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Find tutorials, recipes, and budgeting videos from me on my Youtube Channel!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fresh Produce on a Budget

Fresh Produce on a Budget - Have Fresh Produce All Month Long - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

Hi there! Are you ready to learn some more money saving tips? Well today I have another great post for ya. I am telling you how you can not only have fresh produce all month long, but save money at the same time. You with me? Well lets get started.....

So as you know I do once a month shopping. You can find out how I do that here. When I said I go once a month, I meant it. Meaning I buy my produce for the month. Yep I make my produce last for 28-31 days, depending on how long the month is. I know it seems absolutely bananas right? No pun intended:) Well I am going to take you through my process of how I make this work. Everything is a process with me. Remember I have been fine tuning this process for over 2 years. It is really simple when it is all laid out. It only takes a little bit of planning and effort, but it is so worth it in the long run. I always try to remember that the less I go to the store, the more we save. This is true because then I am not making frequent trips to the store purchasing things we really do have to have this month. This is what works for our family. I hope you will find it helpful.

When I am in the grocery aisle I look at the prices. I have a run down of prices in my head. I have done this so much that I can basically compare the prices in my head. I know the "good" price I like to get my produce for and I only buy it if it is in within that price range. This is a big deal. I know sometimes we can go to the store and just purchase what sounds good. Remember that fruit is seasonal. It you are buying fresh corn in the spring, then you know you will be paying a pretty penny for it. It is not worth it. Only buy what is on sale and in season. Bring your adds to the store with you and try to start keeping a little notebook in your purse. This way you can start recording the prices of produce. Over time you can see what are the best prices. Eventually you will have this down and not need the notebook anymore. I started out with a notebook and it helped heaps! Also places like Wal-Mart price match. If you see an item for cheaper at another store, bring in the add and show them at checkout. They will give you the item for that price. So for example, if you saw they were selling milk for $3.00 at Wal-Mart, but another store advertised it for $2.48, show them the add and they will give you the lower price. I do this sometimes too when I shop there. It rocks!

Back to the produce aisle.....
As I browse the selections I may see a great sale. For instance, watermelon was recently $.14 cents a pound. I ended up getting a 15 pound watermelon for a little over $2. I was beyond excited! I ended up bringing this cut up watermelon to two family dinners and was able to have some left over in my fridge for us to snack on and put in smoothies. I have also had great luck lately with strawberries. They are in season and are typically on sale, at great prices, around now. I just saw a 2 pound tub of strawberries for $1.50 I bought about 4 of them. So now your question for me must be, "How the heck will you eat 8 lbs. of strawberries before they go bad?" Well the answer is simple. I won't. I literally couldn't eat that many strawberries without actually turning into one. So what do I do? Well only what I do with everything..... I freeze them. Just like I freeze my milk, so we have it all month long, I do the same thing with fruits and veggies.

Fresh Produce on a Budget - Have Fresh Produce All Month Long - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

I bring all my fruits and veggies home and they get a good washing. I then cut off the stems and such. I place them in labeled freezer bags, seal, and then toss in the freezer. I bag them according to what I will do with them. I currently have a full bag of strawberries in my freezer. I will thaw these out later in the month and have strawberries in our oatmeal, put in baked goods, over our pancakes and waffles, and on crepes. My kids also love frozen berries in smoothies or just to snack on straight out of the freezer with some whip cream. I do this to all my fruits and veggies. Well, all the ones that are only fresh for a limited time. Fruits like bananas, berries, peaches, pairs, mangoes, and kiwis are what I call soft fruits. They damage and bruise easily. These fruits would not last all month long in a fridge. That is why I chop them up and freeze them. This allows my family to have fresh berries and such all month long. Smoothies are one of our favorite snacks. We just throw some milk and a handful of frozen fruit into the blender. It takes less than 5 minutes and then my kids have a healthy snack or a side to go with breakfast or lunch. Smoothies are our favorite! We also use leftover melon and fruit to make homemade Popsicles. I am going to post about this one soon.

I freeze raw veggies too! Carrots, celery, bell peppers, yellow onions, green onions, and potatoes. The only veggies I don't freeze are spinach, lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes. These get soggy if frozen. Everything else I have tried has worked out great! I clean, chop, and bag these babies. I also buy those bags of raw baby carrots (when on sale) and put them straight into the freezer. Then I add them to stews and such during the week in my crock-pot. Bell peppers and onions are diced and I add handfuls to my recipes to add flavor. This helps speed up my dinner prep and then I can add freshness to my recipes all month long. I love it! I try to get us eating our veggies anyway I can. So the more I can add to our dinners, the better!

So let me take you through this one more time how I freeze my veggies.....

Fresh Produce on a Budget - Have Fresh Produce All Month Long - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

I bring home my veggies and fruit and they get a good washing in the sink

Fresh Produce on a Budget - Have Fresh Produce All Month Long - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

I bring out the cutting board and get to cutting. I chop everything up at once, so then I don't have to worry about it later in the month. Grocery shopping days are full and busy, but then I don't have to worry or stress about it the rest of the month. One day of hard work is worth it. Also I like to make sure my fruits and veggies are as fresh as can be when I am freezing them.

Fresh Produce on a Budget - Have Fresh Produce All Month Long - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

I bag them, label and date them, and then toss them in the freezer.
 Easy Peasy.

Now don't worry I don't freeze all of the yummy fruits and veggies I buy. I only freeze the extras. The ones I know we will not be able to eat before they start to lose their freshness. The rest of the fruit and vegetables that are left, either on the counter or in the fridge, are used to snack on or are included in my meal plan. I use them with breakfast and lunch as side dishes. We typically eat our grapes, bananas, berries, avocados, lettuce, and tomatoes in the beginning of the month. I will plan meals that have salads as a side or as a main dish in the beginning of the month. For instance I have two heads of lettuce in my fridge right now. This upcoming week we will be having BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps, chef salad, and such for dinner. I want to make sure I incorporate all those fresh veggies into my meal planning this week. We will also do lettuce and tomatoes on our sandwiches. Yum!

Fruits like apples and oranges can last all month long and are still fresh until the end of the month. This is also the same for some veggies like celery and carrots. These vegetables we don't eat until later in the month. They will last, so I try to not offer them to my littles until after the middle of the month.

Fresh Produce on a Budget - Have Fresh Produce All Month Long - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

 Eating our fruits and veggies in order saves money. It allows us to shop once a month and still eat healthy. I even made you a quick cheat sheet up above. Gives you an idea of what types of fruits and veggies should be eaten each week during the month. If I notice something needs to be eaten, then I will browse my cookbooks for a recipe with that item. I then incorporate it into a current menu planned meal, or we will have it with a breakfast or lunch item. I just try to be aware of what is in my fridge. Wasted fruit and veggies, means wasted money and I hate that! Because of that, I stay on top of how everything is in my fridge. Be aware and use up what you got. Make sense?

I am also that lady in the family who will take home others leftovers from parties. I have no problem using up my siblings leftovers when they don't want to. Free food folks! I have a veggie tray in my fridge now from my nephews birthday party. My sisinlaw didn't want it, so I took it. I plan to juice them and add them to smoothies tomorrow. I am excited for that! Delish!

So there you have it. I hope that all made sense. Pretty simple right? Freezing your veggies and eating them in order is key to making your once a month shopping work for you. I know many of you have been filling my inbox with requests for this post. I hope it answered all your questions. I have many more ideas for saving money, which I will continue to share over the next few weeks. I love writing and sharing with all you lovely readers. You are all so encouraging. The only thing I do ask is please make sure you leave your e-mail in your comment if you want a reply. Many have left sweet comments and questions, but I have no way to reply. It breaks this bloggers heart. So add that e-mail and I will write back to you. Thanks lovelies!

Fresh Produce on a Budget - Have Fresh Produce All Month Long - Blissful and Domestic - www.blissfulanddomestic.com

Happy Saving Today Lovelies!

Check out my money saving tips on youtube!



