You want your family to eat food that’s fresh and healthy, but it can be really aggravating – not to mention quite expensive – to fill your grocery cart with apples, oranges, berries, bananas, and other fruit, only to watch it rot on the counter or find yourself eating PB&Js every day just to pay for it.
But it’s going to be okay: just follow these tips from consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch and you can buy fruit by the bushel without breaking the bank. Good for you and your debit card, so dig in!
1. Buy seasonal. In-season fruits and veggies will cost less since there is more available. The website eattheseasons.com will tell you what to buy now for the best prices. Buy what’s on sale and create recipes based on discounted produce.
2. Don’t overbuy. The most expensive items in the produce section are those that go to waste and end up in your trash even if you bought it on sale. If you don't know how to properly prepare ingredients and tend to overbuy or throw away food, consider signing up for eMeals, a site that provides you with weekly meal planning and accurate ingredients.
3. Stop paying for convenience. Avoid pre-cut, pre-chopped, pre-sliced produce and opt for whole produce, which can save you nearly 40 percent.
4. Freeze your berries and bananas. If you don't think you will finish the fruit before it spoils, freeze it for later use. Frozen berries and bananas are perfect for smoothies, homemade frozen yogurt and other treats.
5. Buy frozen berries. When berries aren't in season or on sale, opt for frozen bags of fruit to save up to 30 percent. Frozen berries contain the same amount of nutrients as fresh do.
6. Grow your own herbs. Many shoppers tend to waste herbs they buy in large packages, especially since the little bit needed for a specific recipe is not readily available for sale.
7. Go for bulk savings. Stores such as Costco and other warehouse clubs offer the best savings on produce. The catch here is that you have to buy in bulk, which runs the risk of spoilage if you buy too much. In this instance, I recommend sticking to one type of fruit or vegetable and coming up with a few different recipes around it for the week to ensure you eat it all.
Do you have any tips for shopping for fruit?
Image via Bert Kimura/Flickr
This post was written by Lesley Kennedy, the senior managing editor at coupon and money-saving site ShopAtHome.com.