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Keeping fruits and veggies affordable?



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LOVE4KITTIES
Posts: 1,813
11/16/12 3:06 P

I, too, am eating a lot of sweet potatoes right now. I got a big bag at Costco a couple of weeks ago. I like them baked in a hot oven until they are soft to the touch. I slice them open and add just a touch of brown sugar and a little Brummel and Brown spread. I also got a big bag of regular potatoes. Both types are packed with nutrients. As you say, though, they are starchy veggies and I count them as a starch and pair them with another, non-starchy, veggie. Lately, I've been eating a lot of salads. I've been getting large tubs of baby greens at Costco for a good price. I'm about to start growing my own baby greens, though, as the ones in tubs just don't last as long as I'd like. I've got a couple of sunny windows and plan to grow lettuce in pots.

It won't be long before it's orange season and, then, I'll be buying oranges in 10 lb bags. Right now, I seem to be eating a lot of pears because I'm finding them on sale. Apple prices are outrageous this year (I saw something on the news about why, but I've forgotten what they said) so I haven't been buying many. Sadly, we ate all the apples from our tree already.

Costco does seem to have good prices on frozen fruits and I have been known to buy those and make them into smoothies. They also have good prices on some dried fruits like apricots. Don't forget raisins, as they are also good for you. Dried fruits actually have a good nutrient profile. They are higher in calories, but, this is because the water is removed. You do have to watch out for the ones with added sugar.

I've been growing fruit trees, blueberries and veggies in containers for a few years now. My last house had a very small backyard (more of a patio), but I still got a lot of fruits and veggies (mostly veggies because my fruit trees are young still) from my container garden. Even a couple of tomato plants will more than supply us with more tomatoes than we can eat. As a general rule, I try to grow things that are more expensive in the grocery stores...things like tomatoes and snow peas. The taste of home grown produce is amazing. I've been considering buying a mushroom kit as I've got a cool, dark spot in my house that I think they would like. Not sure if this would save me any money, though.



KYLAR_STERN
SparkPoints: (22,092)
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Posts: 1,053
11/16/12 1:30 P

Thanks, and what have you seen on my tracker that is processed or garbage food? I do a good job of specifically eating whole food, unless I'm cheating and at someones house and have some chips or go out to eat or something. I don't buy organic food just cause its so much more money on top of buy real food, but I think the most processed thing I eat on a regular basis is some bagel sandwhich thins or tortillas. My one big problem is binging, so if you see about 4000 calories worth of utter garbage in there, please just look away haha. When I'm eating right, its all stuff I could get off a farm pretty much. I just hate how expensive that gets.


I've heard great things about trader joes, but there isn't one around me. There's a kroger with a natural foods section but I don't go there much cause its all soo, so much more expensive. I'll get peanut butter (since they have a kind that is purely ground peanuts, no oil, salt, or sugars added) and granola there ocassionally but that's about it.



BLONDBIKEGIRL
Posts: 33
11/16/12 12:25 P

There is tons of wisdom in here, but I do want to point something out. I checked out your profile and young man, you have done well. You have a strong body that DESERVES whole real food. Not that you are, but just in case... stop putting the garbage processed 'diet' food in your cart and you'll have a lot more money left over for the real stuff. For a while I had a hard time justifying organic strawberries or peppers, but then I started to value my health more and decided that they were worth it because I was worth it. Don't get me wrong, I shop local, I shop sales and I am seasonal, but I do also have fresh blackberries and raspberries to stir into my greek yogurt every day too. Why? Because I love it and my body feels so good with real food in it and that, well, that's just flat out worth it.

