How to Save on Produce
So, you are saving money on your grocery shopping but you are wondering how to save on produce. We get that question quite a bit. And, truth be told, saving money on produce is easier than you think.
Don’t let the fact that there are not as many produce coupons make you think there are no savings. The fact is, saving money on groceries is not ALWAYS about using coupons. While coupons help, there are so many ways to save.
So, without further ado, here are our top 11 Quick and Easy Ways to Save on Produce
1. Your Knife Is Your Friend
We get it, it’s easier to buy vegetables precut. But, did you know how much you can save if you bought the vegetables whole and cut them yourself?
On a recent visit to the grocery store, a precut pepper pack was priced at $3.59 per lb while the whole, uncut peppers were on sale for just $0.99/lb. If you picked up two pounds of peppers precut that would cost $7.18. Buy them whole and your price drops down to just $1.98 for the same 2 lbs of peppers. That’s a savings of $5.20 for just that one vegetable. I say, buy yourself an awesome knife. It will pay for itself in no time.
2. How Much Does It Really Weigh?
Did you know that all produce bags are not created equal? I mean literally, they are not equal. Some weigh more than others. It’s true. Test it out the next time you buy a 5 lb bag of potatoes or a 3 lb bag of onions. Chances are, they vary by about 10%.
So, don’t settle for a 2.9 lb bag of onions when you might get lucky and get a 3.3 lb bag.
3. Is It Spring Yet?
We, here at LRWC, preach this often, and for good reason, buying your produce in season is a huge savings. Planning your recipes around seasonal produce is not just smart, it’s a huge savings tool.
Think about it, zucchini in the middle of winter can run you around $3 per lb. However, during the spring and summer months, the price will drop to crazy low prices of just $0.99 – $1.50 per lb.
Lucky for you, we have awesome recipes for every season of the year making it easy to meal plan when items are on sale.
4. The Power of the Stockpile
Stocking up is my #1 way to save. It doesn’t matter if you use coupons or not. If you find something at a low, low price, stock up. It puts you in control of how much you have to spend on that item. And, yes, you can stock up on fresh fruits and veggies too.
Most fruits and vegetables can be flash frozen and then frozen for an extended period of time. Which allows you to use them in the middle of the higher priced season. Once again, putting you in control of how much you spend! So, get chopping and make some room in that freezer!
5. Know the Dirty Dozen
I get that you want to feed your family healthy, minimally treated fruits and vegetables. And, I get they are more expensive. But, did you know that you don’t have to buy everything organic? You really don’t.
The Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen. It’s a great list that shows you what you should buy organic and what you really can pass on. I always cringe when I see people in the store buying organic bananas. No need to spend the extra dollars on those. The skin is so thick and they use so much less pesticides on it anyway that spending extra money on those is just a waste, IMO. So, check out the list and spend your dollars where it counts.
6. You Found That Coupon Where?
Of course, you knew I would mention coupons. But, I know what you are thinking…are there really coupons for produce? Why yes there are. Follow the following brands on Facebook to be alerted of any great coupons.
Plus, as always, be sure to check the LRWC Coupon Database. Did we mention it’s the best one on the web? We are not just tooting our own horn here, it really is.
7. Use Multiple Rebate Apps
These days, coupons and rebates come in all shapes and forms. One form is rebate apps. These apps are super easy to use. No more clipping UPC codes and mailing them in. That’s what your grandma did. Now, we simply take a picture on our smartphone and submit it through the app. And, just like magic, money appears in your app.
And, yes, they have tons of offers on produce. Tons! And, of course, we already make a list of the best Money Saving Apps around so, what are you waiting for…start making some money with your smartphone.
8. How Green is Your Thumb?
I know, you hear me say this all the time. Grow your own produce to save a ton. And I hear you…you don’t have room in your yard for a big garden. You don’t need a ton of room.
Pots make for great plants such as bush beans, tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, lettuce and so much more. Even apartment living can lend to a nice little balcony garden. Go on, give it a try, it’s fun to watch your food grow right in your own yard. And, did I mention how much you save doing it?
9. Waste Not Want Not
Your momma always said, eat all your vegetables. Well, it’s true, don’t waste them. Not even the scraps.
Did you know that vegetables scraps, you know the shavings of carrots, the ends of zucchini, the leaves of celery, onion skin, the stuff you just throw in the garbage, all make great vegetable broth or stock?
It’s pretty simple really. Just keep a container in your freezer that you place all your scraps in. When your container is full, simply throw them into a crockpot, cover with water and cook on low all day. Strain your veggies out and boom, vegetable stock. For broth, simply add salt, pepper and any other seasoning you might like.
Of course they are always great for your compost pile too.
10. Make it Easy Peasy
There might not be a ton of coupons for fresh produce but, lucky for us, there are many more coupons for frozen. So, when you get a coupon and a great sale, stock up on the frozen veggies and produce.
Did we mention that March is frozen foods month? It is! Which means that you’ll find tons of sales and coupons during the entire month. So, in February, start clearing out the freezer and making some room for the tons of frozen produce you’ll score in March.
11. What? Where? When?
Pricing does vary on produce by the area you live in. What may be on sale in August in New Jersey may differ from what may be on sale in August in Texas. So, know your area and what to look for and when. But, the most important thing is, to shop the stores around you.
Does your local farmer’s market have the best prices or perhaps it’s Aldi, or maybe your local grocery market is better? Or maybe there is an awesome roadside stand or farm close to you that has rock bottom prices. For me, I can usually find the best prices on produce at my local grocery market with Aldi taking second. I found that out from shopping the two stores each week and checking out their prices. So, do a little extra leg work at first to monitor prices and be sure to shop those stores in your area for the best prices. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.