Ways to Save on Fruits and Vegetables
By Steve Gillman
We have several good pages on ways to save on the food you
buy. This one looks at how to spend less on fruits and vegetables.
Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Frozen fruits and vegetables often cost much less than fresh,
depending on the season. You can use frozen vegetables in cooked
dishes and frozen fruit in "smoothies" (just blend
orange juice with frozen blueberries, strawberries or raspberries).
Now for the really good news: The frozen versions may have
more vitamins than the fresh. This is because fresh fruits and
vegetables travel for days and sit in the store displays for
days, and then sit in your refrigerator for days, all the while
losing vitamins. The ones in the freezer department are usually
cleaned and flash-frozen shortly after being picked, thus locking
in much of the vitamin content.
How to Save on Organic Fruits and Vegetables
If you sometimes buy organic produce to avoid pesticides you
know that they can be expensive. But there is a way to keep your
pesticide exposure down while saving money. Just buy organic
when shopping for those foods with the most pesticides and spend
less to get non-organic fruits and vegetables when buying those
that typically are lowest in pesticides. The lists:
Foods with most pesticides:
Foods lowest in pesticides:
More Ways to Save
Do you want the freshest, best produce at the lowest cost?
Then buy whatever is in season at the moment. That's when you
get the highest quality, and because of the abundant supply this
is also when prices are normally the lowest. You get the same
fruits and vegetables as you normally do, but when they are ripe
and probably better for you.
You can also adjust your diet to include more fruits or vegetables
that are cheaper. Habit alone may have you buying some of the
things you eat, while there are cheaper alternatives that you
would enjoy just as much. Try any produce that's on sale and
see what you really like. Then among your favorites just buy
whatever costs the least each time you go shopping.
Gardening might seem like a way to save on your food costs,
but this rarely works if you have a small garden. By the time
you figure the costs of seeds supplies and water you may be paying
twice as much for each tomato or cucumber. On the other hand,
why not visit friends who like to show off their gardens. They
will probably send you home with a free zucchini or two.