Wasting food isn’t only bad for the planet; it’s also bad for your wallet. Thankfully, there are some clever ways that you can start saving money on fresh produce. Check out our top tips and product recommendations below to get started.
Make Produce Last Longer at Home
One of the best ways to save money on fresh produce is by preventing waste. If you tend to struggle with keeping your produce fresh, and you’re always throwing away produce because it’s gone bad, it’s time to start implementing strategies that can help keep your fruits and veggies fresher for longer at home. And who wouldn’t get behind less food waste, right?
Vacuum sealers can come in really handy, not only in sous vide cooking, but also in maintaining the freshness of your produce. Whether you’re storing fruits and vegetables in your freezer or in your refrigerator, if they have been vacuum sealed, they can last longer and remain flavorful. That means they’ll be ready to use whenever you need them to prepare your meals.
There are a lot of vacuum sealers on the market, so you can easily find one that fits your budget. Some of the best options out there include:
In addition to vacuum sealers, many people also like to use food dehydrators to store their produce for extended periods of time. Once you’re ready to use those dehydrated ingredients to cook up a tasty, nutritious meal, all you have to do is rehydrate them and you’re good to go.
Buy Local Produce, and Fruits and Vegetables That Are In Season
Buying locally, and sticking with produce that’s actually in season, may also help you save some cash at the grocery store.
Produce that’s in season is likely to be more readily available, and the increase in the supply of that produce may help bring prices down. Plus, food that is grown locally doesn’t need to travel as far to get to you, so it might also be a more affordable option compared to food that comes from farther away.
Consider purchasing fresh, local, in-season fruits and veggies in bulk, and then using the vacuum sealing or dehydration methods discussed above to make them last longer than they otherwise would.
Buy Frozen Produce
You can buy fresh produce and freeze it yourself at home to help it last longer. But, on top of that, you can also purchase packaged fruits and vegetables in the freezer aisle. You don’t have worry about frozen produce lacking nutrients or flavor, as these foods are picked when ripe before they’re frozen.
This is yet another potential way to save money on produce that you need throughout the year, whether it’s in season or not. And, if you purchase large bags of frozen fruits and veggies, it gives you the chance to use what you need for a recipe before storing the rest for later use, thereby stretching those dollars even further.
Grow Your Own Food
If you’ve never thought about starting a garden, it might be a good idea to consider it, especially if you want to ensure you’ll have easy access to fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Plus, in addition to helping you save money, gardening is a lovely way to connect with Mother Nature, nurture plant life, and feel a sense of accomplishment as you watch everything grow beautifully.
There are a variety of plants that you can grow in your own backyard, whether right in the ground or in containers. Check your area’s USDA Plant Hardiness Zone to determine which plants are most likely to grow successfully in your climate. But, if you’re totally new to gardening, you might want to stick with easy-to-grow, hardy plants first before expanding into those that are a bit more challenging to grow.
Every time you harvest the fresh produce from your garden, you’ll be skipping a costly trip to the produce section of your grocery store, so you’ll be saving money. And you can use all of the same techniques discussed above to preserve your produce for extended periods of time, which could help you save even more cash in the long run.