Today I have twelve tips on how to save money buying your fruits and vegetables.
If you stick to these twelve tips when grocery shopping you are guaranteed to not only save money on your shopping cart but eat much more healthily too.
Swapping out packaged and processed foods (often with high fat and sugar content) for fresh, unprocessed food is going to save you tonnes of money on your shop, and make the diets of you and your family far healthier.
Let me show you how to save even more money on your shop when buying fruits and vegetables with these handy tips.
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Twelve tips on how to save money buying fruits and vegetables
1. Look up and down when searching the shopping aisle
Supermarkets want you to buy the items they have placed at eye level because they are the most lucrative sell for them. Look up, and you might well find something cheaper that you have to reach for, or look down, and you will probably find some gems.
2. Avoid bulk buying
Avoid two for one offers etc. unless you are certain you can use without waste or can freeze the items.
Check out the end of this article where I show you how to freeze your fresh goods and how to maximise taste.
3. Opt for wonky or imperfect fruits and vegetables
Misshapen fruit and veg are just as tasty and nutritious as their perfect siblings.
Supermarkets seem to have got us into to mindset that perfect is more desirable, tastier etc. Don’t fall for that. If your supermarket offers a wonky version for a cheaper price, do not hesitate to indulge.
4. Avoid bagged salads
Bagged mixed salad is the most expensive way to buy it.
Always buy your salad whole and unprepared. Some lettuces last much longer than others. An iceberg lettuce for example can last at least a week if you don’t get it wet and simply break off leaves as you need them.
Salad is the perfect thing to grow yourself. Carry on reading to find out more.
5. Never waste food
Make smoothies, fruit juices, soups and casseroles with anything that is getting past its best.
Or prepare it and freeze. See below for what you can freeze.
6. Avoid ready-prepared fruits and vegetables
Fruit and veg that has been ready prepared and mixed, such as broccoli and cauliflower florets, diced carrots, ready mashed potato, etc. is a very expensive way to buy your vegetables. You might save a little preparation time, but they are way more expensive than the raw/unprepared versions.
7. Always make a shopping list before you shop
Having a shopping list ready based on your meal plan for the week before your shop is an absolute must for saving money on your whole shopping cart, not just for fruit and veg.
Having a meal plan and a shopping list for the week is essential for saving money across the board.
When you know exactly what you plan to cook during the week, you will minimise food waste, and save time in the kitchen, plus avoid extra trips to the store.
When shopping, make sure you stick to your list and don’t be tempted by the bulk buy offers unless those items are on your list for the week.
Bonus tip: avoid shopping when you are hungry!
8. Go for seasonal fruit and veg
In the western world, we have got so used to being able to buy anything we desire at any time of the year.
Out of season food, is not necessarily at its best, or it may have travelled thousands of miles to get to the store. Making a conscious effort to prioritize seasonal foods makes for better value for your shopping cart, tastier food, and environmental sense.
9. Check the discounted aisle
Supermarkets will often mark down any produce that is past its ‘best by’ date. This is not because it is any less edible than the full-priced goods.
Supermarkets build in refrigerator life as well as shelf-life into their use-by dates. As long as you bear that in mind when you purchase and consume quickly it is perfectly fine.
10. Shop at your local market
Does your town have a market?
A fruit and veg stall is a great place to get cheaper produce. You can usually still pick your own. The best discounts are at the end of the day. Market stallholders will be very keen to offload as much as possible at this time otherwise they will have to throw it away.
11. Grow your own fruit and vegetables
If you have the time, why not grow your own?
If you have space, consider making a vegetable patch in your back yard.
If you don’t have space, vegetables can grow perfectly well in pots, and salads like rocket, basil, and chives can flourish on a window sill.
12. Freeze fruit and veg
I recommend you freeze your produce as soon as possible after you purchase if you can, but it is viable any time up to the point it becomes inedible.
Some produce is absolutely fine to freeze. I recommend you prepare before you put it in the freezer so it’s ready to throw into a soup or smoothie in its frozen state.
Frozen fruit and veg will have a different texture after you defrost it. You can use it as if it were in its fresh state, but it will be different, that’s why I recommend you use defrosted items in things like soups and smoothies.
Bonus tip. Don’t bulk buy fruit and veg unless you plan to freeze it.
Here is a list of fresh fruit and veg you can freeze without issue (remember preparing first is best).
- Apples and pears
- Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
- Root vegetables such as carrots, swede, sweet potato, squash, pumpkin (except potatoes)
- Broccoli, cauliflower
- Peas, beans
- Potatoes (make sure you cook them before you freeze. Check out this post – How To Freeze New Potatoes)
If you are not sure things will freeze, why not just give it a go to find out?
Bonus tip: Don’t freeze veg for too long. The rule of thumb would be three months. Remember, you can’t use defrosted items as you would have when they were fresh. Frozen items are perfect candidates for pie fillings, nutritious soups, jams and smoothies.