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No doubt you’ve noticed the prices of groceries steadily going up over the last couple of years, and at a faster pace than ever before.
So, if you’re like the rest of us you’re looking for any way you can find to help save money.
Do you want to know where to buy cheap produce? Here’s what you can do.
- Buy Produce During Sales
- Buy Produce in the Frozen Section
- Buy Fresh from Farmer’s Markets
- Buy in Bulk
- Use Food Delivery Services
- Buy Seeds and Grow Your Own
There are also ways to make the produce you buy last longer so you don’t end up with so much waste.
In this post, we’re looking at ways to save money on fruits and vegetables.
I’ll help you find produce to serve in nutritious meals that won’t cost you a fortune.
So, keep reading for wonderful ways to find the best price on fruits and vegetables to cook and eat.
Table of Contents
Where To Buy Cheap Produce
Buy Produce During Sales
Whether you’re looking for organic strawberries to feed your toddler, a watermelon for an afternoon barbecue, or all your favorite vegetables to serve dinner salad to friends, you can save money by shopping at your local grocery stores during sales.
Many grocery store chains put produce on sale when it’s in season.
They’ll run a special for the week because of the overabundance of whatever fruits and vegetables they have plenty of.
For example, in the summer you may find cherries on sale.
You can purchase what’s on sale and wait for other produce to go on sale later.
One of the easiest ways to plan your grocery shopping to be the least expensive is to check out the grocery store fliers before heading out.
You can see what kinds of fruit and veggies are on sale and choose recipes around what you find.
Many grocery stores also advertise great prices in online publications, so they’re easy for customers to find.
Shop On Wednesday
Pay attention to when your store gets new produce deliveries and use this time to score great deals.
For me, this on a Wednesday.
I head to my local store and find discounts on many of the older fruits and vegetables.
You can even ask the produce manager about this as they might have already taken something off the sales floor that you can buy.
Just be sure to ask for a discount too so you can save some extra money.
Buy Produce In The Frozen Section
Salad and toppings for burgers, tacos, and the like need to be made with fresh vegetables.
However, other recipes work just as well with frozen fruit or frozen vegetables.
Fresh produce doesn’t last nearly as long as frozen does.
While using the crisper drawer in your refrigerator properly will extend the life of fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh produce still won’t make it more than a week or two.
Frozen fruit and vegetables last far longer than a couple of weeks.
You can store frozen vegetables for around 18 months and they’ll maintain their freshness.
Frozen fruit makes it for a year.
If you choose to keep frozen produce for longer, you can, it just may not be quite the same in quality.
Buy Fresh From The Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s markets aren’t always known for having the best prices but if you take your time and do some comparing you can find delicious fresh produce for highly affordable prices.
Some local farmer’s markets have everything you’ll want to keep a balanced diet.
You’ll find fresh fruit like apples, oranges, bananas, lemons, strawberries, watermelon, and all sorts of citrus.
Then, there are the vegetables.
You can find everything from potatoes to tomatoes, peppers to carrots, and all kinds in between.
Many farmers market patrons rave about the great selection and quality of the produce found at these markets.
Other items are often available, as well.
You could find eggs, beef, chicken, pork, baked goods, soups, and a greater selection of organic produce than what’s in your local store.
As an added bonus, many local farmers don’t use the harsh chemicals that larger farming does, so many times your produce will be organic.
If you’re selective about what you choose from the market, you can save money so you don’t blow your food budget.
Most people don’t know what seconds are but they can save you a lot of money.
Seconds are basically fruit and vegetables that don’t look great.
Maybe they have bruises or the color isn’t as crisp, or they are an odd shape.
Farmers still want to sell them, but grocery stores won’t buy them.
This is where you come in.
Ask for seconds and save money.
We do this all the time with apples.
We buy a box for $10 and make and freeze homemade applesauce.
If we used regular apples, the cost would easily be double what we pay.
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Buy In Bulk
Many of us buy other food items in bulk.
Not as many of us buy produce in bulk.
This is because we know that too many fruits and veggies lead to food waste.
We end up throwing out too much of what we purchase.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
When you buy produce in bulk, you’ll save money on a per-unit basis.
You’ll almost always typically pay more per unit when you purchase one item or bundle at a time.
