Tips and ideas for saving money on vegetables.
When you buy fresh carrots - or any produce sold in 1 lb, 5 lb, etc. bags, weigh several of what appear to be the heaviest bags. Buy the heaviest one. You can often get about 1/2 pound more of the produce than the label says! Good luck!
I watch sales closely and purchase what I haven't been able to grow myself. I buy celery and dice it, put it in plastic bags and freeze it. I do the same with carrots and onions and bell peppers. You can lay them out flat to freeze then put them in bags and they're easier to use just a few.
By Glenn's Mom
Since it isn't possible to grow much of my own, I seriously hit farm stands and farmer's markets during the 'in' seasons; then freeze and/or can as much as possible. I personally find grocery store produce way over priced and flavorless compared to seasonal veggies.
I grow what I can, and can or freeze. I try to get as much out of the garden as I possibly can. My goal is to eventually have it to last us a year, but I have a ways to go on that yet.
When you find fruits or veggies at a price too good to pass up, and you have the storage room, buy in bulk and stock up. If you freeze them, remember veggies keep their texture and taste better if you blanch them before freezing.
Farmers markets are a good shopping source. Also, check the for sale ads in little farm town papers. Many farmers sell excess produce.
Another good source to find farm fresh veggies for sale could be your county extension office. Many know of a 4H kid who is selling part of their crop (or even eggs).
You don't have to put up food in large scales. When I see peppers marked down to 20 cents each, I buy a few and dice them up, then blanch. I pat dry, then put in a large freezer bag for use on pizza, chili, omelets. I just grab a handful as needed.
Also, check your fridge on a regular base. Use up food or freeze it before it goes bad. It does not gain you anything if you buy it cheap, but let it go to waste.
I brought those Debbie Mayer Green Bags for $20.00 and they are great. When you are done with them you just rinse them out and reuse again. You put your veggies or fruit and fold over and they stay fresh. I should know, I left a head of lettuce in the fridge for weeks and if was still good. It is worth the money
After dinner, we put the leftover spoonful or two of vegetables (not broccoli) or rice in a plastic container or bag and freeze it. We keep adding to the bag or container until it gets full. Then we make vegetable soup for free.
The Green Bags help, but the best way to save money on veggies is to buy what's in season. In season veggies are much less expensive, and also are at the peak of their flavor and nutritional value!
Think about tomatoes for example. How many times have you paid 3 prices for a tomato in the winter and it tastes like cardboard? The same holds true for other fruits and veggies. Buy in season for better value and more enjoyment.
I am lucky to live close (2hrs away) to a produce auction. Last year I got 20 large eggplants for 1.50! Nobody knew what to do with them, so I got them cheap. I have 6 sons and many cookbooks, so I can find a recipe or preserve anything that they will eat. Also, growing vegetables will help children eat them if they get to help in the planting and harvesting. I try many exotic or odd veggies when on sale. Most raw veggies are great as is or with a little soysauce or ranch dressing. You save the most money, by not wasting any. When they are getting close to the edge of freshness, I cook and use in soup or freeze.
Hi, My Grandmother lived by some farms. She would go to the farms right after they had picked the crop and ask if she could have some vegetables that were left in the fields. They always told her yes, and they were free. She would have lots of brown bags with her and fill them up with the vegetables. Then she would share them with people. Loretta
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