Thursday, May 23, 2013

5 Tips to Save on Produce

Our family has been making some major changes in eating patterns and nutrition.  As we are opting for more natural choices and clean eating, this means A LOT more produce.  Although you cannot put a price on your health, produce can be quite costly when you are not strategic when purchasing it.  Here are a few tips on how to cut the cost when buying fruits and veggies. 

1. Freeze fresh herbs to use later.
I was so excited when I recently saw this post about freezing herbs.  We eat a lot of cilantro at our house, but I don't always use the entire bunch and it seems to go bad fairly quickly.  I don't like to waste! ugh!  Freezing the rest of the bunch saves from waste and allows you to have herbs on hand when you need them. 

2. Buy on sale and freeze. 
When fruits and/or veggies are in season and are at the lowest price, stock up and freeze them for later.  I do this often with bananas and strawberries.  My girls like to eat them frozen and frozen fruit is great for smoothies.  

3. Grow your own.
Growing your own produce is not only a way to save money, but it's also a great family activity to do with younger kids. You may have seen my post, last year, about our garden.  I had high hopes, a great raised garden kit and beautiful organic soil, but the reality is....our back yard is almost completely shaded : (  Therefore, Plan B is coming soon.  We are going to plant in large pots on our deck, which is the most sunny place in our entire yard.  We shall see?!  Maybe you have better opportunities to grow some yummy organic goodness in your own yard?!  

4. Buy local: i.e Farmers Market
Farmers markets can be found in most towns/cities.  This is a great way to support local farms and families as well as cutting the cost on fresh produce.  We have a lot of fun going together to our farmers market and picking out goodies.  Ours even has an entire organic section - woo hoo!  I also use this as an opportunity for the kids to use math skills and the younger ones to recognize different fruits, vegetables and colors.  Throw in some Spanish names for the produce and you have an entire lesson (yay for homeschool field trips). 

5. Price Match
Aside from the farmers market, I have found that Aldi is one of the cheapest places to buy produce. I go there often to stock up.  If I'm making a trip to Wal-Mart (or another larger chain) for a "big" shopping trip, they will price match the produce from Aldi.  Aldi doesn't currently sell organic, so when you can't buy organic produce, you can soak* the regular produce to remove most of the residue like waxes and pesticides. 

*Fill your sink full of water and add about 1 cup of white vinegar.  Place your fruit/veggies in the mixture and allow to soak for several minutes.  Rinse and eat. 

In what ways does your family save on the cost of produce? Please share any tips that I may have missed?


Samantha said...

Drying fresh herbs. I haven't tried either method yet because our plants are still blooming just enough. But hanging them or putting them in the oven on the lowest setting to dry them out and then storing them in a air right container (or old spice jar, I have tons of those lol).

Tonia said...

Ooooh. That's a good way too Samantha. Thanks for the tip! Yes, it would be fun to put them in old spice jars and create your own label : )