If you have any questions shoot me an e-mail. 
with your e-mail address included 

Want to find out more ways to save money?
Check out some of my other posts:


Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half
Freezing Your Milk
Living on $14,000 a year
How Does She Q and A
Breakfast and Lunch: Meal Planning and Saving Tips 
Fresh Produce All Month Long
 Save Money at Costco
Menu Planning: Pantry Staples List
Weekly Menu Plans + Printable Shopping Lists

I also love these books for great money saving inspiration


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225 comments:

  1. This is fantastic x thank you do much x recently found your blog through pin interest and adore it! One question how do you get your carrots to last a month mine go off in a week! X
    Thank you
    Heather
    heathertaylor.bsah@gmail.com

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    1. ummm I don't know. I like to leave them in the fridge in my veggies drawer. I also will freeze raw carrots too

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    2. Every fridge is different and therefore the the times things will last is different too. One trick for carrots and celery is to put them in an airtight container and cover them with water. They won't dry out and can stay fresh longer.

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    3. I keep salads for a couple of weeks, prepare all the greens and firm veggies, carrots, celery, etc place in a bowl, don't add any dressings or croutons until ready to eat. Place dry paper towels over the salad, place the lid on and turn upside down when placing in the refrig. It is ready to eat, just take out and add tomatoes and other stuff, and dressing. The paper towel absorbs the water and helps keep the salad moist.

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  2. Great post! We are in the market for a freezer so we can start doing this. And we made frozen pops from leftover watermelon and blueberries the other day! The kids love them!

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    1. Maybe look on craigs list or ask around. You never know a family friend might be getting rid of one. We love it and it has made a huge difference in how we can shop. love that you did the Popsicle. I need to make some more with my littles

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    2. Look at Freecycle...Most major cities and counties have them...you might be able to get a freezer for completely 100% free! You'd be amazed what people give away and what you might have that you can give to someone else, no strings attached! As a college student, I asked for (and received) two complete folding table and chair sets, two lamps, a queen sized box spring and nearly every kitchen gadget I could imagine! I was able to "pay it forward" and get rid of one of the table and chair sets, an area rug I no longer needed, and a futon frame...everyone has the mattress, but sometimes the cheaper futon frames break so easily! I even had the instruction booklet if the new owner needed to dismantle it at all to move it from my porch. My roommate had several sets of the expensive acne wash you see infomercials for (I can't remember the name) and she gave those to teenagers who cried out for them AND a dog owner who's pooch had extremely sensitive skin (I'm a sucker for dogs!) Anyway, I happened to find a small chest freezer a couple of years ago just out on the curb...I asked the homeowner if anything was wrong with it, thinking it was broken...nope...they just got a bigger one! Right now, I'm living in a small apartment so my brother is currently making use of it, but once my husband and I get into our first home, it's finally coming with us for sure! I'm always running out of freezer space in my fridge! Love this blog!

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    3. Thank you so much for information. I have,a family of six, and so hard to save money. Thank you.

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  3. Great ideas, I never even thought to freeze my fruits and veggies. I will start doing this, thank you so much for posting!

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  4. Thank you for sharing these photos!Ihe foods look so tasty!!

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  5. Another fantastic post!! I love the idea of eating your produce in order...makes so much sense, but I had never thought of it! We do a neighborhood produce co-op, so we get ours every 2 weeks, lots of this tips will come in SO handy for me. Thanks a bunch!!

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    1. You are so welcome! Thanks a ton for stopping by:>

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  6. These foods look so fantastic!!!!!!love them!

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  7. Loving your tips for shopping once a month. I am reading you daily and working toward implementing this for our family. Thank you for all your hard work putting all this information together for all your "lovely readers"! ;)

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    1. Seriously this makes my day. Definitely gives me the motivation to write up more post. They take a lot of planning, thinking, and typing, but if it helps ya'll out I am so for it:>

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  8. Loving all your tips and advice for shopping once monthly. I am reading you daily, trying to soak up all the info you post and am currently working toward implementing once monthly shopping for our family. Thank you so much for all your hard work in sharing your knowledge with all us "lovely readers"! ;)
    shawnzi@satx.rr.com

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    1. You are so welcome and my readers truly are "Lovely" I love them all!

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  9. Yep, this page is a bookmarker for sure! Score with the 15 pound watermelon! Thanks so much for sharing all of this great information!

    Happy seeing beautiful!
    http://seeabeautifulworld.blogspot.com/

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  10. You are a total rock star!!! Thanks for sharing all those ideas.

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  11. one great way to save on your green onions - chop to just above where the white starts and then put the bottoms in a cup of water and the green tops will continue to grow in definitely. I saw it on pinterest and decided to try it and it really DOES work! i just make sure i dump and rinse the container and roots at least once a week, usually when i clip the stalks and chop em up. i dehydrate alot too! have you tried the rubber maid produce savers? they are fabulous. seriously it keeps my strawberries good for about a month or so, i think it's the little insert it has for the inside so air can freely flow around them. they are kinda pricey but worth it.

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    1. Man lady you are too dang smart. I am going to try this out. I know my littles will think it is cool too!

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    2. If you regrow your green onions in dirt instead of water (works the same way but I put them in a cup of water until the roots have grown out a bit first) they'll hold their flavor through more regrows. Because there are no nutrients in the water, after about the third regrow, they don't taste like much anymore.

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    3. If you just leave them in the water long enough for the roots to grow out a bit and then actually plant them in the dirt, you'll get better tasting onions on your regrows. Since there's no nutrients in water for the plant it will use up it's stores by the second or third regrow if there is no soil for it to draw from and then they have very little flavor.

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    4. I do this and it works wonders! I have two glasses of green onions always ready on my kitchen windowsill and it's wonderful! I also love having chopped veggies in the freezer to just grab. We have done garlic before when we had a farm share and received TONS of garlic at once. Use a garlic press and then spread the pressed garlic in a flat sheet on plastic wrap laid on top of a baking sheet. Once it's frozen break it into chunks and put into a freezer bag, then just break off a chunk anytime you need garlic in a recipe. It's wonderful!!!

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    5. I can get my blueberries, strawberries, black berries, raspberries and grapes to last a full two weeks in the frig without them even starting to get soft. As soon as I get home, I dump them in a large bowl, add about a tablespoon or two of white vinegar, stir them around and put them back in a paper towel lined tray they came in. I forget where I heard about this YEARS ago. Works like a charm. It kills the bacteria organism that causes them to spoil It might last longer, but my fruit gets eaten before they have ever went soft. :) Hope this helps! I'm a "frugal home school farming mom." Tongiefarm@aol.com

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    6. Do you rinse them or can you not taste the vinegar?

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    7. Do you rinse them or can you not taste the vinegar?

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  12. have you used your frozen fruit for homemade fruit roles? we were going out of town and i threw them in the freezer and figured i could try them for the fruit roles since it all has to be pureed anyways. i need to get a blender so we can start making smoothies. and how do u freeze your milk?

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    1. How have I not heard of this? So freakin awesome. On my must do list. Thanks for the tip:>

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  13. This makes so much sense. I've been having a blast shopping at Aldi's this summer, in particular for their fruits and veggies. Our sales run from Wed - Tues, so I shop on Tuesdays. Aldi's always has a fruit/veggie pick of the week that's marked down significantly and the manager told me that if he has too much of an item, then the price is marked way down on Tuesday. So for two Tuesdays in a row I was able to get blueberries for $0.99/pt. This week they had packs of the multi-colored bell peppers for $0.99. Now with what you've posted, I'm sure to be able to save. Thank you so much!

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    1. You totally scored! So sweet! Now you can freeze that fruit and have for later in the month or even next month. Yum!

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    2. Blueberries are especially freezer friendly. I put mine on cookie sheets in the deep freeze until they are completely frozen, and then into freezer bags to store. That way they are frozen separately, and you only remove what you need for smoothies. In strawberry season, I do the same thing, but I core them with a drinking straw first and cut them into slices (usually in front of the TV, as it's a bit time consuming). So much cheaper than buying frozen bags of fruit.

