How to Save On…Fresh Produce, Part One
One of my least favorite coupon myths is that the only coupons out there are for unhealthy, over-packaged, bad for you foods. This is SO not true and you can save on everything, it just takes a little more work to save on items like produce, meat, milk and eggs. There are many different ways to save so I want to share some of my tips with you on how to save on produce.
Here are my tips and tricks:
- KNOW YOUR PRICES!
- Watch for sales: Follow your store prices to see what the lowest prices are on items that you buy in the produce section. Use incentive programs like JustforU to get even better deals. I can sometimes get bananas as low as $0.19/pound (not often) and know that a good price is around $0.49/pound (I can find this regularly). Know where you can get the items you want at the best prices and watch for sales. Buy what you need so you don’t waste money by throwing away spoiled produce. Bananas can be put in the freezer and used in smoothies and bread if they are getting overripe and won’t be eaten!
- Eat and buy seasonally: When produce is in season, it is MUCH cheaper. It’s basic supply and demand. For example, here in the Midwest, strawberries are cheapest in summer. I buy them by the flat at my farmer’s market and freeze them so I can have them all year. They have also started popping back up on my JustforU list (Organic Strawberries for $1.99) so I can tell it’s getting into the season. Buying from a local farmer is a great way to save, sometimes even picking them yourself!
- Preserve your produce: Don’t waste anything!!! Can, freeze, dry and store however you can to make your produce last. Did you know if you put an apple in with a bag of potatoes (that are stored in a cool, dry place), they won’t grow “eyes”? Store your produce as recommended and it will last longer.
- Watch for store incentive deals: Safeway will sometimes have a deal where you save $3 when you spend $10 on produce or a catalina coupon at the end of your order to save on produce. Use these!!! They can often be used on organic produce which is a little bit harder to find deals on. It’s a great way to save.
- Coupons: Coupons are more rare for produce but they do exist. Here’s an example: Cuties: $1/1 Cuties Box, exp. 3/26/12 (SS 02/26/12). Sometimes Dole, Avocados and other produce offer coupons on their products as well. If these can be combined with store offers…even better!