Trader Joes - They have amazing prices, their foods don't have chemicals and preservatives in them and they have tons of organics. If you haven't wandered in to one in your area I highly suggest you do. Nugget o' Wisdom: They guarantee EVERYTHING. If you buy something and you just don't like it, bring it back. Opened even. Swear. They will refund your money and probably help you find something else that does work for you. And they'll even open the bag of the new stuff right there with you to taste and make sure you like it. They're just that kind of place. :)



CAKEMAKERMOM
Posts: 2,386
11/16/12 10:46 A

I can't afford to buy anything I want. I will buy produce in season, for example, right now we're in apple season with many varieties to choose from. I never buy anything full price, always wait for the sale and go with that week's ad. If you have the ability, shop at several places, I do a grocery store and Target, I refuse to buy produce at WalMart, it seems to be less fresh, but that may just be my WalMart.

I buy my broccoli, corn and beans frozen. I don't do too many others, but frozen is the way to go if you're just going to cook with them anyhow. They tend to be cheaper and the nutrition is just as good as fresh.

I will occasionally do fruit in the can, but I make sure to do it packed in juice, no sweeteners added, that brings it down to one brand, but it's better packed in it's own juice and fruit does not need "added sweeteners".

Stick with the sale of the week and buy weekly if you can. If you have an Aldi's, it may be worth it, but I tend to only be getting the one or two items, so it may not be worth the trip out of my way.

Never pay full price!

Try new foods, you never know what you may like.



KAPELAKIN
Posts: 1,971
11/15/12 10:18 P

Most weeks I participate in the Bountiful Baskets co-op, and get a big basket of 6 veggie and 6 fruit items for $15. It is usually about $30 worth of stuff if I were to buy it at the grocery store instead. Some weeks, I also get their veggie lovers add on for an extra $8.50 and that comes close to covering our fruits and veggies for the week, and we eat TONS between the two of us.

It helps to get stuff that is locally grown and seasonal as well. Some things keep quite well. I get a 50# bag of onions in the fall for $10 and keep them in the garage, and don't have to buy onions again until about June.

When berries are on sale, I buy a bunch and freeze them for smoothies or yogurt/cereal topping later.



SINAED
SparkPoints: (14,583)
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Posts: 202
11/15/12 8:17 P

Grow your own veggies and fruit trees. This gets u moving in the garden to burn calories in a fun way. If u have friends who grow there own, you can swap surplus fresh vegetables and fruit to get variety



GRIZ1GIRL
SparkPoints: (124,359)
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Posts: 2,222
11/15/12 4:28 P

Since I eat so many fresh fruits & veggies every week, I don't track the cost. I just buy whatever I want to eat...that way I always have something healthy ready to nosh on.

I don't buy meat--so that's a HUGE grocery cost savings....and I buy generic dried goods as often as possible. :)



SKABELS2
Posts: 76
11/15/12 3:48 P

I freeze a lot of things (cabbage and green beans, for example). I usually just lightly blanch them, then freeze them in a ziploc.

Frozen spinach is fairly inexpensive. So are fresh carrots, celery, onions, and sometimes lettuce. The key is to buy it unprepared (lettuce heads, whole carrots).

When apples or pears are on sale in the fall, I make a simple sauce by dicing them and cooking with a little water, then freezing it. Same with tomatoes.

I am also a huge fan of dried fruit, although the sugar content on these is super high. But I tend to eat less of it anyway, and they store well. They are also great for snacking on the go.

I also mix a lot of fruits and veggies. I may splurge on blueberries, but I will use a few of them mixed with a cheaper fruit like apples or oranges to make a fruit salad. Same with veggies - asparagus with carrots, onions, and green beans.



GETULLY
SparkPoints: (52,164)
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Posts: 1,481
11/15/12 2:26 P

at this time of year--unless I can get veg/fruit from grower it is frozen. Frozen veg with a little garlic powder--yum! I have to admit that fruit consumption goes down in the winter except for frozen berries. Cost is definitely a barrier. So I eat more of the veg than fruit.