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  14. I just found your blog yesterday on pintrest and I'm smitten! Seriously I want to be you! Well I mean I want to do all the things you do for your family. I'm going to be incorporating your tips right away!! It's just me and my hubs right now but we are hoping to expand very soon. Your blog will be a huge help as we start our family! .

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    1. I am so glad to hear that this info will be of some use. Your comment makes me super duper happy!

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  15. How much do you typically budget for produce each month?

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    1. Usually between $25-$30. This gets us a huge amount to snack on, freeze, and have for meals.

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  16. How much do you typically budget for produce each month?

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    1. ummm around $25. I like to stay in that range. I can still get a huge amount of fresh fruits and veggies and freeze and eat raw. We love it!

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  17. I really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors for this blog.I will bookmark your blog and have my friends check up here often.This blog is valuvable for me.

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  18. Haha.It seems like you are going to make Chinese food.:)

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  19. I have been following your blog for a quite a while, it is really inspiring.I wanted to say thanks to you for this great read!!

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    1. I am so happy to have you as a reader and thank you for your sweet comment:>

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  20. HI!!! New reader here! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! So much helpful information. I have been wanting to try once a month shopping but I really didn't know how to go about it. I never thought to freeze milk! I also love fresh fruits and veggies, but I can never keep it fresh long enough. Every week I throw out produce and it makes me sick!!!!!!! My husband works full time, but I am a full time student. I am trying to find ways to save money and this is definitely going to help me. You have gained a DAILY reader in me!!!!!!!

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    1. I am so excited to have you as a reader. You are so super duper nice! I can't wait to share more fun post with you!

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  21. Your photos are always so gorgeous! This blog is perfect (:

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  22. Thank you so much for all the GREAT budget tips! We are a family of four on a tight budget too and I plan on working with my husband to implement as many ideas as possible as soon as possible. I never thought to freeze milk or fresh produce! I am becoming a follower as soon as I am done writing this comment! You ROCK!

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    1. No you rock lady! Thanks for following along:>

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    2. Hi I am a new reader as well. Stumbled across your blog on Pinterest and now I can't get off your blog!!!! Lol seriouly have about ten tabs open from diff links on or blog. Thank you so much for sharing! I def want to try the shopping once a month BC my hubby and I are constantly going to the grocery store and always walk out with stuff not on the list or that we don't need.thanks again for sharing!!! Oh and how do u freeze ur milk? ;)

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    3. Hi Danielle! I too am a new reader...stumbled across ur blog on Pinterest and I LOVE it!!! I seriously have like ten tabs open from links on ur blog I plan to read. I def am going to read into shopping once month. My husband and I are constantly going to the store and buying stuff for dinner here and there or I will go for toilet paper or toothpaste and walk out with so much crap we don't need. Lol thanks again for sharing!! Oh and btw, how do u freeze ur milk?? Look forward to reading more great ideas and incorporating them into our lifestyle. Thank you again!! :))

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  23. I live in Florida and right now Tomatoes are in Season. I got a bushel for ten bucks! I cut an x in the bottom(just piercing the skin and dropped them into my BIG stock pot of boiling water for a few minutes. I scoop them out as the skin started to peel away from meat of the tomato and into a colander to drain then to a baking rack to cool. I set up an assembly line and just kept boiling, draining and cooling. After they were cool peeled the skin off, put into Quart freezer bags, and into the freezer! Since they were fresh tomatoes they will last for months! I use them for fresh salsa soups and stews. Delish I did this last year and I had tomatoes into the fall!

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    1. That is so cool! love what you are doing with your veggies. My hubby loved this idea:>

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    2. My husband & I had a ton of tomatoes from our garden. I do the same thing in peeling & coring them, then freezing in zip lock bags. They're great in soups, stews, chili, or marinara sauce in the winter! We had home grown tomatoes all year long!

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    3. I did a worker share on a CSA farm for a couple of years and it was suggested to me that when time was short I could just wash whole tomatoes and freeze them as is. She said when I was ready to use them just rinse under water and the skin would come right off then I could core them. I did this and it worked great for soups, chili, sauces, etc.

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  24. Um...wow. This post just rocked my housewife world!!! I've thought once a month shopping would be great, but this was my hang-up. Oh, and I have a chest freezer sitting empty in my garage. Yeah.

    Seriously, thank you for writing this.

    Bobi
    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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    1. You just rocked my night. Thanks lady for your sweet comment:>

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  25. You always have such lovely photos :)

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  26. thank you so much for this post and the series, I've been wanting to do once a month shopping for a while now, but was worried about what to do about the fruit and veg. All i need now is a bigger freezer!! and I can't believe your carrots last the whole month, you must be buying super carrots or something, as i store mine in the veg compartment of my fridge and they only last the week

    xxxx

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    1. I don't do anything special to my carrots. I promise. I thought all carrots lasted that long:> haha

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    2. My carrots last a month in the veggie drawer too. I'm confused as to why others only last a week. Maybe it's the fridge temperature. Try making the fridge a little colder.

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    3. My carrots always last a full month if not a little while longer if i dont use them all by then :)

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    4. I buy 2-3 bags when on sale for a buck. My bottom compartment has meat and set cold enough to barely get a freeze on the edges...I think it is meant for veggies..but I like the meat on the bottom to avoid drips onto my other foods. Anyway usually put my carrots on the shelf above and they easily last a few weeks. But my kids eat them with dressing, with vinegar and salt, to be used in dinners, etc....If they start to slime a bit a good rinse is all thats needed to make them edible....thought usually at that point a microwave them with some vinegar, salt, and dill weed..just long enough to take the crunch out...But then my kiddos love anything with a pickly taste

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  27. I am a little confused about bananas? For years i have put the bunch in the freezer when they would get too brown and then make bread. But do you do something different? Like cut them and then freeze? Kiwis and mangoes too?? Thanks for sharing all your info, I just discovered you last week!:)

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  28. I am confused about the bananas? Do you cut them and freeze them? Kiwis and mangos too? Thanks for sharing all your info,so glad i found you last week! :)

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    1. Yep I cut them up and freeze them. Haven't done mangos or kiwis but I don't know why you couldn't. They would make yummy smoothies:>

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    2. Mangos freeze really well....awesome in smoothies afterward!

      PS....love your posts...keep it coming.

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  29. Here is a link I found when googling freezable fruits and veggies:

    http://mobile.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101_basics_techniques/kitchen_tips_techniques/how_to_freeze_16_fruits_and_vegetables

    Hope this helps everyone out!

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  30. So I just found your blog and I love it. We are living on an even tighter budget right now and so I'm desperately searching for ways to really save money. I will be watching you blog from here on out. Thank you for your wonderful advice.

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    1. Thank you so much! I have a lot more money saving posts in the works:>

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  31. Mouthwatering AND informative - thanks for sharing!

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  32. Love your blog. So much great advice. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on all of this! I do have a question for you in regards to your once-a-month grocery trip. We are in the military and, as you know, don't know when we will have a home with a deep freezer. I was wondering what tips or advice you may have on saving money on groceries when we only have a stand-up fridge/freezer.

    I also love that you are so passionate about what you are blogging. I just started a blog, myself, to also share tips, resources, and thoughts on what I am passionate about. Saying this, I would love if you could share some tips or resources on getting started with blogging. I am a little confused and overwhelmed by it!

    http://inspiredhealthyliving.wordpress.com/

    Thanks!
    Danielle

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    1. I do have a revamping your blog series you should check out. You will find in my sidebar under the tags. Also when we were in the military I shopped every 2 weeks when we got paid. I went the day after payday, so the Commissary wasn't was full. Also just plan everything and shop for only those two weeks in regards to your freezer. Try to freeze things flat so they take up less from. that will probably help a lot. Feel free to stock up on cupboard items if you have the room. Hope this helps:>

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  33. Great ideas! I also have a copy of America's Cheapest Family--very inspiring. One thing you said about not freezing spinach: when I buy the big Costco bag of spinach, I will chop and cook what we don't need for salad, then freeze in serving size bags. We love having spinach eggs, and the small bags of spinach thaw quickly. Then you just squeeze out the extra water between paper towels and it's ready to add to your eggs.

