With summer right around the corner, fresh produce will be in abundance and easy to find, but it's always nice to save when you can! Depending on the time of year, produce prices fluctuate and I am always watching prices and tend to buy a few extra of something if I know the price is rock bottom. Here are my top 5 ways to save on fresh produce.
#1. Buy in-season produce. Fruits and vegetables will always be less expensive if you purchase them in the correct growing season.
Your best bet is to buy in bulk and freeze extra if needed. If you need a fruit or vegetable that isn't in season, buying frozen is often a more economical option.
#2. Shop the sale ads. Prior to grocery shopping each week, check your local grocery store ads to see what produce is going to be on sale. If I don't see a fruit or veggie on sale, I don't buy it.
#3. Check the discounted produce rack. Some stores will discount ripe produce saving you money.
My store marks their extra produce down every morning and the selection varies by day, but you can snag some great deals. It's also a great way to freeze extras to use later.
#4. Price match. Not only does price matching other store ads save you money, but it also saves on gas and driving from store to store. As soon as the sale ads arrive each week I sit down with pen in hand and circle the fresh produce I plan on price matching at my store.
I then make sure to put the ads in my bag so I have them on hand while I'm shopping. (Double-check expiration dates and be sure to know your local store's price match policy before going to the store.)
#5. Shop local. With summer in full bloom, farmers' markets are a fantastic place to find fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Shop later in the day and ask for a discount. Farmers often want to unload as much produce as they can before heading back to the farm. The worst they can say is no so be sure to ask.
Live near a farm? Check to see if they offer a co-op plan where you can buy shares during the summer months and take as much or as little produce as often as you need.
#6. Coupons and money-saving sites and apps such as SavingStar, Ibotta and Checkout 51. Check them weekly for new offers on fresh produce.
Coupons for products don't come around often but writing your favorite company and asking about coupons. For example, Driscoll Berries often offers coupons via email and snail-mail.
#7. Plant your own garden. Start small and grow a few vegetables from seeds or head over to your local greenhouse for a few seedlings of your favorite vegetable.
You can always give extra to friends and family or freeze. You won't be disappointed with growing your own fruits and vegetables as they always taste the best.