Morning lovelies! Today we are talking about produce. It is something we all buy. Every time we go grocery shopping we usually have some type of produce on our shopping list, so today I am sharing 5 of my top tips for saving money on produce. These are the very same tips and tricks I use to save my family money and keep us eating healthy all month long.
Here we go....
1) Shop Your Store Flyers- Look specifically at the first two pages of your store sale flyer. That is where grocery stores lists what produce is on sale. It is also where their top sale items are usually listed. They do this to entice us. They real us in with those grapes on sale and hope that we will continue turning the pages and find more items we have to bring home. Use produce as a base for most of your meals. By making produce the foundation you will save money because you are not so focused on the meat part of the meal, which usually costs twice as much. Some favorites of ours are eggplant Parmesan, stuffed mushrooms, and baked potatoes. In these meals produce is the hero and that helps keep food costs down. It's good for you too!
2) Do The Math- Anytime you are shopping, you need to do the math to see if you are getting a good deal or not. A lot of times you can find produce in bags or sold individually. Do not assume that just because you are buying something in bulk, you are saving money. Compare the difference between the price per pound and the price per bag. It really makes a difference.
3) Frozen is Not Always Cheaper- I know that a lot of times we may feel like the frozen option is always cheaper when it comes to our fruits and veggies. Frozen fruits and veggies are great time savers and can also allow us to create a stock pile of fruits and veggies to use when we are going through leaner times. The one thing to remember is that it is not always cheaper to buy frozen produce. I always compare the prices. I try to keep a price book, with the prices I like to pay for certain items. This allows me to know the rock bottom prices I want to pay. When I see fresh strawberries on sale for less than $1.50, I know I can stock up and freeze these. Buying them fresh and freezing them is much cheaper than buying a big bag of frozen fruit. When I find produce at these low prices I try to buy enough to last us for a few weeks or a month or so...depending on the room I have in the freezer.
Be smart when you are shoping and always compare the prices. When veggies go on sale for less than I could buy fresh, I stock up. Also frozen produce is flash frozen, meaning it keeps it's nutrients. I love having a freeze stocked of produce. It makes this mama happy :)
4) Don't Let Food Go To Waste- One of the biggest ways money is wasted on groceries is through food waste. When produce is bought, shoved into the fridge, and not eaten..it ends up going wasted and thrown out. You wouldn't throw $20 in the trash right? We just wouldn't! That would be crazy. Well, don't do it in food form either. When you bring produce home, chop and wash any produce you have. You have to make the healthy option the most convenient one. Making it easy to grab, will allow you to not only cut down on food waste, but your family will be eating better too!
5) Join a Produce Co-Op- One way that we REALLY save on produce is by participating in Bountiful Baskets. It is a great way to get a lot of produce without spending a lot of money. Here is a sample haul from my archives to give you an idea of the amount you can get. Once I get my basket, I meal plan off of whatever came in my basket. I make produce the hero and pull items form my pantry staple list to make healthy, yummy meals for my family. Check out what food co-ops are available in your area. Ask around. I know that their are similar things to Bountiful Baskets in different areas of the country. If you know of some, leave it in the comments below. You could also check out your local farmer's market, but make sure to compare prices, so you get the best possible deal.
So there you have it lovelies....five simple ways we are stretching our grocery budget by making sure that we are not spending a fortune on produce. You can eat a healthy diet, without blowing your grocery budget. Get creative and stay on budget.
You got this!