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    1. Oh man what a fabulous idea. So doing this. Thanks for all the ideas everyone is sharing! awesome!

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    2. I saw on pinterest that lettuce can be stored in mason jars in the fridge and it will keep for a long time. You can probably google it to find out how!

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    3. Fresh spinach can also be frozen. It doesn't work in salads but you can throw a few leaves in smoothies and still get all the nutrients that are lost when you cook spinach. You can't even tell there's spinach in the smoothie.

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  34. This is so great! I am a HUGE produce eater, and I honestly didn't know that celery or cukes last that long! I only ever get a few at a time, so they don't make it that long before I eat them, but knowing that I can keep them fresh, I will be sure to stock up when I see them on sale.

    Another tip - you can freeze avocados! I just peel and quarter them or chop them and freeze like anything else - they go great in smoothies. They aren't the best for guacamole after being frozen, but they also work in chilled soups.

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    1. I didn't know about the avocados and never thought to put them in smoothies. Thanks for the tip!

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    2. We use frozen, then thawed avo's for guac all the time and it is a great and easy side dish for when friends come over! We actually make guac and then freeze it but leave chunks in it so it isn't completely creamy. Toss it in the fridge to thaw and add fresh diced tomatoes and cilantro right before serving (we put lime and a little sour cream in it before we freeze it, then vacuum seal it in bags). It's fantastic and nice when you're making a meal and want friends to be able to snack while they wait!

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  35. What a great post, I may need to give this a try. Now I know what things I can freeze and what I cannot.

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  36. These are some really great tips! I hate grocery shopping - I should try it so I would only have to go once per month. Visiting from CreatCraftLove linkup :)

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    1. Thats why I love it. It makes me love grocery shopping again!

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  37. Do you re-use all your ziploc bags?

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    1. for bread I do, but not when I store leftovers. I actually though just invested in some tubberware (BPA free), so I won't have to buy as many baggies each month.

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    2. We have a small counter vacuum sealer and it has saved a ton of money! You can re-use the bags, just wash out after you cut just below the old seal line. I freeze extra chicken stock when I make it into ice cubes and vacuum seal them: 8 cubes is 1 cup, etc. You can cut a corner off, take out a few cubes to add to recipes, then just re-seal it. I also freeze packs of "dinner ready" veggies, like bags of sliced tri-colored peppers (if I can get them for a good price) and slices of onions. Thaw them in the fridge before you leave for work, toss them into a pan with sliced chicken and add some fajita mix and bam! Simple easy meal with "fresh" veggies! It is an initial investment but if you get the rolls (they also have coupons frequently which helps), you can make any size bag that you want and re-seal as needed. It's been a huge time and money saver for us!

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  38. I am loving this series! I have thought about doing a once a month shopping but wondered how to do produce with that. I never thought of frozen produce as fresh? I do freeze a lot of produce especially berries and some veggies when I find a good sale I stock up with enough of that item to freeze for several months to a year (depending on how often that item usually goes on sale). But I do love fresh fruit. Especially in the summer, there are so many great fruits available in the summer and I love them fresh/unfrozen. I will eat a huge (mixing) bowl of nectarines in a week, maybe two if I have a lot of other fruit available. I have recently cut down to every other week shopping because I agree, I spend more if I go every week. But I am not sure if I could go just once a month in the summer.

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  39. It is hard because I too love fresh produce. I just stretch it out as long as I can because we literally don't have the money to keep going back to the store. When my hubby eventually finishes school and makes more money buying fresh produce every week will probably become a splurge for me. My tips are just making life work for you. So many people are in economic stress and you have to change your ways to make things work. Some are not always fun:>

    You can also plan your meals by the week and shop that way. Then you have fresh produce and are meal planning which will have you save as well!

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    1. We do weekly meal planning/shopping and don't go out again. We are on a tight budget also, I have $37 per week to make 7 meals (with leftovers for my husband and my lunch the next day), fresh fruits and veggies for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and if we can afford, snacks (which we usually can't but that is an easy way to get my husband to not have junk food!). I don't think we could do once per month because of how our paychecks are spaced out. That way we can get fresh produce every week and take advantage of the different weekly sales on things. If you get a brand of veggies or fruit, it also helps to email the company with positive comments, they will send you coupons which are rare and REALLY help with the fresh stuff! You get very creative when you have to! Love your ideas :)

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  40. Your an amazing writer :) I have really enjoyed reading your posts.

    We are a military family and I used to shop every 6 weeks (farmers market every 3 for produce)for hubby and I. Once we had our littles I quit, it just seemed like to much work. We are trying to buy a house and starting to strictly budget again. You have reminded me why it used to work and I am going to be switching to that schedule again. Thank you for your inspiration :) keep on going.

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  41. I'm not sure if you know this or not, but another way to keep things like berries fresher for longer is to rinse them in a mixture of water/vinegar (10 parts water, 1 part vinegar) for about 5 minutes. Then drain and put in bags or whatnot. It kills all the mold spores and any germs that are on them, and means they last a week or so longer than normal.

    This is a great blog. Thank you for sharing your information. I have been trying really hard to figure out how to go about creating and sticking to a budget, and I am finding your posts a GREAT source of inspiration.

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    1. I didn't know that, but will definitely be trying it out:> Thanks for the tip

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    2. I just tried using the water/vineger mixture and my strawberries lasted almost 3 weeks - I couldn't believe it!

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    3. I have done this also! I fill my sink when I get home, add vinegar, dump all my fresh fruits and veggies in, and let them sit for a while. You will be surprised at all the "yuckies" that are in your water when your done!! But you feel much better eating it afterwards :)

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  42. How many freezer bags do you go through??? They are expensive...Do you reuse them?

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    1. I do reuse as many as I can. I also just invested in some great Tupperware, so we can save more on not buying as many zip-lock bags:)

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  43. You have inspired me to shop only once a month! I just told my husband you are my hero! I currently shop every 2 weeks but HATE having to do it. A large portion of my groceries are fresh produce so was never sure how to go less than every 2 weeks, but now I know I can! Thank you so much for all your great tips!

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  44. I buy romain lettuce at Costco and then wash and spin it. Then we roll it up in paper towels and put it in ziplock bags... It can last up to a month!

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    1. That is a wonderful tip! My husband loves the iceburg lettuce instead but I shall try the wash, spin and roll method and see if I can get the lettuce to last longer than now. :D

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    2. I think the trick to this, is the paper towel.... I buy iceburg lettuce and put it in a zip lock bag with a paper towel. I don't wrap the lettuce in the paper towel, just toss a paper towel in the bag with the lettuce. My lettuce lasts a lot longer than if you don't do this. I have had it last up to a month doing this. Don't know why it works, but it does for me!

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  45. I discovered your blog through Pinterest and I am loving it! I've been browsing through your once a month shopping and other posts and feel a bit more inspired to stretch my shopping out to maybe every 2 weeks. Great tips on freezing the fruits and veggies that will go bad before the month is over, I must implement that!

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  46. Zucchini freezes great if you shred it. That way you can use it in breads and other such things.

    Also, how do you freeze your celery? Do you freeze it by the stalks? Do you dice it? And do you find them to still be crispy after being frozen?

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  47. Thanks for all your posts! I work part-time now, and every little bit saved is a huge help! My hubby thanks you too!

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  48. Hi! I am a new reader and I love the tips!! I am soooo excited because I love to save and shop!! :) This will be on my to do list for this weekend! One question...your potatoes and apples: how do you freeze them? is there something extra you should do after cutting and washing them before putting in freezer bags to freeze them?

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    1. I don't freeze apples. They are pretty good at lasting the whole month. Also potatoes can usually last me the whole month as well. I do freeze them sometimes though, when they are on sale. I wash them, cut, and then freeze them. I then use them in soups and such.