GIVENTHANKS
Posts: 437
11/15/12 11:21 A

I try to buy fruits that are in season and on sale. I have found that Aldi's and Save-A-Lot are good places to save money. I stretch veggies by using them in soups. If you make a big pot of soup, it makes quick and easy left-overs and the flavors are even better after the first day. Right now I have soup in the fridge. It was made with 1/2 large bag of Birdseye CA blend (brocoli, cauliflower, and carrots), and a small bag of Italian green beans. We also put some onions in it. Instead of using broths that are high in sodium, we use water. We sometimes use a little bonesless, skinless chicken to flavor it. We do not use salt so we put some different seasonings in it. I also add cilantro (love it!) and put tobasco in it. You could also use some garlic. It is a way to eat economically and have some quick and easy left-over meals. If you have places where you can buy locally grown veggies, that would be great because there is no better way than to buy fresh from the field to your table. BTW, some other soups that I love are lentil soup, split green pea soup, and veggie and quinoa soup. If you have left-over veggies from a meal, use them to make a soup. The best thing about soups is that you can be creative and you might end up finding a favorite!

Have a great day!

Pat



YOJULEZ
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Posts: 2,171
11/15/12 11:18 A

I would put them in a cabinet or other dark place so they last longer. Potatoes go bad because of light/air. I keep mine in a box on the bottom of my pantry and they last a long time. I bought 5lbs to use for Thanksgiving 2 weeks ago when organic ones were on sale and they still look as good as the day I bought them. I also have a 15lb bag of regular potatoes that I got for $3 a couple weeks ago and those still look good too.

I like adding spicy things to them, like those canned chipotle peppers. You can mash the sweet potatoes then add a pepper (or two if you want it really hot). (here's the recipe for the mashed ones budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2011/01/chipotle-
mashed-sweet-potatoes-212.html
easy to cut down for one) I've also sliced them into disks and baked them with a bit of brown sugar and a spice mixture (here's the recipe dlynz.com/?p=2353 )



MEG-NATALIA07
Posts: 679
11/15/12 10:58 A

I like my sweet potatoes sweet and often have one for dessert with dinner. I microwave it and top with some butter, cinnamon, and Stevia (I like NuStevia as is has no after-flavor.) Completely agree with your analysis of "1/2 vegetable 1/2 starch". That's how I've thought of them too.



WHITLA011
SparkPoints: (1,923)
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Posts: 63
11/15/12 10:30 A

Kylar_Stern, sweet potatoes are awesome! There a lot of things that go really well with them. If you want sweet, you can do cinnamon/nutmeg. But you could also try chipotle spice, Chinese five-spice powder, or even curry.



MRSALLYP
SparkPoints: (20,139)
Fitness Minutes: (55,424)
Posts: 147
11/15/12 9:12 A

I do a organic produce box from a nearby farm that has a mix of fruits and veggies in it for $25 or $35 depending on the size I get. Each week it changes so it helps for me to try some new things but then I go to my local grocery store and see what is on sale for vegtables and typically buy those plus I get the apples at the best price for the week, clementines and bananas since those always get used. I also found this time of the year I can get strawberries, mangos, peaches and pineapple already cut and frozen for a reasonable price and then I keep them frozen and make smoothies for breakfast. I typically have about 2 cups of fruit and protien powder with coconut milk in my smoothie. I also find that baby spinach tends to be ok price wise and if I make a lasagna I can put the spinach in the food processor and then mix it in the ricotta layer to add more veggies. Soybeans are another great veggie that you can add to a stir-fry or a salad and if you get them frozen you can steam them up in the microwave easily.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,747
11/15/12 8:04 A

dole tends to can in juice not syrup. or rather, they do both since they have syrup as well. delmonte tends to just have syrup. and the store brand will depend on which is the best seller. i'm fairly certain that i have bought target and publix canned fruit in juice, but i don't have any in the pantry to verify this.

do not store your sweet potatoes on your fridge. the top of your fridge is warm and odds are it gets some light at some point during the day. you need to store potatoes in a cool, dark spot unless you're planning on growing sweet potatoes.
as far as spicing them, i like using 1.paprika and cayenne mixed or 2.plain old bay or 3. cajun seasoning.



