Save Money on Fruits & Veggies

Buying produce can be tough because depending on where you live, finding fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult and expensive. As a consumer, it is important that you know what produce is in season and what is grown locally. Buy fruits and vegetables when they are naturally plentiful for the best flavors and sale prices. Here are several other suggestions on how to save money buying produce.

 Tip # 1  – Know which grocery stores near you sell the best produce for the best value. Supermarkets usually get fruits and vegetables delivered every day, so everything should be fresh and reasonably priced since delivered in bulk. Also, buy produce dry. Most grocery stores frequently spray water over the fruits and veggies to keep them fresh and clean, but when you are paying by weight the water will make your purchases about 5 percent heavier.

 Tip # 2  – Produce is often cheaper (and better!) at local vegetable stands or farmers markets, than the grocery stores… except when they’re on sale.  Check your papers each week to make the best shopping choice.

 Tip # 3  – Buy fruits and vegetables when in season, here’s a brief list for the Southern U.S.  (The list will vary depending on where you live.)

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March – early June: Asparagus, Broccoli, Lettuce, Peas, Onions, Mushrooms, Strawberries

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June: Apples, Broccoli, Cabbage, Peas, Peppers, Garlic, New Potatoes, Onions, Radishes, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tomatoes

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July: Acorn Squash, Apples, Apricots, Beets, Black Eyed Peas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cherries, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Lima Beans, New Potatoes, Onions, Peaches, Peppers, Plums, Radishes, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Watermelons

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August: Acorn Squash, Apples, Apricots, Beets, Berries, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cherries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Lima Beans, New Potatoes, Okra, Onions, Parsnips, Peaches, Pears, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Radishes, Seeds and Nuts, Tomatoes, Watermelons, Yams

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September: Apples, Blueberries, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collards, Green Beans, Kale, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Parsnips, Peaches, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Seeds and Nuts, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Yams

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October: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Soybeans, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips

 Tip # 4  – “Buy 1/Get 1 Free” produce isn’t always a great deal, be sure you can use that much or it will just spoil, essentially costing you more money.  (Or, consider sharing the free item with a neighbor!)

 Tip # 5  – Before buying large bags of apples, oranges, potatoes, onions or anything else, check the produce carefully to make sure they aren’t bruised or spoiled.  

 Tip # 6  – If you need to buy the larger bag (instead of individual produce items), and all of the bags contain one bruised or spoiled item, be sure to remove the damaged produce as soon as you get home.  One spoiled item can affect the rest of the bag if it’s not removed soon.

 Tip # 7  – Prepackaged produce is not always equal in weight, check the scales for the biggest packages.  

 Tip # 8  – To get the best value, store produce properly after your purchase.  (Do not put tomatoes in the fridge!)  If fruit is a little under-ripe, place in a paper bag for one or two days, it will ripen very quickly. If it’s over-ripe, put it on the menu for today or tomorrow and either freeze any extra or share with the neighbors if you  have more than your family can eat.

  

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Comments

  1. Great tips! How about growing your own?

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