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  49. This is so awesome. Its just my daughter and I but we are on a fixed income. I want us to start eating healthier and this is a great start to plan ahead! You are smart :)

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  50. Thank you so much for posting this blog. I found you on pinterest and am totally hooked on all your great ideas. I have a family of 6 and find myself spending so much at the grocery store that we have no $ for fun things.. I am definitely starting these tips you have immediately... Cant wait. Thank you for taking the time to share your tips with those of us that need it.

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  51. Frozen spinach works in smoothies and you can't even taste it!

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  52. Mind Blown! Good for you, you Domestic Goddess! I was praying/searching for inspiration/motivation to conquer our tight family budget and pinterest led me here. Thank you so much for taking the time to share, heaven knows you have more important things to spend your time on:red-headed littles how cute!

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  53. Mind Seriously Blown. You just go ahead you Domestic Goddess you! I was stressing and praying for motivation/inspiration to renovate our family budget. Then, Pinterest/Heaven (same thing right) led me here. So grateful that you take the time to share your hard earned life lessons with complete strangers. Baby steps, right lol? Once a week grocery trips would be an improvement for me but I can dream of once a month grocery tips along with a smaller waistline and sugar free diet!

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  54. Hi,

    I just found your website so I haven't read everything yet. Love it though! I did want to say if you don't do this already. GROW a garden, any space will work. We are growing a garden this year and so far this month we have gotten over 50 lbs of produce from it. I am amazed at how much a garden will produce. If you don't already I would recommend the square foot method if you are low on space. I freeze most of my garden and we have it all year! I did shred and freeze zucchini last summer and we just finished it. We used it in soups, sauces, and sweet bread. I also bottle when there isn't freezer room or dehydrate too. During the summer we pretty much don't buy any produce at the stores, just bananas. My neighborhood has a crop and drop where anyone can take their over abundance of garden to share, or take what they want. Last summer I was able to get all the tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and hot peppers I needed to make salsa. I just froze it and when there was enough I made bottled salsa. Your website is amazing and I can't wait to try out some of your ideas! I hope this helps too.

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    1. Yes, this really helps a lot! We have literally used all our spaces we could outside to garden! Made a garden with old bricks in the backyard, using our front "flower bed" for root veggies and vining veggies, in pots outside, everywhere! Also compost your fruit scraps, veggie scraps, lawn clippings, leaves, coffee grounds (I am a weirdo and take the K-cups from work, tap out all the coffee grounds into our compost bowl, and recycle the rest), egg shells, whatever you can compost to make amazing FREE nutrient packed dirt that goes right back into the food you grow! Also, you can get a pretty good deal on starter fruit trees that, if you have any sort of a back yard, will produce great fruit for you also! Same with bushes (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry). Hook up a few barrels up to your downspouts and you have a rain barrel with free water to grow your free produce! We try to be as self sufficient as possible, it gives you such a sense of accomplishment! :)

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  55. Did you know you can plant the roots of green onions and they will produce more onions pretty much forever? Look it up on pinterest or google! I heard about it and asked some friends who said it works (you pretty much keep the white parts and a little of the green above it and place the root in some water and it will continue growing - you just cut off the tops when you need some). I heard that they eventually get gross or die if they're only in water so I put mine in some soil in a plastic cup and have it in my window...so happy about that find!

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    1. You can also do that with romaine lettuce AND celery! We have done it and it actually worked. I was not sure if it would really work but it did! If you have a garden, you can transplant it outside and let it do it's thing!

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    2. I've done the green onions trick for regrowing them, but not sure how the celery and lettuce would work? Any links for pics/step by step instructions?

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  56. Great ideas and suggestions, thanks for your post!

    I freeze spinach all the time, you just chop it up and boil it slighly...then strain the water out and cool for a little..then put it in ziplock baggies...
    I use it in soups and also we make a breakfast dish with scrambled eggs that we add the spinach to.

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  57. You may have answered this but I didn't read through all the comments do I apologize if this is a duplicate question. I don't like freezing strawberries bc they are soggy when you thaw them. Is there a trick to keeping them firm? I have wasted so many strawberries lately bc I can't freeze them.

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  58. I don't know if this has been answered bc I haven't read through all the comments. So if it has I apologize.

    I can't freeze strawberries bc when you thaw them they are soggy. Is there a way to freeze them to keep them from doing that?

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  59. I love this. YOu have so many wonderful ideas. I live in Upper East Tn and gardening and canning have always been a big thing here in my family. I try to grow at least a half acre garden every year with corn, tomatos, green beans, squash, and anything else I can. I never buy canned veggies, haven't in years, and put up everything I can including making my own spaghetti sauce and tomato juice. I also freeze my cabbage. If you blanch it before you bag and freeze it it keeps pretty good. We also invested in a vacume sealer which has been a HUGE help in saving money on meat and I have started using it to freeze my green beans and squash and other veggies to free up my jars for other things when I can. You have some wonderful ideas and tips on your blog and I can't wait to try making my own breads and freezing my milk (we go though both like crazy). Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. Can't wait to try them all!

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  60. I like my fresh veggies and salad too much to shop once a month, but I do shop only twice a month. Costco milk is awesome and will last me forever past the sell by date so I don't have to worry about freezing it. I do agree that shopping seasonally, on sale and freezing (esp. asparagus nom!) is the way to go. We have a Winco semi near us and their bulk food section is where I buy my specialty flours and organic supplies. I use the large food storage containers from Costco (sold for pet food) to keep my large bulk supplies in and I reuse the nut containers (think cashews,etc.) from Costco for things like cocoa powder, coconut flakes, baking soda... I print cute labels off my computer.

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  61. I don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but there is really no need to ever buy green onions- just buy a big bunch and put them in a container with water. They will grow and grow, and you just cut it off and use or freeze it. :)

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  62. HELLO!!! I am a brand new reader and I will have to say I am going to be reading your blogs religously! you have so many great ideas and tips. Some of which I have already started doing before. Freezing milk?! How amazing is that! I would have never thought of it.. and your eat in order list will definately come in helpful. I am super excited to start extending my saving.. and *ah-hem* budgeting.. lol I am horrible, but getting better. But enough of that. I have just started trying to grow me some garlic heads. I used old pop bottles cut them in half and made little planters. The driking half I filled with dirt and place in a clove of garlic that was starting to root and the bottom half I filled with water! OH I took electrical tape and covered the cut edges becuse they were kind of sharp. I am sure you can decorate the bottle if really want to.. I haven't yet, testing the idea first. LOL But soo far it is starting to take root and grow. I will let you know how it works. I am sure you could do the same with the green onions like the comment above. Upcycling! Gotta love it!
    Thanks Again!! I look forward to reading more!!

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  63. Another suggestion is freezing herbs. If you find herbs on sale (or a friend who has too many in their garden), you can chop and freeze many herbs by putting them in ice cube trays and filling with water. If you measure out 1T servings, it makes them super easy to serve later in soups and sauces. So far, I've only tried it with cilantro and it's worked really well. Thanks for all the great ideas!

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  64. Really love this blog with all the $ saving tips for families... the comments are great too! Thank you for sharing... our world is a great place!

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  65. I love this blog! Thank you so much for sharing, I had a question about what do you do about eggs?

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    1. I usually buy 5-10 dozen eggs each month. They last the whole month. We use them in all kinds of baking. We have them for breakfast. I usually scramble them. I do at least a dozen or two hard boiled also. We have those for snacks for in salads.

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  66. Thank you for all your helpful posts! I've just recently discovered your blog and hubby and I have been trying to budget and get all our finances in line! Your site will be very helpful. Thank you again!

    Here are a couple things we've found helpful with fresh fruits and veggies that you may want to try:

    Wrap Celery, Green Onions, Lettuce heads, etc.. in tin-foil. All the way around, no gaps. They will stay crisp for weeks!! You'll have to watch in your climate but I've had amazing results with this tip.

