At least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended daily, but shopping for these items (especially organic or not in season produce) can be pricy…How to shop smart for fruits and veggies you ask? Let’s take a look at some tips for smart shopping, because making healthy choices does not have to hurt your wallet!
- Always buy what’s in Season
- Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables when they’re in season; not only is the produce fresher and better tasting, but they tend to be less expensive. Of course, best place to shop: your local farmer’s market!
- Buy in bulk when items are on sale
- I have always made fun of my parents and in laws for having enough food to feed a small army, but now I get it; stock up and save some cash! Buy fruits and veggies you use often in lager bags, you’ll save some money there. For canned and frozen foods, stock up when they’re on sale, since they last much longer.
- Keep it simple
- Although I’m a big proponent of taking shortcuts if it helps you cook more often (pre-washed, pre-cut), if you’re trying to save money, go for simple. While obviously more convenient, the more ready-to-eat fruits and veggies will often cost much more than those purchased in their original form. This is when some decent knife skills can save you!
- Stick to your list
- Make a list, and stick to it! And don’t go to the store when you’re hungry! You will always save money and avoid food waste by buying only what you need. Take a few minutes each week or on the weekend and plan your menu for the week.
- Don’t be afraid of canned or frozen
- Especially when not in season, canned or frozen fruits and veggies may be less expensive than fresh. Because they are canned or frozen at the peak of ripeness, the flavor and nutrition profile are comparable to fresh produce. For canned items, choose vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.
- Plant your own!
- Best option of course! Start your own garden; plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs. Check this out on How to Start Your Own Garden
- Cook smart!
- Two important aspects of saving money are buying smart and cooking smart. Prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews, or casseroles to avoid food waste and have dinners available any time! Add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend them to make sauces or soups. Overripe fruit is great for smoothies (Recipe Here) or muffins (Recipe Here). I also like buying bananas when on sale and freezing them!
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