NEVERDONE
Posts: 1
11/15/12 7:17 A

99 Cent stores carry fresh produce. The selections vary, but I find a wide variety of fresh produce, asparagus, cauliflower, berries, plums, apples, avocados, and more. Lately, I have found Earthbound Organic (different types including spring mix, baby spinach, etc.) Earthbound usually sells for $3.99 in grocery stores. And, the fruits and vegetables are fresh, not expired. Find out when your store gets deliveries for the best selection.



KYLAR_STERN
SparkPoints: (22,092)
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Posts: 1,053
11/15/12 6:45 A

Sweet potatoes were on sale at walmart for 33 cents a pound. How long will they keep sitting in a bag on top of my fridge? Thinking about going and loading up on them since they are such a great carb source with vitamins. I kinda think of them as getting half a vegetable with my complex carb when I eat them. Love dicing and mixing them with olive oil, chili powder, oregano, and crushed red pepper and then throwing them in the oven. Not to get us too off track of the topic, but what are other spices you like adding to sweet potatoes since I'll be eating a lot more of them soon I think?



BEBOP4ME
SparkPoints: (17,954)
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Posts: 427
11/14/12 6:31 P

Shop for things on sale and buy in season. I also like to buy directly from local growers and pick my own, if possible. The taste is usually better buying direct.



GOPINTOS
SparkPoints: (32,747)
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Posts: 6,263
11/14/12 5:34 P

The garden and canning post reminded me that I also bought a dehydrator, in order to free up freezer room. I haven't really used it to the fullest, but this was a great reminder :)



ANDILH
Posts: 1,151
11/14/12 5:31 P

We had a fairly large garden over the summer, so I did a lot of chopping for freezing or canning (which is actually easier than it sounds!). All the time I spent over the summer caring for the garden, chopping, and preparing for freezing or canning is so worth it now when all I have to do is walk down to the basement and choose what I need. During the summer there is a great farm stand near my house, so I go there a lot.
I've also discovered which store in my area carries the best produce. It is usually lower prices than the other stores and lasts far longer. They buy as much locally as they can. Buying canned or frozen veggies while on sale and storing makes for easy access to those items.



GOPINTOS
SparkPoints: (32,747)
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11/14/12 2:20 P

PPL have already mentioned what I would have said, like shopping the sales, buying in season. I like to freeze things if you have freezer space. One of my stores, I know that mid-afternoon, if I can get away, that is when I can usually find some marked down produce. Still looks great and what we can't eat up in a day or two, I freeze. That might change the texture and affect how I use it, but still a viable option.

I also have a Dutch Store out in the middle of nowhere, where I can find awesome produce.

When things go on sale, like right now one of my stores is having an awesome frozen veggie sale. If you look on the sale tag, usually in small print it will tell you how long that sale will last, sometimes longer than the circular. So right now I know that my frozen veggies are on sale until January 5 so that gives me the chance to really stock up.



CREED9798
Posts: 2
11/14/12 1:54 P

Remember to buy in season. Know when which fruit and vegetable are in season. Summer and Fall harvest time along with spring and maybe winter.

Also, the farmer's market could be cheaper. Watch for sales and know your prices. Compare one store with another and ask other people what they think is a good price. Walmart and Meijer's have a wide selection at good prices. Walmart matches with competitors. emoticon



OBIESMOM2
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Posts: 4,472
11/14/12 12:53 P

don't know if this a logistical option for you - but what about wholesale clubs? If the quantity is too much, find a friend or family member to split items (and cost) with you.

buy bagged produce - it's cheaper and the sizes are smaller (portion control!). I rarely buy anything other than pre-bagged pears or apples. I check the back carefully to make sure everything is in good shape (too often there will be some damaged goods when I get home if I don't inspect the contents).

same with sweet potatoes. I buy a small bag of them at the wholesale club for about $3. Again, the sizes are smaller.



