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This is how I've learned how to get more for my money in the produce section of our grocery store. Every week, I buy two plastic containers of organic spring mix lettuce, two containers of organic grape tomatoes and a small bunch of celery. The organic spring mix comes in a 1 lb. container for $4.99 each, organic grape tomatoes are $4.99 for each pint, and a small bunch of celery is $1.50 each.
Instead of just picking up the produce and throwing it into my cart as most shoppers do, I take the extra time and weigh four packages of lettuce, four packages of tomatoes and different bunches of celery. The weights are not all equal and some weigh more than others. So this is how I've learned how to save money.
Source: Personal Experience
I am a mother of 3 children (7, 5 and 3), not to mention I have a husband who can eat. While most of you know, growing children can basically eat you out of house and home.
We live on a tight budget, so it's not like we can just buy fruits and veggies all the time at the grocery store (which are 3x more expensive). We go to a few local farmers markets. We went last weekend and spent $40. That would've cost us around $150 at the grocery store. We like to eat fruits and veggies a lot so what we do is this.
We buy as much as we possibly can at that time. Bring it home, clean it, cut it up and freeze it. It saves you money in the winter time when the farmers are not harvesting. So instead of paying $4.99 for a bag of carrots, you go to the freezer and there they are.
You can get really good deals with the farmers markets. We got watermelon for $1 as well as cantaloupe and carrots. They have things for everyone. As a treat for in the summer time, my kids will pull out frozen banana slices, watermelon, etc. It's a win, win for everyone in the house.
I have several ideas for using fruits and veggies before they go bad. Onions, bell pepper, celery, other veggies I can use in a recipe, I chop, then store in the freezer in a ziplock freezer bag.
When traveling or even commuting, be mindful of regional bargains. For example, when we drive to Eastern Washington (from Western Washington), we visit some fruit stands to take advantage of bargains on apples and cherries. The fruit is grown there so the fruit is extremely fresh and inexpensive if you buy it in season.
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I was tired of being sluggish and overweight, so I gave up my pop and cheese and unhealthy meals for a diet of mainly vegetables and fruits. I love it! It hasn't been even a week yet and I have already lost 4 pounds (I know some is water weight, but hey, it's weight lost!)
My issue is, it is so expensive! I live in an apartment on the 6th floor so I can't have a garden, but I love fresh fruits and veggies. Does anyone have any tips on how to save money on fresh produce? If you do, can you share with me what you did and how you saved? I know this is worth it for me to be healthier and have more energy, but I need to save as much as I can, too.
Any helpful comments would be appreciated!
Do you know that you can spend more money on pop and junk snacks as you can on vegetables and fruits? During the growing season there are lots of folks who raise their produce and sell it along roadside stands. Also you can shop at farmers markets to buy fresh fruit and vegetables which is much cheaper then a lot of the grocery chains. Also look for vegetables and fruit that are reduced, but make sure that you don't keep it for a long period of time.
Buy some packages of frozen vegetables and stir-fry them. Supplement a lot of your daily diet with vegetables and limit your intake of meat. And last but not least execise!
Take a daily walk outside your apartment complex, walking will burn off the excess calories and you will lose the weight. This isn't something that you do only once in your life. I've told many people that they have to make a decision of changing their lifestyles.
MCW is correct, summer growers markets are a great way to get fresh produce. Sometimes the prices seem a little higher, but, the fruits and veggies taste better and last longer than supermarket versions.
Even though you live in an apartment, if you have a bright window, or a little extra space with a florescent light or a small patio you can grow some of your own veggies. Tomatoes, lettuce, radishes all do well in containers as do many others. Look for container specific varieties for tomatoes. Even though I have a garden, I container plant my lettuce.
Hope this helps.