It really isn't difficult to get plenty of fruit and vegetables into your diet when you are on a budget. If you look at my monthly grocery lists I post you see I buy quite a bit of produce. In fact, I realized the other day the first place I visit when I go to the grocery store is the produce section.
I always like to have certain items on hand for meal preparation and snacking:
- Apples, oranges and bananas
- Salad items - spinach, lettuces, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms
We have a salad nearly every day. I pack lunches for my two children every day as well and I always include a serving of fruit. There is almost always a bowl of some kind of fruit on our table to snack on plus carrots and celery in the refrigerator. Raw veggies and homemade dressing to dip them in is a great snack. Often times that is my lunch!
There are a lot of ways I save on produce:
- I buy what is in season and on sale.
- I can fruit to store and use in the winter - pears, peaches and applesauce.
- I use coupons whenever I can. There aren't a lot of them available for fresh produce but on occasion I do find them.
- Sometimes I buy from the markdown bin - bananas are almost always there.
- Farmers markets, roadside stands are great options. Ever see those signs people set out to sell their garden produce and eggs from their homes?
- I supplement our fresh vegetables with frozen or canned options.
Additionally, I buy different things, depending on the cost and budget, for variety:
- Snap peas
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Mandarin oranges
- Green onions
- Red potatoes
- Olives - green or black
I try hard not to overbuy either so it doesn't go bad before it is consumed. It took me awhile to figure that part out too. Nothing perturbs me more than to toss out rotten produce.
Do you allot a portion of your budget to fresh fruits and veggies? How are some ways you save money on produce?