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Need to save on produce?

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, yet buying all those perishable foods can get expensive.

So let’s focus on some surprising techniques for minimizing your produce costs and maximizing value when it comes to produce.

No Coupons Even Needed!

{I’m not including in my creative tips below, the obvious way to save money on produce, which is having a garden, because I figure you already know that would be an easy way to get FREE’ish Produce.}

So let’s learn how to save on produce this year so we can eat cheaper and healthier.

Plus, with these produce tips and tricks you’ll learn the best ways to find great deals on produce for your family.

And, you’ll be eating fresh produce that you got a great deal on making you feel smarter and healthier!

Let’s get down to business learning how to save on produce.

save on produce

1. The Golden Rule To Save Money On Produce Is:

Always buy the produce that is In-Season and even better would be to buy when it is In-Season AND On-Sale!

Sometimes we are excited about a new recipe to try, but it calls for a fresh produce item that is only available out of season.

In this day and age of having calendar access from our phones, instead of cooking that recipe right now, add the recipe info to your smartphone calendar to remember to fix it at a later date, and this week choose a recipe that utilizes produce that is in season and on sale right now.

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The saving money strategy is that produce is cheapest to buy when it is plentiful because it is in season!

First, it’s time to learn what items are in season now and cater your meals around those items. Here’s a seasonal guide that will help you support your local farmers and help save money on produce by purchasing those items.

save on produce

2. Don’t Let THEM Pick It…U-Pick It!

All over the country, farmers open their fields to allow the public to come in and U-Pick produce right out of the field! And it’s the best way for you to save money on produce!

Savings per pound at U-picks range from 20 to 50% below supermarket and farmer’s market prices.

In my area of West Central Florida, early March is the start of the U-Pick Strawberry season, then in the weeks (and months) to follow, we can find inexpensive peaches, blueberries, and tomatoes. We’ve also got u-pick grapes, blackberries, plums and peas in our area.

Not only is it a way to stretch your dollar, but is also a family fun activity! Our kids look forward to the excruciating Tomato Picking and Peeling activity we do each June.

{Local to central FL? One of our favorite places to go is out in Thonotosassa (just off I-4) at Strawberry Passion Farms. They also offer several options for combining and ordering once a week and then picking up from a central location. And we always visit Hunsader Farms to pick tomatoes the end of May or first week of June!}

Find A Farm Near You

Go to PickYourOwn.org to find a local U-Pick farm near you!
*Caution* you will want to find the name there, and then search for the actual farm on Facebook to get true hours and availability.

Tips for U-Picking: Bring buckets, sunscreen, and watch the chemicals. Sometimes farms will provide the containers, but if you plan to pick a lot of produce for canning, then bringing your own container may get you an even further discount.

Ask the farm when they last sprayed the fields. Many farmers stop spraying once the fields are open for u-pick, but their answer could dictate how much “sampling” you do while picking in the field. Also try to hit the fields first thing in the morning. That is best for crowd control and safer from the heat exhaustion and sun burn.

save on produce

3. Join A Local Farm “CSA” Or Co-Op

CSA:

Becoming a member of a local farm is a great way to save on produce. These are also called Community Supported Agriculture or “CSA”. This produce comes directly from the farm to you.

Not only does it save shopping time, but you are getting local, in-season, super-fresh (usually picked the day of or before it is delivered to you) produce that will last longer.

Typical pricing is around $30 for a heaping box of produce, delivered or picked up weekly or bi-weekly.

Find a local CSA near you.

Co-Op:

A co-op is a little different. Most co-ops do work with local farmers, but they also work with wholesalers to get their produce, and then bring the produce to you.

I personally use Lancaster Farms Co-Op and they deliver a big box of produce to my house every other week! This is one of my best produce tips and tricks, especially for busy moms like me.

Another Co-Op we have heard great things about is Bountiful Baskets (outside of FL).

Pros: Great quality seasonal produce, great price, can be convenient if they deliver to your door.
Cons: No choice of what you are getting in the box or if you would use it, set price for the box.

save on produce

4. Shop At ALDI Or Your Local Farmer’s Market

This way to save on produce is best for those not wanting to commit to a produce club, CSA or co-op.

Typically not as great a deal as the CSA, it is still better than shopping at a big box or warehouse store because of the competition between all the farms being in one location once a week.

Still, you must factor in the convenience factor that you can only go on the day the farmer’s market gathers, typically a weekend day.

Don’t Pass By Aldi –  Aldi has great prices on produce, similar to a Farmer’s Market. But they do not have a giant selection, mostly what is in season.That means you can get good prices all the time at ALDI, but sometimes you have to buy it in packaged amounts that are typically for larger families.

