Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How We Save on Produce

We all know that coupons for fresh produce are far and few between.  I've seen them from time to time, but they are rare.  Since I've switched to a clean diet I've noticed that my grocery spending has gone up, but not by that much.  I had to get creative about how I save on fresh produce.

A wise person once asked me "If your children will eat fruits and vegetables why wouldn't you buy them regardless of the cost?"  It made sense.  So, now I make sure I have plenty of fruits and vegetables for them to eat.  And knowing that they would rather have an apple or orange over a cookie makes me a happy mommy.

I've made a list of ways to save some money on fresh produce.  And, remember, every little bit helps.

  • Plant a Garden
We live in a subdivision now and don't have the room like we used to, but there's still ways to grow fresh produce at home - even in limited space.  I created a Pinterest board HERE that may help out a little.  Choose which fruits and vegetables you can grow in your region and that you eat regularly.  We eat a lot of strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes. Those are what we mainly plant and it saves us a ton of money.

 Gardening takes some work, but it's good work.  You'll love bringing food out of your yard to your table.  This is the best way to save you big money on produce.

  • Farmer's Market
Another way we save money on fresh produce is visiting our Farmer's Market.  Not only do we save money by cutting out the middle man we get to buy items that you can't find in the grocery stores - like White Acre Peas.

 I love me some fresh peas. I posted HERE about our love for Farmer's Markets.  You can find a list of market's all over the country HERE.

  • Pick Your Own
If you have a farm nearby you may want to check and see if they will let you "pick your own."  We do this at Ottawa Farms for Strawberries, Blueberries and Blackberries.  Usually, farms will sell produce to you cheaper if you take the time to pick it yourself.

  • Buy What's In Season
When a fruit or veggie is in season the cost will go down because it is plentiful.  This will save you big money if you know what to look for.  Publix has a handy dandy list HERE of items that are in season.  I always plan my meals around in season fruits and veggies.

  • Coupons & Rebates
I know I said that coupons for produce are rare, but they are out there from time to time.  And I always make sure I take advantage of them when they do come up.  For instance, right now you can find coupons for Wonderful Halo's nearly everywhere because they are in season.  Pair this coupon with the in season prices and I can't get enough of them.  My kids eat them several times a day.  Last year, Del Monte put out a $.50 off any one fresh Del Monte fruit printable on their Facebook page.  I printed it the max times and enjoyed cheap bananas and pineapple.  Just keep an eye out for them.

Along with coupons you can get rebates from lots of places for fresh produce.  The rebate amount is not a lot, but every little bit helps.
Here's a list of companies that at least occasionally offers rebates on produce:

  • Proper Storage
Another way of saving money on produce is making the produce you already bought last longer.  I used to have a hard time judging how much produce I could stock up on when I found a good price.  Wasting food is like throwing money away.

I found a chart HERE that tells you how to store your produce (and other foods) so that it lasts longer.  I've tried most of these suggestions and found them helpful.  You can also can and freeze some produce, but I'll save that for another post. ;-)

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