Fruit and vegetables can really put a strain on the grocery budget each month. However, there are ways in which you can help yourself to spend less on produce, as well as making your fruit and veg go further and not end up in the landfills. Here are some of our top tips on how to save money on fruit and veg.
1) Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season to get the best value for your money.
2) Make as much as you can from scratch. You will know exactly what goes into your food, and you can customise it to your own family’s tastes.
3) Freezer cooking in large batches is perfect for busy families when it comes to this! This also means you will use your fresh produce before it has a chance to go bad. You’ll only need potatoes and fresh fruit and veg for the kids for the rest of the month.
4) Frozen vegetables are often the least expensive way to buy veg. Keep your freezer stocked up and vary the veggies you serve to keep everyone interested. They also won’t go bad so you’ll save money that way too.
5) If your fresh veggies begins to look a little limp, simply cut them up and freeze them. They will be perfect for making a soup later on. This works especially well for carrots, celery and onions.
6) Grow your own herbs. Herbs are often expensive, but once you buy a plant or seeds, then you have your own fresh herbs during the summer (longer depending on your climate), and you can dehydrate your crop to use off-season.
7) Strawberries are so expensive but must be the easiest fruit to grow. You don’t need a lot of space, just a pot will do and home-grown strawberries have so much more flavour than store-bought fruit. If you have a large crop, you can freeze them, or turn them into a jam, fruit leather, or other delicious things.
8) Why stop at strawberries, grow your own raspberries, apples, or whatever your heart fancies. Grow your own food as much as possible, but do keep in mind the cost of water if you need to pay for it over the year.
9) Even better than growing your own garden is to go foraging! We’ve been enjoying the fruits of our labours and will be expanding upon them this year. Keep checking back to see how we’ve been doing.
10) Turn older apples into apple sauce, freeze in cubes and add them to porridge or recipes.
11) Freeze pumpkin flesh from your Jack-O-Lanterns into cup-size bags for later use. Pumpkin muffins are one of our favourites!
12) Freeze your bananas when they go brown and you can bake some delicious banana bread another day.
13) Don’t buy kid size fruit. It’s a LOT more than regular-sized fruit. Cut a piece in half for each child, or put half on the morning porridge and rap the other half well for lunch.
14) Try shopping the discount areas. Fruit will generally end up here near its best-before date, but use your common sense and if it still looks fine, save some money.
15) Create a meal plan so you only purchase the fresh fruit and veg that you will be needing for the coming week and you won’t over-buy.
16) Check the price difference between loose and packaged produce. Usually there is a price difference, and it’s not always on the item you’d expect.
17) Check the prices at your local green grocer or farmer’s market. They may be less than buying in a supermarket and you’ll be helping the local economy.
These are some of the ways we work to stretch our grocery budget each month. What are your suggestions on how to save money on fruit and veg? I’m always looking for more ways to economise!
If you’re interested in being frugal, see how we save money on our food bill and make our own notepads. Visit our Frugal Living page for more economising ideas. And don’t forget to peek through our breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes as well.