Know your prices
The most important thing when trying to save money/shop frugally is to KNOW YOUR PRICES. This is true about everything, and produce should be no different. It may seem daunting at first, but over time you will begin to remember prices, and recognize a bargain when you see one. Produce is often priced per pound, which can sometimes be confusing. Mistaking the sign that say grapes $2.38 as the price per bag, not the price per pound, happens to even the best of us some times. It is very important to make sure you fully read signs, know what you’re paying for, and watch for good deals.
With every season brings new produce, you’ll notice some items are cheaper at certain times a year, and more expensive at others. Usually when the price drops, is when the item is in season. Shopping and meal planning around seasonal produce can help save you money. And watch for the produce that is freezable, you may even get to enjoy those fresh Georgia peaches all year long. Water bath or pressure canning is also a great way to get your monies worth out of everything, just make sure you do it up to standards. Not sure what the health standards are? There is a ton of different books, websites, and information available to you to learn. Ball makes a great easy up to date book, and it’s important to stay as up to date as possible.
Be open to a wide variety
Be open to the idea of new fruits and veggies. Don’t keep your shopping list narrow minded, with simple things like corn, broccoli, lettuce. Branch out and try new seasonal produce. Try those Pinterest recipes you’ve been dying to try for the past few months. Cactus pears, pomegranates, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, etc. try a new produce item, open your taste buds to new experiences and save money all at the same time.
Compare store weekly ads
You’ll notice if you sit down with several printed store ads that most actually have the same items on sale, produce included. So while you’re doing your own coupon matchups, keep track of the produce prices and see which stores are actually cheaper. Don’t forget to look at the price per pound, or whole item price and compare that as well; it can get tricky.
If you haven’t already visited my page Rebate Apps to Get Your Money Back, you probably should go take a look, and look at the ever growing list of fabulous rebate apps. Many of which offer rebate on fresh produce.
Don’t underestimate Liquidation Stores
If you are one of the lucky souls to be living near a produce liquidation store, Do Not Underestimate the savings you can find in there! I used to live near one back in Washington, 40lb boxes of bananas for under $5. I miss that place every day…
Buy local and from small businesses
Shopping from your local mom and pop grocery store is also a great way to save. They often have much better prices as well, bargains can be found anywhere inside one of these shops. Plus there’s the added bonus of helping families put food on their tables, giving their kid that new bike or paying for the after school program, whereas who knows where your money goes when you shop from a large retailer. –Similarly, the same can be said about Farmers Markets. By shopping through them, you are supporting your local farming community, while getting fresher produce. I’m sure you can find a farmers market nearby, they often have great deals and a willingness to haggle prices.
Start your Own Garden
Seriously, the cheapest route to go has got to be growing your own food. But that requires startup funds (dirt/seeds/pots or land/etc.) It also requires hard work and patience, so if you’ve got the time and the will power, go for it. There are a ton of different items you can grow indoors, as well as portable or “off the ground” gardens you can build if you live in a rental area and cant dig in the dirt.