The issue here is making sure you don’t end up with a lot of wasted produce because you bought so much.
The solution is to freeze some of it.
You can freeze almost all types of produce.
There are a few veggies with high water content that don’t freeze well.
Many people freeze bananas, strawberries, and other fruits to throw in a blender for smoothies.
You can freeze whatever’s in season so you have your favorite fruits all year long.
Better yet, buy the produce when it is on sale and save even more money.
Mix some frozen veggies in there too for an even more nutritious snack.
The other factor to consider here is the difference in prices between cut fruit and whole fresh fruit.
You’ll always pay less for whole fruit.
Basically, you pay for the labor when you choose to buy the fresh fruit that’s already sliced up.
For example, a whole pineapple at my local store is $2.99.
But a quarter of that same pineapple cut into chunks costs $4.99.
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You can eat healthy for cheaper if you do the cutting yourself.
Shop With Others
Another option when buying in bulk is to buy with friends.
If you shop at Costco, you know that you are buying a 3 pound bushel of bananas.
While you can freeze what you don’t eat, you can’t keep buying this volume just for fresh bananas.
The option here is to split the order with friends.
You get the benefit of lower prices and you don’t have to eat all or freeze most of the produce.
Use Food Delivery Services
You might be scratching your head and thinking, how is this going to save money?
Some food delivery services have better prices than you may think.
But you’ll save in an indirect way rather than directly, with this method.
There are several food delivery services you can choose from.
Some are even just for ordering produce.
They’re convenient and offer delicious food delivered to your door for people who are too busy to go grocery shopping.
How do these services save you money?
Think about how many times you can remember going into grocery stores for one or two items and coming out with several bags.
Fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last as long as other foods you buy.
That means you have to go purchase more fresh produce before you need other items.
If you sign up for a produce delivery service, you can have it shipped straight to your home without having to step foot in a supermarket.
Therefore, you don’t run the risk of buying anything unnecessary and spending more money.
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Ship Discount Grocers
More and more discount grocery chains are popping up all over the place.
Lidl, Aldi, Save-A-Lot, and more offer the same items at discounted prices.
And they even have a large selection of organic produce too.
This is one of the ways we survive on a $500 monthly grocery budget for a family of 4.
Find Ethnic Food Markets
Depending on where you live, you might have an ethnic market near you.
Buying the right produce from these retailers will save you money than if you shop at a larger grocer.
Plus, if you are making an Indian or Asian dish that calls for a rare vegetable, you are much more likely to find it here than at your big box grocer.
Join A CSA
A CSA or community supported agriculture is another novel way to lower the cost of produce.
With this, you sign up for a membership or a share with local farmers.
Then each week during the growing season, your share buys you a box, bag, or basket of fresh produce.
Depending where you live, the assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables can be great.
The only downside is your local growing season.
Instead of getting strawberries all summer long, you might only get them for a few weeks in the middle.
While many people have become accustomed to shopping for many things online, produce is not one of them.
But more and more cyber produce markets are popping up and many have great deals.
The catch to these is you have to factor in any shipping costs so you can be certain that you are saving money.
Also, look for CSA’s not local to you, as some of these are starting to ship to areas outside of their local area.
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Buy Seeds And Grow Your Own
You’ll likely have to invest more up front, but growing your own produce is a great way to save money on your grocery bill.
You can grow a whole vegetable garden in a small area of your yard or even in your house or apartment.
And since you’re growing them yourself for your family, you’ll know they’re organic and that they have all the flavor you want.
If you’re a salad lover, grow all the nutritious veggies you like to put in your salad.
If you like to make spicy recipes, grow hot peppers and tomatoes to make sauces, salsas, and more.
Grocery stores may have a great selection of produce but you can grow exactly what you like to eat for a better price.
There are the best places to buy cheap produce.
You can save money on produce by shopping in the right places.
However, some of it is about how you shop for fruits and vegetables.
It’s also about how you store your produce and the way you use it.
You can make a wonderful dish that’s just as delicious using frozen veggies.
Frozen fruits and vegetables make some of the best smoothies.
So, when you’re shopping for produce, don’t just think about the price in front of you.
Think about all the ways you can make your produce last longer.
Then you’ll get the most for your money.