KYLAR_STERN
SparkPoints: (22,092)
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Posts: 1,053
11/14/12 12:36 P

@Williams- yep, I feel like an old lady at Kroger, I generally have a couple coupons with me each time I go. I love their weekly ad. I look through that and that basically decides what meats I'll be eating the next week. I guess one big problem is that I'm not a big fan of the traditional "lunchbox apples" Gala's are meh at best and I can't stand red delicious. Honeycrisp are of course the best of all the apples, but by far the most expensive. I figure its a decent compromise if I go with a Fuji or Ambrose or another middling type, but those have been slowly rising in price.

Sweet potatoes are dropping down to 68 cents a pound I saw so I'll be eating more of those. But those are more of a carb than a vegetable. Frustrating when the bags of frozen vegetables that advertise "family size" are really only enough for two meals. And then things like peppers and onions just add to the cost of a meal, since I still like eating a plain vegetable on the side.

Where are you finding canned in water fruits? The only stuff I ever see gives me options of heavy or light syrup. Pineapples are the only thing I see canned in their own juice. Saw some peaches once that where in water, but had artificial sweetener added which I just thought was pointless. And frozen fruit, I don't ever see those in stores. but some frozen strawberries or anything really, would be great. I'd be afraid they added a bunch of a sugar to use a preservative tho.



CLRWILLIAMS25
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11/14/12 11:54 A

If I recall correctly, you also do some grocery shopping at Kroger. Sign up with your Kroger card online! They have tons of coupons. they have also started emailing me weekly with an extra coupon ($5 off 50 last week and $2 off $5 worth of produce this week). Their coupons stay valid longer than manufacturers coupons. If a new credit card is an option for you, I would get their credit card also. You will always need food, so why not get rewards for groceries?

... stepping off of my 'I love Kroger' soapbox...

Definitely check the weekly circulars to see whats on sale. I plan meals around sale items. I've been getting the gala apples for 99c/lb for over a month! Onions, potatoes, squash etc are all in season and cheaper than normal right now. I also buy bell peppers when they go on sale ( or in the about to go bad bins) and make a ton of stuffed peppers. Fruit is about to be in its expensive season, which sucks. I rarely find it to be cheaper to buy the frozen fruit. Canned can be a good option during winter as long as you doin't get the kind in syrup.




MEG-NATALIA07
Posts: 679
11/14/12 10:53 A

Frozen Veggies are very helpful for me, I get lots of spinach, peas, and corn. The fruit I try to stick with mostly seasonal stuff. But during the winter like now, I adjust my budget and get less rice, breads, pastas, and canned stuff so that I can afford to get the fruit I need. I don't think I should have to limit the fresh produce in my diet... but here's to store prices, grrr.



YOGINILMT
Posts: 309
11/14/12 9:50 A

Frozen veggies! So much more affordable, and you can save time by not having to chop them up.



NOTTOOLATEJUDY
Posts: 349
11/14/12 9:22 A

Another Walmart girl here for bagged apples and frozen berries.
I also shop at Kroger when they have good sales. I'm lucky that both stores are close to where I live, so I don't have to waste gas money on saving a grocery money.



JDMAKEIT2HOT
Posts: 8,399
11/14/12 6:02 A

I recently went to a sprouts store and got great deals on produce!!!!



GLC2009
Posts: 1,292
11/14/12 3:24 A

i don't find veggies or fruit have to be expensive. i'm certainly happier on shopping days when i am buying produce than the days where i am buying cheese and meats. i come out of the store with way more bags for way less money emoticon

i also buy what's in season. choose rutabagas instead of turnips. yams instead of sweet potatoes. that kind of thing.

for canned veggies, i'll stock up when it's on sale. for eg: i buy alot of canned tomatoes without added salt. they range from $1 a can to $2.50 a can. so, when they're $1, i buy alot. then i'll never get stuck paying $2.50.




PEACEFULONE
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11/14/12 1:55 A

I grow some myself on our city lot. We had a huge harvest of apples, rhubarb, tomatoes, and green peppers. Plenty to eat in season and canned and froze lots for this winter. We also grew parsley, kale and spinach.