Visit LocalHarvest.org to find a local farmer’s markets closest to your home. Simply enter your zip code in the search option.

save on produce

5. Produce Box

Farmer’s are hard workers and they hate seeing their hard work go to waste rotting.

So someone had a brilliant idea to package up a box with a variety of produce items and sell it at one low price. It’s how you can save money on produce!

Here’s how to find these great deals:

First, follow all your local farmers. You can always google local farmers or check to see if there are any near you on Facebook. Then, check and see if they offer a produce box.

One local farmer offers a $10 box on Monday’s only. The last box they offered over had 30 items in a box!

I’ve also picked up boxed onions for a super cheap price too.

Pros: Great price for the amount of produce you get in the box.
Cons: Some of the produce items you may have not used before, don’t know what to do with, or even like. This is a great opportunity to find a new recipe and use up those cheap produce items. You can always swap or gift those items to neighbors, friends, and family.

save on produce

6. Last Chance Bin

I love my local produce stand not only because they have great produce, but they also have a last chance bin! It’s one way on how I save money on produce weekly.

These last chance items are packaged for just a buck each for about a pound of produce.

I’ve found ripe and juicy tomatoes just ready for a BLT, zucchini ready to be made into air fryer fries and so many other great items.

While you may have only one day to use the produce, you can always freeze it, make it into soups, or eat it fresh that day.

But before you pick it up, make sure you have a plan to use them that day before they expire on you.

save on produce

7. Shake! Shake! Shake!

Here is a simple tip for when you have to buy produce items at your regular grocery store. Shake! Make sure you shake that produce.

The “mist” machine that keeps produce looking fresh is also adding weight to your item. Be sure to shake it off before you put it in the bag.

No need to pay for extra water weight to come home with you and a way to save on produce.

Side Note: Did you know that Target regularly has store coupons on produce? And don’t forget coupons are excellent at making frozen produce cheap!

save on produce

8. Check Sales Often

People always say that organic produce is so expensive. While it can be, you can find deals if you look for them to save money on produce!

Recently, I found a deal on organic cauliflower. It was on sale for $2 while the regular cauliflower head was $2.50!

That’s why it’s important to know where to find the cheapest produce prices and what you should be paying for your produce.

It will help you to keep your budget in check and so you don’t overpay for your produce!

Download this Personal Price Book to keep track of the produce items you normally pay for. That will help you determine the best price for the produce you use.

save on produce

9. Price Compare Fresh To Frozen

Did you know that frozen veggies can be cheaper than fresh? They actually can!

I’ve been buying a lot of cauliflower lately to make cauliflower rice. I was buying the heads for $2.50 when I found something shocking in the frozen aisle – frozen cauliflower rice! While this item wasn’t a shocker, the price was! It was less than for me to buy it already prepared than for me to buy the head and prepare it myself! I was really shocked because it was the same weight as I would get out of a normal cauliflower head.

So if you are buying fresh thinking it’s cheaper, do a price comparison and see if the frozen counterpart is cheaper so you can save money on produce. You could be saving more money.

Plus, if your fresh produce often wilts or goes bad before you remember to use it, buying frozen may be even better for you yet!

save on produce

10. Freeze It Before It Goes Bad

Frozen produce can be cheaper than fresh in the off season. And along those same Frozen lines… before any produce goes bad, do not waste any produce by throwing it away. FREEZE IT!

Did you know it is super simple to flash freeze items at HOME?!! Yes! Just cut your items up, lay them in a single layer on parchment paper on cookie sheets. Then throw them in the freezer and 4 hours later, you simply bag up to use later.

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Freezing them this way will help them keep longer and not freeze in one big lump making them hard to use.

If you have a food sealer to vacuum out the air they will last even longer!

Did you know you can even FREEZE Avocados?! {Just make them into Guacamole and load into a ziplock freezer bag and lay flat to freeze.}

There is a trick to freeze anything… wasting food is wasting money!

save on produce

Bonus: For Organic Produce Eaters

Do you primarily purchase more expensive organics?

Then make sure you familiarize yourself with the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of the most pesticide laden produce.

Scroll down to the bottom of the list, because those items have the least amount of pesticides on them.

Avocados, Pineapple, Mangoes, Cabbage, Onions… are all items that have less pesticide residue on them and could be purchased conventionally, therefore cheaper, saving your budget without sacrificing your values and standards!

I hope you’ve learned the best ways on how to save on produce this year so you can eat cheaper and healthier.

Plus, these produce tips and tricks are the best ways to find great deals on produce for your family.

And, you’ll be eating fresh produce that you got a great deal on making you feel smarter and healthier!

 

Your Turn: Do you have some tips for ways to save on Produce? Please share them in the comments below!

save on produce
The Most Surprising & Creative Ways To Save On Produce
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