    When you get your strawberries and other "delicate" berries and fruits home, drop them in a tub of cold water and white vinegar for about 3-5 minutes. Keep them submerged as much as possible and gently cycle them around. This will clean them (YAY!) and kill the nasty ickys that grow fuzz and softness on them so fast! Just pull them out of the water (keep the dirt and stuff on the bottom) and let them drain (No, don't rinse! The vinegar will be gone once they dry). We've had strawberries actually last 3 weeks doing this!

    I hope you might find these tips helpful and wish you a beautiful day!

    Julie D (wickedhazel@hotmail.com)

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  67. Just an FYI. Avocados can be frozen too! Just slice open, remove the pit and freeze. I wrap mine in Saran wrap then place in a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible. Now I wouldn't use them to top a salad because of some discoloration, but in recipies, Smoothies or gruacamole it works awesome!

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  68. Thank you so much for taking the time to write your blog. You have so, so much useful info. I am looking at ways to save money so that I can be a stay at home mom to my little girl. Your blog is a godsend! Keep up the amazing work! (armstrongcristina@hotmail.com)

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  69. I AM OBSESSED with this post! Love the healthy options and keeping the produce fresh all year long. Thank you for the tips! I hope my blog becomes as admired as yours! :)

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  70. I freeze my tomatoes all the time..I use them to make chili, spaghetti sauce, etc. Good post and good read. :)

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  71. Just so you know; I do freeze my tomatoes all the time to make spaghetti sauce, chili, etc with it. Good blog!

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  72. I do freeze zucchini. When we had a garden I would have a whole freezer shelf full of it. I would take out the seeds and shred it. Put it in a colander and squeeze out as much juice as I could, (I froze the juice separate to cook with or add to soups) and froze in two cup packages. I used it mostly to bake Zucchini bread which my kids LOVE for breakfast and snacks. I also found it to be a good hamburger stretcher when making spaghetti and such. I would use half as much hamburger and add the zucchini.

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  73. I always wondered how people did it with fresh produce when they only shop once a month. If it is frozen, then it really isn't 'fresh' anymore, but I can see how you can get a lot more use out of it. Have you heard of Bountiful Baskets? It is a food co-op and you can get a TON of fresh, local produce for relatively inexpensive. The only downside is that you don't choose what you get, so you sort of just have to make it work!

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  74. Hi there! I love your blog. I read this recently and pinned it to do an experiment in my classroom: The next time you have green onions, don't throw away the white ends. Simply submerge them in a glass of water and place them in a sunny window. Your onions will begin to grow almost immediately and can be harvested almost indefinitely. We just use kitchen scissors to cut what we need for meals. I periodically empty out the water, rinse the roots off and give them fresh water.It came from this bloghttp://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2011/03/putting-food-by-beef-onions-and-vanilla.html

    I thought it might help you be a little more saving savy:)

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  75. Not sure if my first one went through, but here's another try, (sorry if it shows up twice:)
    I love your blog and I usually shop weekly, but I am going to try to shop less often(I may have to gradually make it up to the monthly shopping trip). I found this helpful tip and wanted to try this in my classroom as an experiment.

    The next time you have green onions, don't throw away the white ends. Simply submerge them in a glass of water and place them in a sunny window. Your onions will begin to grow almost immediately and can be harvested almost indefinitely. We just use kitchen scissors to cut what we need for meals. I periodically empty out the water, rinse the roots off and give them fresh water.
    I found this helpful tip on this blog, maybe it will help you grow in your money saving savy ways;)
    http://homemadeserenity.blogspot.com/2011/03/putting-food-by-beef-onions-and-vanilla.html

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  76. You mentioned freezing potatoes; how do you do that? I'm enjoying your blog, which I found recently.

    Thanks!

    titus2woman57@ yahoo.com

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  77. I saw the pic of your knife and cutting board for chopping green onions and had to post. One way to be efficient with one-a-month shopping and prepping all the food for the freezer is having a good set of knives and learning how to use them properly. Watch some youtube videos or practice so wielding one will likely half your prep time. Also, for green onions, I use scissors to snip snip much faster than chopping. Hope that may help someone. I'm all about efficiency in the kitchen!

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  78. I just ran across this blog. I like a lot of your ideas, but this one I found strange. There really is no need to freeze potatoes, onions or any other similar veggies (where we eat the root part). You can store them in a dark & cool place all winter and they will stay just the same they were after picking. More room in the freezer!

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  79. great ideas! i will be incorporating some of these. my problem is with 4 growing boys, one week of groceries fills my entire cart! i'm thinking i might do a modified version... every 2 weeks?
    also, FYI, avacados keep great in the fridge! we do it all the time.

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  80. how do you prevent your washed and cut up veggies from freezing in a lump? Do you freeze them in portions or freeze them in a big bag all together?

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  81. Do you think I could just throw my potatoes in the freezer, like the baby carrots.

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  82. Can you just freeze your potatoes in the bag, just like the baby carrots?

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  83. Joyce, I do know that you can spread fruits or chopped veggies on a baking sheet, cover, freeze, then pour into a freezer bag & stick em back in the freezer. That way they freeze individually, and are less likely to lump. However, it does take up a lot of freezer space at first.

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  84. Hi, my name is Pam, and I just posted anonymously because I don't have any of the accounts mentioned. I am new to your blog, found it on Pinterest, and am reading older posts. I am finding great info, so thanks! One question - can you cut up and freeze fresh broccoli? I'm not sure if it would turn mushy. Thanks!

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  85. I noticed several people asked if you reused your ziplock bags. My used, dirty ziplocks are sealed, and placed in a can with a lid. They get a second use when food scraps are sealed in them before putting them in the trash. It helps keep the trash can fresh until trash day. It feels better to get a second use out of the bags before they become trash.

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  86. You can freeze so many more things and keep it from getting mushy when thawed by blanching it first. It only takes a couple of extra minutes and the quality of the thawed food is so much better. If you freeze it on a sheet pan and then transfer to a baggie it prevents a giant lump of vegis so you can just get out the little bit that you need with out a ice pick! Also you can freeze eggs if they are about to expire. Just crack them in a bowl scramble and pour into ice cube trays or you can freeze just the whites and yolks separately the same way.

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    1. I LOVE your extra advice. I never thought about using a sheet pan to individualize items, and the whole "one big frozen lump" was kind of one of the reasons I hadn't wanted to try freezing produce. WELL DONE YOU!!

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  87. Thank you for this post! I read this after reading your "once-a-month-shopping" post. one of our bigger new years resolutions is paying off some of our debt, which in turn affects my budget for groceries. I go to the store often, and always seem to buy a lot junk/processed stuff. after reading the OaMS post and this one, i feel much more confident in my abilities for providing tasty, healthy, AND affordable meals for my family of three! Thanks so much!

    Rebecca Woodin

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  88. I love frozen grapes. Even better than fresh sometimes. I love your blog, lots of great ideas. I am at your beginning state, i.e., spending queen, I seriously need to budget.

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  89. We only eat organic fruits and veggies so it will cost me a little more but I think I can still make it work. Do you freeze your bananas out of the peel? neenstie@aol.com

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  90. Thank you for this post. I live alone and hate being wasteful. With this info, maybe I can take advantage of the baskets at the farmers market.

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  91. I have just recently become unemployed so my husband and I are somewhat forced to reduce our spending. This is a fantastic post and are so excited to sit down today and get started!! The only question I have is where would you have someone start? We agreed to set a budget tonight, so would you suggest my next start be to shop once monthly? How did you get started, it all seems a little overwhelming. THANKS!

    Bri Riley- rileybrianna.815@gmail.com

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  92. Hi, LOVE your blog! Please help me understand. When you freeze veggies, do you only use these veggies for cooking afterward? or do you actually eat the thawed veggies raw? Thanks
    Natalie nnesespope@gmail.com

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    1. The only veggies I have frozen (besides the obvious pre packaged frozen mixes) are baby carrots. I have not tried eating them thawed, but I will tell u that they are very watery, slimy and almost feel rubbery when thawed. HOWEVER they cook up WONDERFULLY in a crock pot . Honestly, I think they hold flavor in a pot roast much better than straight from the store. They are not slimy, rubbery or watery (nor dry either) when cooked in a crock pot.

