Today’s Weight Loss on a Budget Tip – #20: Learn How to Save Money on Fruits and Veggies. Consider this…
“Researchers at the University of Arizona recently spent a year tracking families’ food-use habits. Working with the United States Department of Agriculture, they interviewed the families about their eating habits, collected their grocery receipts, watched them prepare meals, and then sifted through every last discarded lettuce leaf, slice of bread, burger and bean. The results, reported in 2002, were pretty shocking. The families tossed out an average of 470 pounds of food per year—about 14 percent of all food brought into the home—at an annual cost of $600. Every day, they discarded more than half a pound of fruits and veggies. In total, Americans chuck a fourth of all the produce they buy, mostly because it’s gone bad, says Timothy Jones, PhD, contemporary archaeologist at the University of Arizona. Nationally, we dump $43 billion worth of food every year.” – Vegetarian Times
I would like to believe that since things are a bit tighter financially these days, with our economy, that we are doing a better job of not wasting money on food in general. Here are some tips to help you do that:
Deals at Farmer’s Markets –
- Visit sellers at your local farmer’s market an hour before closing time. You may be able to negotiate deals on produce so that they don’t have to take as much inventory back to the farm.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle on price with farmers. It’s common at markets, especially if you plan to buy in bulk or large quantities.
- You may be able to negotiate a lower price if you are a regular, weekly customer. Many sellers appreciate the repeat, regular business and may give you a discount for loyalty.
Store Your Fruits and Veggies Properly – If you don’t know how long your veggies will last or how to properly store them, you may end up with wasted food which means wasted money.
- Know that some fruits should not be stored next to others – Some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas. This is a gas that causes produce to ripen. This can speed up the aging process of fruits or cause premature ripening (aka.causing food to spoil). Here is a list of ethylene emitting foods and ethylene sensitive foods.
- Check out this fruit and veggie nutrition database and find out how to store various produce. For example, did you know that you should store apples in the fridge, away from foods with strong odors, for up to 3 weeks?
- Here is another list of storage tips from farmfreshtoyou.com.
- Do some research on what you can store on the counter and what you should refrigerate.
Research Sales Online
- I’ve said this before, but searching for deals online is key to saving money. Visit the website for the local grocery store you prefer and look for deals on produce before you visit the store.
Buy Fruits and Veggies in Season
- Some fruits and veggies are cheaper when they are in season because less have to be imported and there are more available on the market.
- This was Tip #1 of our Weight Loss on a Budget Tips. Frozen is the way to go when you can. Just make sure there aren’t a lot of additives, preservatives or salt added.