BONITA-GORDITA
Posts: 107
11/13/12 10:12 P

Sales are my friend, but sometimes I splurge. I buy an expensive apple, and I skip buying a coffee.

My main staple is frozen vegetables. Oftentimes they are the better choice, as they are frozen and hold their nutritional value, whereas the fresh ones can deplete easier. So I buy frozen blueberries, mixed vegetables, broccoli... those are staples. I like the frozen stir-fry veggies from Costco. It is easy enough to throw those in a pot while I'm making dinner, and I can load up my plate with vegetables.

If people have extra garden veggies, I take them. I got some green peppers this year that I chopped and froze and am still using now. I love that when I take them out to throw on a pizza or whatever they were FREE.

I also buy lettuce and greens. They are relatively inexpensive, and don't fluctuate too terribly much. It is hard, though, and expensive. I wish I could load up on fruits and veggies constantly without having to worry about the price, but that's not my reality.



HELLOFLO429
Posts: 14
11/13/12 7:20 P

Wal-Mart will price match other ads prices.I take my pile of grocery store circulars from the mail and paper and write down on a list the items I want to buy and take it to Wal-mart and they will give you that price. I find that a lot of the hispanic based grocery stores (we have quite a few in Las Vegas) has CRAZY cheap prices on produce and meats. Like cucumbers 7 for a dollar and heads of lettuce 33 cents each, grapes .88 a pound and apples 3 lbs for a buck! There are also other great deals on meat, eggs, milk etc. You cant beat that price and instead of going to 3 different stores you can just go to Wal-mart and do all your shopping,. Just make sure you take the ads with you to show them if they ask.

Edited by: HELLOFLO429 at: 11/13/2012 (19:20)


NIRERIN
Posts: 11,747
11/13/12 4:21 P

apples in the bulk bins are about 2.50 here regular price as well. if you buy them in the 3lb bag, the same kind of apple will run you 2.99 or 3.99 for the whole bag, which means they're $1-1.30 per pound or 40 or 50 cents a serving.
grapes i bought for 99cents a pound a few weeks ago.
buying heads of lettuce means they don't spoil as much and you get more. red leaf lettuce runs 1.89 for a head, and a head is at least 12oz of lettuce. a 6-9oz bag of lettuce will run you about 2.50 and go bad in a few days. lettuce and spinach are also things that are really easy to grow. you can buy a window box for about $7. another $3 and you'll have enough potting soil to fill it. $3 will get you a lettuce mix, a lettuce blend and spinach in seed packets. add some regular watering and some time in a sunny spot and you only have to get six heads' worth to recoup your initial outlay, and everything after that is savings.



GRAMCRACKER46
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11/13/12 4:18 P

Aldi's does have good prices. But I buy most of my produce at a local stand. What they don't have, I get at the grocery store and I shop where the produce section is the best in town.



CHERYL_ANNE
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11/13/12 4:15 P

Buying in-season has really helped me with the grocery budget. I buy fruits and veg from the mark-down area at the local market quite frequently. Also, if there is an Aldi near you, they have the basics at very reasonable prices.



WANYONI
Posts: 173
11/13/12 3:31 P

Like most people have said here buying whats on sale helps, also I eat collard greens and the fresh ones are usually cheaper than the frozen when in season. For fruits Aldi's has great prices good thing is if i'm going to wal-mart they give same price as Aldi's and I don't have to show the ad. Like today I got their $3.38 pineapple for $1.29, last week I got bananas from walmart at aldi's price of $29c / lb instead of their price of 54c.