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  93. I have been freezing milk for a couple of years now. I recently heard a nasty little rumor floating around that by summer milk could be 5$ a pop!! I can hardly afford 3$ a gal!!! I have one PICKY milk drinker. I used to buy and freeze 2% but he always complained that it tasted too watery. So I up graded to whole milk. Most of the time whole is a tad more expensive than 2% but the way I see it, my son, our only milk drinker, wont drink the frozen/thawed 2%. But when I thaw a whole milk gal he dont taste the difference. He says it tastes like 2% PROBLEM SOLVED! A few things u mentioned that u DID NOT freeze I have been freezing for a while now. Such as avocados. The trick there is 1 peel skins and remove pit. Spray with lemon juice so it wont brown, pop them in the freezer bag and thats it. I also freeze Bananas, same concept, peel and freeze. NOW they are brownish and slimy when thawed but that makes for a perfect banana for home made banana bread. We are not citrus eaters but I do a ton of home made baking so lemon, orange and lime zest/juice is always something needed. I will get a bag of lemons when on sale, juice and zest about half the bag and freeze. the other half I just pop those babies in the freezer as is. We do go thru a fair amount of lemons all year. For fish in the winter months and lemonade syrup in the summer.

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  94. ALSO! if ur a crafty person like me, boil those left over avocado skins to make a dye for fabrics or a unique wood stain. On material it makes the most beautiful vintage dusty rose color!
    Those can be frozen until ready to use as well!!

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  95. I want to let you know that I freeze spinach and it works out great! It is seriously one of the best ways for me to get greens into lots of meals. I buy it on sale - organic as often as possible. I wash it fresh and let it dry a bit. Then I put it on a cookie sheet and let it freeze. After frozen, I put it in a big labeled plastic bag. Letting it freeze on the cookie sheet 1st helps it not be one big clump in the bag. I put it in spaghetti sauce, in eggs, in casseroles, on pizza. My 3 year old eats it all the time without even noticing. Try it!

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  96. Your ideas are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. We're expecting our very first baby in about a month. My mom purchased us a deep freeze for my birthday/x-mas gift (along with a car detailing! I love it) I didn't know much about freezing food, other than prepping meat and throwin it in there for a later time, so I scavenged the book store for some books and found two amazing books that provide information and recipes for freezing. I've made several recipes already and am loving how it all works! Now, with this amazing information and the resources your blog has given me, I'm ready to move into the next stage of freezing and saving money (and trips to the store!). Thank you so much, you are absolutely amazing :)

    ~jasmine
    j.crosley@yahoo.com

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  97. Everything sounds amazing. Thank you for the great advice. What I would have trouble with is looking at ads and seeing a great deal and not being able to resist going to the store again. Any advice? of course I could throw out the ads and not look at them but it would be hard to resist.

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  98. How do you freeze potatoes? I've tried this and they tasted horrible afterwards.

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  99. We live in an area with a lot of u-pick farms, we pick peaches, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries and freeze them for use in the winter. We also pick apples and make our own applesauce to put in the freezer. Tomatoes are put on a cookie sheet with garlic and olive oil, roasted then pureed(seeds and skin included)into roasted tomato garlic sauce, frozen, and used for spaghetti sauce, soup, casseroles and such.

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  100. Any tips on pre cutting apples for snacks during the week without them turning brown?

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  101. I freeze grapes. My kids love them frozen. That way you can take advantage of sales. Don't thaw, just eat. They are like little frozen candy balls. Yummy.

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  102. How do you store food for a whole month in your fridge? I understand the freezer part but 5+ dozen eggs, milk, and produce. How do you fit it all? I shop one week at time because of produce/foods that need to be refrigerated, but I'd love to do it less often. Do you have more than one fridge? I live in a warm area so I can't keep produce long outside of the fridge. Thanks, cshatch@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi there. I have one fridge/freezer combo, a freezer chest, and I use mason jars, tubberware, and 5 gallons food storage tubs to store all my food and grains

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  103. How do you freeze your carrots? I buy the big ten pound bag at Costco for $4 and then peel and chop them up into sticks at home, I've tried freezing them, but once they defrost they are mushy and gross.

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    Replies
    1. I just buy, wash, chop, and freeze. I only freeze what I am going to cook, since they will come out mushy.

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  104. Another option with lemon juice is to freeze it in ice cube trays, or i use ice cube bags. So in the middle of winter when everyone has the flu a cube is the right size for a hot lemon drink, just add hot water, honey, ginger and panado to taste!

    Also love frozen grapes, and as we can't eat all our grapes when they come ready this is a great solution.

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  105. Love your post! I have been trying to freeze things more but was discouraged recently after thawing out some potatoes I had cut up and frozen. They were black and soggy. What did I do wrong?
    ~Jessica @ pharmgirl1986@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. don't thaw them out. Just throw them into soups and such as is. Then they won't get all grouse

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  106. I have read through a handful of your main posts and a few other fun ones! So glad I came across your blog & I now want a separate freezer! Going to check out the book you suggested "America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams". Thank you!

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  107. you can also stick the white ends of green onions in a glass of water after using them and cutting them to that point, and in about a week you will have a brand new bunch of green onion, they latterly grow overnight!!

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  108. What a clever way to shop!!! I'm amazed. I do freeze my extra tomatoes and in the winter I put in chili and soup. It gives you that fresh tomato taste.

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  109. Great ideas! I noticed you have avocado on your list to eat quickly...I leave mine out on the counter until they feel soft and ripe, and then I stick them right in the refrigerator. I've had them last for well over a month. They are a staple in my house. I eat at least 3 or 4 a week. :)

    Aloha,
    Charlie

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  110. Total grammar Nazi comment but the abbreviation for advertisement is "ad" not "add"...

    Love your blog though! Great information about saving money!!! Thank you for posting all your tips!

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  111. There are so many comments on this great post that I didn't read through them all so don't know if this has been said or not. But, the last time I bought green onions, I put the whole bunch in a cup of water. Once the roots had plumped up again, I planted them in a small container of potting soil that sits in my kitchen window. When I need chopped green onions I take my kitchen scissors and cut some off and chop them up. Then, the onions grow new green parts. I've had these going since Thanksgiving so it's working great for me and I haven't bought any new green onions since. Of course, this won't work if you use the whole onion but is a money saver if you can get by with only using the green part.

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  112. Great, in theory... but if you're a family of raw fruit & veggie eaters like us, it doesn't really work :o( My kids also love smoothies with breakfast except we use almond milk, avocados and baby spinach with our other fruit & veg add-ins - great for protein, fibre and a healthy fat boost! Wondering if you use 'green' freezer bags to cut down on the cost (and non-environmental) factor of using so many freezer bags or if you have any tips on other environmentally-friendly freezing options???

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  113. Just as another money-saving idea and some food for thought: buying pre-frozen veggies from the freezers at the grocery store can actually be a better value and potentially fresher, as backwards as that may seem. I have looked into it and the 'fresh' produce that sits out on display at stores has been picked, stored, transported, stored again, etc to a point that leaves it devoid of many of the nutrients it once contained. When you buy frozen veggies, most places producing them will pick them and freeze them either the same day or close to it. Testing has shown that fruits/veggies frozen after picking maintain a higher amount of the benefits you get from produce as apposed to the ones that sit and sit and sit until you buy them and finally freeze them yourself.

    Just something to think about :) My husband and I buy our onions, carrots, apples, and citrus fresh, but buy most of our broccoli, green beans, peas, cauliflower, chopped veggie mixes, and berries frozen.

