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Friday, January 22, 2010

Frugal Friday: Fruits and Vegetables

In our family we go through a lot of fruits and vegetables. Just last week I bought a 3 lb. bag of apples and the very next day it was gone. The kids know they can munch on healthy foods as often as they want throughout the day and I am glad to know that they love a variety of fruits and vegetables, but I cringe sometimes when I am at the grocery store and see the prices. It is just darn right expensive sometimes to try to eat healthy foods. There are ways to save, even on fruits and vegetables.

My biggest help is that our local grocery store marks down all their fresh produce when it is close to the expiration date. Their bowls of already cut melons and fruits are often marked down in the morning for only 99 cents to $2.99 per bowl, and they often contain a couple pounds of fruit that is already prepared, so you are paying for all fruit and no rinds or peels that add bulk that you pay for and just throw away. The kids love it when we come away with watermelon, cantaloupe, or the huge fruit trays of strawberries, kiwis, pineapple, grapes, and melon for $2.99 or under. They do the same thing with vegetables, I am often able to get a package of broccoli and cauliflower for under $1 and it is at least 2 pounds of just the heads. Delicious just sliced up with some dip. Their bananas are marked down before they spoil and you can often buy a bag full of apples or potatoes for $1. I have seen these same markdowns at Super Walmart and Target so I'm fairly certain all grocery stores have these markdowns. The key is to figure out when they do the markdowns and to get there right around that time.

Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are another way to save. They are less expensive but often the same quality as fresh so don't pass them by. Watch for sales and stock up when they hit their bottom price.

Grow your own. In the summer we get the majority of our vegetables from the garden. If you have more space you can grow enough to can and preserve some for the winter months. We planted strawberries last year in hopes of having a small harvest of them this coming year but hubby accidentally pulled them up last year, not realizing that they were going to come back. But we have hopes of growing some type of fruit this year. We are debating between melons or raspberries.

Go to U-Pick farms. Apple farms and strawberry farms often are quite cheap when you go and pick your own. We know someone who charges just $1 per pound for his strawberries when you pick them. They are delicious and we get several pails for, mainly just for fresh eating but I do freeze some for later as well. Look in your local newspapers or call around to see if there are any U-Pick farms in your area.

Go to Farmer's Markets. They are often cheaper than the grocery store, the food is fresher, and you can haggle with the farmer to get a better deal if you feel like it. If you go towards the last hour you can get some great deals as the farmers like to get rid of everything by the end of the day.

Buy in bulk. Many grocery stores will sell flats of peaches, strawberries, and other fruits at a discounted price. Call the local growers in your areas to see if they will sell flats of their produce. Some things will keep for awhile (apples, potatoes, and squash for instance) and other things can be canned or frozen for later use. Buy in season and prepare it so it will keep.

You can find deals on the majority of your fruits and vegetables. You just need to shop around, find out when markdowns happen, and sometimes buy in bulk and prepare it ahead of times. Healthy food can be frugal food!


  1. Thanks for the tip! I'll have to see if my store does those markdowns too!

  2. Thanks for these ideas! I loved them all. Only thing is... your comment about frozen veggies. Maybe things are different locally, but frozen veggies here are usually twice or three times the price of the fresh veggies, and when the fresh are on sale, the frozen are six or seven times the price. Its nuts. I try to make my own frozen veggies because of this.



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