One of the most expensive things you buy at the grocery store is probably produce for your family. That makes it especially frustrating when you see it spoiling and you’re having to throw fruits and vegetables away. It is incredibly wasteful, but seems to be a necessary evil….or so we thought! We have compiled a few tips to help you save your produce and your wallet!
- Shop for produce that is in season. If you don’t know what’s in season, a quick search online will give you all the answers you need.
- Simply open up your store’s sales flyer and see what’s on sale and plan your produce for the week around that. Not only will you be saving, but you will be getting more variety in your diet. (eMeals dinner planning service does this for you along with a complete dinner plan based on what’s at sale at www.emeals.com.)
- When possible, substitute frozen or canned vegetables or fruits in for fresh to pinch a few more pennies. Frozen vegetables are often packaged at their freshest point, still have their nutrients, and taste just as good.
- Look for coupons on produce. It’s easier to find coupons for frozen over fresh, but occasionally if you sign up for your grocer’s baby club or look at Target’s online coupons, you can get high value produce coupons.
- Do your best not to waste the produce you do buy. If you notice the bananas are rotting, put them in the fridge and make banana bread or freeze other things to make juices or smoothies later.
- Shop your local farmer’s market. Many times you will find that they have lower prices than your grocer and occasionally you can negotiate the price down just by asking.
- Get a running list of stock up prices in your mind for each produce item. Maybe even write it down until you get used to what a good price is for each produce item and then base your buying around that.
- Most fruits and vegetables generate ethylene gas while they ripen. This gas is an active plant hormone and can make other produce items near them begin to ripen quickly as well. In general, you want to keep your fruits and vegetables separate so that they don’t speed up each other’s ripening process. Put fruits in one crisper drawer and vegetables in another.
- The crisper drawer is designed to control humidity; fruits do better with lower humidity than vegetables, so adjust your drawers accordingly for the best “shelf life.”
- Your freezer should be kept around 0 degrees and your refrigerator should be below 40 degrees for the best non-spoiling atmosphere.
What do you do to make your produce last longer? How do you avoid wasting money on fruits and vegetables?