Navigating the aisles of the produce section at the grocery for some may be a colorful adventure, while for others it may be a shopping disaster! I see finding the right tomatoes, melons, and perfectly plump strawberries a lot like finding that awesome handbag or eye-catching heels! If you compare the two, shopping for produce is a lot like shopping for fashion’s hottest trends. You need to know which veggies are seasonal, the freshest, and at cost. On the other hand, in fashion all you need do is religiously watch E’s hit show The Fashion Police to know what not to wear! Well if that was truly the case fashion would be like a one way street, so it’s really knowing what’s trending and how to be a smart savvy shopper! If your up to the challenge to keep not only your wallet skinny but your body skinny on a budget too, then here are a few of my top cost saving strategies you can start to use at the produce aisle!
BUY LOCAL-Start buying local produce is always cheaper
KNOW THY PRODUCE DEPARTMENT -The front table of the produce department usually has the best deals, and always check out the end caps on each produce aisle as they usually will have seasonal items on display.
CELEBRATE THE SEASON- If you’re like me I love to celebrate each season especially with hallmark holidays! Rather than eating the heavy desserts that come with holiday time, I look for recipes that call for the seasonal fruits. Always know what fruits and veggies are in season because they will be cheaper than other produce.
DON’T BUY CUT UP PRODUCE- Although pre- cut produce is an easy short cut to saving a few minutes in preparing veggies and fruits, these items are more expensive. I’m the first to admit that I often times by cut up fruits and veggies because I’m pressed for time. However, over time you will end up saving more money if you don't.
BROWSE THE ADS- Check the local newspaper, stores, and online for sales, promotions, or coupons. Target your search towards ads for sales on produce in grocery stores that are in close proximity to where you live.
BUY IN BULK- If produce is on sale and has a decent shelf life longer than a few days buy in bulk for the week, and this is great too for frozen fruits and vegetables.
STORE BRANDS – Go with store brands like frozen produce, which are much cheaper than brand names. Also, sign up for store cards, which often offer discounts or a points program.
BECOME FRIENDS WITH THE PRODUCE MANAGER- Get to know your produce manager in the store. Ask what’s new, local, and if there are any specials going on.This can help reduce cost at the register because you will know the at cost produce to buy.
PLAN A LIST – The only thing in life that is good to plan is finances. Shopping for healthy foods can be quite pricey, so it’s always good to have a list of produce that you need for the week to complete your food plan. When you plan out your meals and recipes for the week you can take inventory of what you really need and are going to use versus just sitting there and it going to waste.
DISCLAIMER: The nutritional and well-being information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional nutritional or medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.