I go through the ads sent in mail and see whats cheap at other stores and get it from my walmart which is closer thus saving gas



HEATHER502
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Posts: 134
11/13/12 3:18 P

Produce has a reputation of being expensive, but I think it all evens out in the end. If you buy other foods instead of eating healthy fruits & veggies, they're just as expensive. Good luck and keep up the great work of eating smart and healthy.

emoticon



MICHELLEXXXX
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11/13/12 2:06 P

Ways I keep veggie costs managable:

garden
shop at Aldi's
buy some frozen
join a CSA



GIGI-NICOLE
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Posts: 254
11/13/12 12:45 P

My go-to veggies are from the frozen "Normandy Blend" (cauliflowers, broccoli, carrots, yellow squash, and zuccini) from Wal-Mart. I buy the huge bag that will last at least 2 weeks and add frozen asparagus, seasonal squashes like butternut or spaghetti during the week. I buy onions and peppers to cut up and freeze when they are cheap. I'll buy potatoes in bulk and keep them cool so they will last longer. I'll throw in a bag of mixed greens to have a couple salads during the beginning of the week.

I buy frozen fruit from Wal-Mart because it is cheaper. I'll buy 1 bag of the frozen mixed berries blend for smoothies, a few bananas (I buy these twice a week so they don't go bad on me), a small bag of apples (whatever is on sale), and a few pears. I have learned to adjust my go-to fruit to whatever is on sale.

I also love going to the farmers market. I'd rather go there, but the one closest to my house doesn't have a whole lot. The larger market that I went to weekly before I moved was awesome! Now, I'd spend all of the money that I'd saved on gas there and back. Boo.



YOJULEZ
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11/13/12 12:26 P

I buy what's on sale, like others said. My main store (King Soopers) is a Kroger-owned one. I also shop at a Safeway near my work for sale items... they own a bunch of other stores under different names... in Chicago it was Dominick's, in CA it was Vons. I like Safeway because if you are in their card program, they have online discounts that you load directly to your card...no coupon clipping. Pretty much every week they do a 20% off any produce item. So combine that with a produce item that's on sale and it works out pretty well.

There is also a store called Sprouts near my office. It looks like they're only located out in this part of the country (stores in Colorado, Utah, NM, Nevada, Arizona, CA) but there's similar type stores all over the country. They're kinda like a cheaper version of Whole Foods, and they have awesome produce sales every week. Here's this week's ad (they post it a day early) so you get an idea http://specials.sprouts.com/Shop/WeeklyAd.
aspx Their regular prices for mushrooms and herbs are cheaper too, and they sell regular mushrooms (not just the fancy kind) in bulk so you don't have to buy the whole package if you don't need it. The only issue there is sometimes the produce is grocery store "seconds"... ie it's small, or looks funny, or might be a bit older. So you just have to inspect it carefully before buying.

All the stores have ads online like someone else mentioned. The new ads come out on Wednesdays.

Also, I've found Target often has good sales for frozen veggies, and they have online coupons you can print. I was able to get 2 bags of Green Giant Seasoned Steamers for like $2 after sale and coupon, when they normally are $2.50 each. My Target has fresh produce too but it's pretty poor quality and not cheaper than the regular store.



KBJIARA
Posts: 91
11/13/12 12:02 P

I always look for what's on sale, and normally the seasonal fruit/veggies are cheaper because they're available. I hope this helps.



HEALTHY_42
SparkPoints: (15,295)
Fitness Minutes: (25,009)
Posts: 30
11/13/12 11:03 A

I generally buy what produce is on sale for the week. I love honeycrisp apples but they are outrageously priced so this week I bought grannysmith because they were on sale. I also will shop at Wal-mart for bagged fruit. They seem to have a better price. As for veggies, I buy a lot of canned tomatoes and frozen veggies to make vegetable soups that I take to lunch everyday. I can always find a brand that is on sale in the frozen veggie aisle. Also I stock up on peppers when they are on sale and will chop and freeze them. It always helps to have a plan for the week when shopping for produce. Knowing when and what you will be cooking for the week will help guide you towards the sales and the produce won't go to waste. Good luck and well wishes.

Winnie



MIAMIVT
SparkPoints: (11,784)
Fitness Minutes: (9,058)
Posts: 244
11/13/12 10:29 A

I'm in the same boat. The key is to shop around. Most grocery stores put their circulars online, so look in there for produce pricing. Some Farmer's Markets are good with price, and some are bad (they just want to get what they can for their organic produce) . So that's really dependent.

