7 Ways to Save Money on Fresh Produce
The goal: To eat a wide variety of fresh, tasty fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrients. The caveat: You also want to save money on groceries. Luckily, by planning ahead and following these easy steps, it’s possible to save on food and make cheap meals that taste yummy, too.
1. Stick with in-season produce
As soon as you start relying on fruits and vegetables that need to travel great distances to make it to your grocery store, expect your wallet to take a hit. Instead, try sticking with local produce that’s readily available in your area. When farmers harvest in-season crops in great abundance, prices can decrease.
2. Rely on cheap alternatives
Certain types of produce are consistently cheaper than others. Put broccoli, potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, oranges and bananas in frequent rotation. They’re all excellent for creating tasty, inexpensive meals.
3. Pick and choose organic items
Yes, it’s nice to splurge on organic fruits and veggies, but if you’re trying to save money on groceries, focus on buying organic items that might be on sale and in season. PC® Organics has dozens of items to select from to help make your task easier, and be sure to check the flyers before you head out.
4. Buy from the reduced section
Your grocery store will likely offer deals on items that are slightly damaged or close to expiring. If you want to save on food and plan to consume your purchases within a couple of days, reduced produce may be the perfect choice for you. Be sure to check store flyers for weekly sales.
5. Store your produce properly
Some fruits and veggies belong in the refrigerator and some on the counter. Make sure you know the best method for each item to extend its shelf-life and reduce waste. For example, whole tomatoes, pineapples and bananas typically keep well on the counter. Whole sweet potatoes and yams, winter squash, shallots, potatoes and onions are best left in a cool, dark space such as a pantry. Most other items can go in the fridge.
6. Use up almost-expired fruits and veggies
If you can, turn bruised or almost-expired produce into sauces (tomato, apple), soups, or bake them into loaves and muffins.
7. Freeze discount or in-season produce for later use
If you come across an amazing sale or really love a certain type of produce with a short growing season, buy it in bulk and freeze it. The texture will change, so you likely won’t be able to thaw the product and eat it raw, but you can include it in soups, stews, smoothies, side dishes and baked goods. You’ll eat better for less in no time.
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