two legs? It’s not based on nutrition, taste, or freshness. That’s why we’re trying to play in this space and change the standard in how we talk about what good food is.”

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“So we can get calls from farmers being like, ‘Hey, I just had a whole truck of 15,000 heads of cauliflower rejected because there’s this little black spot on a few of them. What can you guys do? Can you help us?’”

Food waste like this contributes up to 3% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. But Farmers Pick saves both waste and costs by going straight to the source.

“We can effectively shorten the supply chain from farm to table,” says Ball, consistently making Farmers Pick up to 30% cheaper than supermarket fare. 

Otherwise, shoppers get stung paying more for food that only looks perfect. 

“Once our customers get over the fact that it might look a little bendy, weird, or funky, they keep coming back because of the freshness, taste, and convenience of having it just delivered to their doorstep,” says Ball, adding, “And the price.”

How much does Farmers Pick cost, and where does it deliver?

Collage of a city shopper carrying a bag of groceries.

Farmers Pick has four different-sized boxes of fresh produce you can subscribe to for weekly deliveries.

Varieties of fruit and veg
Feeds how many?
Solo Pick$396 kgSixteenOne adult
Couple Pick$4910 kgEighteenTwo adults
Family Pick$6515 kgTwentyFamily of four
Organic Pick$759 kg (organic)SixteenTwo adults

With every box purchased, Farmers Pick also donates one meal to people in need through its Australian-based charity partner OzHarvest.

Customers can edit, pause, or cancel their subscriptions at any time (though cancellations processed after midnight on Tuesdays may still incur costs).

At the moment, Farmers Pick ships to Victoria, New South Wales, and the ACT, covering both metropolitan and regional markets. Subscribers in metro areas get free delivery. For outer metro and regional areas, delivery costs $4.

What’s in the box?

Collage of a young woman holding a delivery basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Every box with Farmers Pick comes with seasonal produce sourced from local Australian farms, all wrapped in recyclable packaging. They also chuck in an eco-friendly ice pack in summer. 

Eaters of habit can rest easy, though – Ball reckons around 80% of the box says the same every week. Everyday staples include potatoes, onions, bananas, and apples. 

“Sometimes, we’ll have something random in the box. We put a dragonfruit in once, and people absolutely lost it,” he explains. “But every single week, we provide a recipe that’s curated by our in-house chef to help people address that box.”

“Because if you’re ultimately wasting it at the end of the week, it’s kind of defeating the purpose.” 

NOTE: Farmers Pick can tailor subscriptions to accommodate most allergies. Simply add your ‘unwanted items’ to a list at the checkout, and Farmers Pick will take care of the rest.

How to save money on groceries – tips from Farmers Pick

Collage of two people waving, one with a bag of fresh groceries.

Inflation has bitten a large chunk of our purchasing power this year, so finding ways to bite back is essential. Ball’s best cost of living tips? Eat it now, and buy hyper-seasonal.

“I have a bowl in my fridge, which is my ‘eat it now’ bowl,” he says. “If there’s something in the fridge that needs to be eaten, I put that in the bowl and make sure I eat it before it goes off.”

Using up everything in your fridge helps you get the biggest bang for your buck – otherwise, it’s all money down the drain.

“This piece of fruit has come all the way from the farm through the supply chain, it’s made it to the fridge – you paid for it – and then you’re just gonna throw it out? That’s the worst thing we can do.”

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Otherwise, Ball suggests loading up your grocery cart with only the most seasonal produce, since it tends to be much cheaper, more plentiful, and tastier.

“It’s everywhere in the news, and people are really feeling it in their back pockets at the moment,” says Ball.

“So, if there’s a chance to save some money here and there, eat seasonally, and be a little bit more flexible in what you accept visually in your food, there are some savings to be had.”

Looking for more cost of living tips? Browse our family finances hub. Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly insights.