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  114. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog and am really inspired to start being more thrifty at the grocery store. I am a senior in college and am living in an apartment in NYC so my budget for food isn't huge and city prices are really steep. I eat really healthy so I like to have a lot of fruits and veggies around to snack on or to toss together with brown rice, quinoa, or pasta for dinner. I freeze a lot of fruit for smoothies, but I never considered buying fresh produce and freezing it! This will definitely save me a lot of time at the grocery store (which I currently find myself at once a week!) and money (which as a college student I have very little of after rent and bills!). Thanks for the inspiration!

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  115. You can freeze cucumbers! Sliced, and placed in a brine, they will freeze perfectly.
    Mix 2 quarts of cucumbers and 2 tablespoons of salt. Let stand for 2 hours. Rinse well with cold water, drain and return to clean bowl. Add 2/3 cup of oil, 2/3 cup vinegar, 2/3 cup of sugar. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pack your cucumbers in an air tight container (leaving at least one inch from the rim)

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  116. Hello I just ran across your site and love it great job,i have been into canning my vegetables off and on my whole life.something i got from my grandparents god rest there souls.I have a large garden 20'x 40' a few days hard work bringing in the crop but well worth it.I put up around 100 quarts of tomatos and 100 green bean a year along with some corn,broccoli,cauliflower,onions and zucchini.Zucchini bread is a big favorite here and can be frozen.I chop up my vegetables even combining some like peppers and onions to use in some recipes or just put in my eggs.I am now looking into building a chicken coop for fresh eggs.I love your ideals on freezing fruits,i may need a 2nd freezer lol.keep up the good work. lebman46052@yahoo.com

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  117. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I have found so much of your info very helpful! Although it is hard not to be envious of your food prices. :) I do remind my self not many people can watch the northern lights from their bedroom window. While not everything you mention would work for me, the idea of freezing fruits and veggies would be so useful. Living in Alaska our veggies are don't have much shelf time left by the time we can buy them. It has been a frustrating thing to have so much spoilage. We buy a lot of frozen fruit and veggies because as least it will not go bad in 2-5 days after getting it home. I know I will not buy strawberries unless we can eat them that day or the next. Thanks so much for getting the ideas peculating in my head. I know our grocery bill when up with the frequent shopping trips, but have been having a hard time figuring out how to make this work.

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  118. This is such a gem of a post! I love smoothies as well, and I actually freeze my spinach! When I go to make smoothies in the morning I add the frozen spinach, banana, pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries, and then half a fresh apple. It works great! And that way my spinach doesn't go bad. I can never seem to go through it before it goes bad otherwise.

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  119. I think your tips are great considering that I use all of them myself. It helps save so much money and we've been doing it for a very long time. One thing that always has helped me even further with saving money for produce is growing your own. I have my own garden and I grow things like, lettuce, carrots, onions and herbs all year long. I start everything from seeds so it saves me tons of money. And the Vegetables and fruits that I grow out in my boxes I either freeze, can or dehydrate. I rarely grow anything that I can't preserve. I don't know if you do this too but trust me it will save you A LOT of money if you do. Perhaps something to try. I've started a blog about it, I'm working my way up with posts. http://confessionsofonemadmomma.blogspot.com/ Check it out if your interested in learning more. I know a lot of people appreciate your tips and helping people get out of debt is really important. So much of this country is too preoccupied with keeping up with the Jones. Keep it up!

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  120. I am so excited I ran across your blog on Pinterest!!

    I am obsessed with your posts now! :)

    This one was perfect for me!

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  121. Thanks for the post! Great ideas!

    I just wanted to say (unless its been covered in your comments): you can freeze your greens! I freeze spinach, kale, collards and other greens to add straight to our fruit smoothies. You don't taste the greens; they just add nutrition (and a green look if you are paring them with things like mangoes, pineapples etc. if your kids don't like the color, make it purple with added frozen blueberries.
    :)

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  122. What a wonderful blog I have stumbled upon!! You truely are a saint. I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet and I didn't see it on your post but I am able to make a head of lettuce last at least a month. I learned it from working at a sandwich shop (the lettuce was always sold way before a month but the trick works great at my house for that long.) You open and rip the lettuce up into pieces, don't use a knife it will make the lettuce brown quicker. Place the leaves in a large tubberware. Once you have all your lettuce in the tubberware, put water in the tubberware until there is about a half inch of water in the tubberware.

    I am not 100percent on it working for everyone but it keeps our lettuce chrisp and fresh for weeks. Every couple of days I will rinse the water out and add fresh water! Hope you can use this tip!

    Thanks again for all the wonderful posts.

    - a random HUGE fan!

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  123. What a wonderful blog I have stumbled upon!! You truely are a saint. I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet and I didn't see it on your post but I am able to make a head of lettuce last at least a month. I learned it from working at a sandwich shop (the lettuce was always sold way before a month but the trick works great at my house for that long.) You open and rip the lettuce up into pieces, don't use a knife it will make the lettuce brown quicker. Place the leaves in a large tubberware. Once you have all your lettuce in the tubberware, put water in the tubberware until there is about a half inch of water in the tubberware.

    I am not 100percent on it working for everyone but it keeps our lettuce chrisp and fresh for weeks. Every couple of days I will rinse the water out and add fresh water! Hope you can use this tip!

    Thanks again for all the wonderful posts.

    - a random HUGE fan!

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  124. proabably heard that now a ton of times... I as well stumble over you post in pin interest and reading it makes a lot of sense. I started doing it week by week but its so easy to loose track of what you had the week before. I dont want my family to eat the same things over and over again. And i wanna try new recipes as well so doing a monthly plan for food its an amazing idea. Nutritious well balances food during the month. Reading about costco helped me to to actually get a membership since my little one is spoiled with eating mommy bread he is not touching the store bought once so i end up backing at least once a week and reading about this who much you spend on flower and sugar is amazing. Lost count on who much i spend in a regualr store. I am really happy about you post and we do as well every two weeks the neighbor co op what give me fresh fruit and veggies for approx 30 dollars a month plus minus a couple one that i have to bye at the store. Thank you so much... Anymore idea are appreciated

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  125. You probably have heard that a ton of times now. I as well stumble over you blog over pinterest and was curious.... Since getting out of the military as well we live on a tider budget and keeping track of spending is a big part of my life as a homestay mom. After i read you blog i started thinking. I try to get my family healthy nutritous food and i know making it yourself is so much better. Readling about you cosco blog and realising how much cheaper flower and sugar is there. I am ready to sign up with them Since my little one is so spoiled with mommy bread that we will not touch store bough prepacked bread. So that alone will help to cut our food cost down. Another thing that i never thought of is doing a monthly plan. I do weekly plan but as you said you lose track of stuff because you run out of things and have to go to the store and not come back with just one thing. The other good think i believe is doing it monthly give me a good overlock of what we eat so is not all the same bla and i can give our family healthy nutrious food. Since we doing the co op ourself i pretty much can have every two weeks fresh food and dont have to worry about price changes since its pretty affordable... Thanks so much for the info and keep blogging. I like to hear more money saving tips.

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  126. Hi there! Just wondering if you have tried freezing asparagus? Not sure how well it does, and have an AWESOME sale nearby right now!
    Thanks!
    DV

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  127. Zucchini will freeze well for baking. Shred and portion in the measure you bake with, I usually do 1 cup measure since it does lose a lot of water when defrosting. I love your blog and am looking forward to using some of your ideas!! Thanks for being an inspiration.

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  128. Zucchini will freeze well. I shred it and portion in 1 cup measure in a small freezer bags. They are then ready to take out for baking or dinner recipes. Thanks for all of your great tips, I am looking forward to using some of them. You are an inspiration, keep up the great work!

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  129. Just a tip for green onions
    If you put the end with the root in water - they will regro
    You really never have to buy them again.

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  130. I want to work on saving on groceries but my family has diet issues. My daughter is hypoglycemic and my son has 24 food allergies. I so far haven't found anything yet that I think will help is on our grocery budget. We spend way too much! Any suggestions?!!?

    ReplyDelete

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