The major key no matter where you shop is to buy vegetables that are in season. You'll be eating a lot of root vegetables, and rutabaga's, and that kind of thing from now till spring. you can still get all your nutrients out of these vegetables. cabbage is normally still pretty cheap. The key to save money is to eat like your great grandparents would have ate.



HFAYE81
SparkPoints: (20,933)
Fitness Minutes: (11,679)
Posts: 287
11/13/12 10:03 A

I try to get the produce that's on sale...it has led me to trying a lot of new things. Right now squashes are a good bargain. When something goes on sale that I use a lot, ie bell peppers, onion, broccoli, I buy extra and chop it up and stick it in the freezer. This makes prep time faster too. When I'm really hurting for cash, I buy frozen veggies. Nothing easier than throwing a quarter of a bag of spinach in the skillet to saute with breakfast eggs!



HENRYNOLAN
Posts: 866
11/13/12 9:35 A

my kids and i are all having to learn that we can't have the fruit we want every week, because the price changes so drastically depending on the season and the availability. so even though we all love berries, right now we are all learning to enjoy more pears and apples and local fresh fruit



TRINCHICK
Posts: 50
11/13/12 9:33 A

Do you have any Asian or other ethnic markets in your area? They usually have great deals on produce (seafood, too).

Another plus is that there's a huge variety of produce at these markets that might be unusual to us. I generally try a new veggie each week and have found some keepers (love broccoli rabe and mustard greens!). Helps to keep things interesting and makes it a little easier to eat the veggies.



MISSRUTH
Posts: 3,289
11/13/12 9:28 A

Look around in your area for a farmers market, or an Aldi's or Sav-A-Lot store. Or a Dollar General Market. Aldi's etc have really good prices on produce, although their selection is somewhat limited. The apples etc are smaller and of course they don't carry the large variety that a "regular" grocery store does. But they're significantly cheaper. I've found that it helps to be less picky-- I prefer Braeburn apples but I'll eat just about any variety, depending on price.

And it helps to know what's "in season"-- anything in season will be cheaper (and tastier) than the stuff that's out of season. Right now it's apples and pears. Soon it'll be citrus fruit; oranges, tangerines, grapefruit. All summer long, I buy a watermelon every week and eat the whole thing-- it's in season and cheap.

Keep in mind that you can also use frozen or canned. With vegetables, you have to watch for added sodium, and with fruit you have to watch for the sugar-loaded syrup. But you can find no salt added vegetables, and fruit canned in juice with no added sugar. Lots of people think fresh produce is "best" but what they don't realize is that "fresh" produce might have been picked last week and trucked across the country. Whereas frozen and canned foods are generally processed and into their frozen or canned state within 24 hours or less, of being picked.



STEPHEN_NANNY
SparkPoints: (10,496)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
11/13/12 9:14 A

Applesauce! I make my own...I love mutsu/crispins to make the best sauce, since they don't need anything added (no sugar, no cinnamon, no nothing). Go to a pick-your-own or buy in bulk, use a Foley mill to grind them, and make 30 or 40 jars of the stuff to last through the winter when fruits get so pricey.



KYLAR_STERN
SparkPoints: (22,092)
Fitness Minutes: (23,799)
Posts: 1,053
11/13/12 8:55 A

So it really stinks how expensive fresh produce is. Bananas are cheap, but I get sick of them because I always got for them because of the price. Apples are 2-2.50/lb for the good ones, so about a dollar per serving. Grapes are a little better, but not much. Those are my 2 favorite fruits. For vegetables, I generally get the frozen broccoli, green beans, brussel sprouts, ect. and then microwave steam them. I eat about 3-4 of their reccomended serving size for lunch and dinner. I'll also get either spinach or romaince lettuce for salad, but those only last about 3 salads. And then there's the produce that just adds to a meal (mushrooms, peppers) those add up in the cost for making a meal as well


What are some strategies you have for keeping the wallet alive when eating 3+ fruits and 5+ servings veggies a day?



 
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