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Saving money on fresh fruits and vegetables isn’t as hard as you might think. Sure, there isn’t normally coupons out there for fresh produce, but you can still find cheap fruits and vegetables to save money and have to create affordable family meals, using these awesome tips!

I’m going to share with you the 10 14 BEST secrets for saving money on healthy fruits and vegetables!

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What’s great is that you can apply these tips to get cheap organic fruits and vegetables as well! I know a lot of people often choose organic produce as their shopping option of choice, so I wanted to point that out and make it clear from the get-go.

You CAN use these money-saving tips on organic produce!

save money on organic produce

The First Money Saving Tip is to Know Your Prices

This is the most important money saving tip for any foods- to KNOW YOUR PRICES. It’s true about everything, and produce should be no different.

It may seem daunting at first, but over time you will begin to remember prices and recognize a bargain when you see one.

Produce is often priced per pound, which can sometimes be confusing.

Mistaking the sign that says grapes $2.38 as the price per bag, not the price per pound, happens to even the best of us sometimes. #WhyAreGrapesSoExpensiveAndDelicious

It is very important to make sure you fully read signs, know what you’re paying for, and watch for good deals. An easy trick is to look at the shelf signs and see the price per unit, located slightly off center and smaller than the larger price that drew your attention in the first place.

Tip #2 – Buy Fruits and Vegetables in Season

fresh vegetable salad

With every season brings new produce, you’ll notice some items are cheaper at certain times a year, and more expensive at others. Different months bring in new produce while removing others, and the fresher and more “in season” your produce is, the cheaper it will be.

Usually when the price drops, is when the item is in season.

Shopping and meal planning around seasonal produce can help save you money. So aim to enjoy the winter squash in fall/winter when it’s cheap and those spring-time strawberries in April.

And watch for the produce that is freezable. You may even get to enjoy those fresh Georgia peaches all year long!

Canning cheap fruits and vegetables for long-term storage

Water bath or pressure canning is also a great way to get your monies worth out of everything. Just make sure you do it up to health standards.

Not sure what the health standards for canning are?

There is a ton of different books, websites, and information available to you to learn. Ball makes a great easy up to date book, and it’s important to stay as up to date as possible. (That’s the same company that makes the mason jars to do your canning in!)

The benefits of vegetables are so good, that canning produce when it’s in season allows you to reap those great health benefits all year long without costing a fortune.

Tip #3- Be open to the idea of new fruits and veggies.

Save money on fresh produce

Don’t keep your shopping list narrow-minded, with simple things like corn, broccoli, lettuce.

Branch out and try new seasonal produce.

Try those Pinterest recipes you’ve been dying to try for the past few months.

Cactus pears, pomegranates, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, etc. try a new produce item. Open your taste buds to new experiences, and save money all at the same time.

How does buying different produce save you money?

Answer: By trying things that are in season when they are at their low price, and swapping out the pricier produce you may have originally opted, you find yourself saving and may even find you like something better than expected.

Tip #4- Comparing store weekly ads is one of the best ways to save money.

You’ll notice if you sit down with several printed store ads that most actually have the same items on sale, produce included. By comparing the store ads though, you’re able to see which store will save you the most money.

So while you’re doing your own coupon matchups or grocery lists, keep track of the produce prices and see which stores are actually cheaper.

Don’t forget to look at the price per pound, or whole item price and compare that as well; it can get tricky.

A tip when you are in the store is to look at the price tag on the shelf, it actually breaks down the price per unit, although not all units are the same.

One item could be priced per ounce while another is priced per whole. So paying attention to the tiny details is vital.

Tip #5 Save Even More Money on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables By Using Produce Rebates!

There are tons of rebates out there!

Many of which offer a rebate on fresh produce. My recommendations page is full of great rebate apps that I personally use and love.

My favorite rebate app of all is Ibotta. It has a great mix of food and produce to get rebated on. It also has household items such as cleaners, alcohol, and diapers. Plus the bonuses you get for the more redemptions you make, make this app far superior to any other. You can see my official review of Ibotta if you need more information about this great app.

Here are 3 more good rebate apps:

Berry Cart- Tons of healthy items including vegan and organic options.

Checkout 51– It’s not known for having fresh produce offers, but they do happen!

Saving Star-This one lets you shop in multiple trips and combines your receipts towards a rebate threshold when the purchase of more than 1 is required.

The best part is that you CAN use more than one rebate app on the same item!

Tip #6- Don’t Underestimate Produce Liquidation Stores.

My favorite place for grocery shopping on a budget!

save money on produce

If you are one of the lucky souls to be living near a produce liquidation store, Do Not Underestimate the savings you can find in there!

We happen to have several local, and more popping up often as folks become more conscious about their foods and wallets.

That being said, there are other alternative options to in-person liquidation stores that can still help you stretch a dollar with healthy fruits and veggies!

One example of a good way to save money is through Imperfect Produce.

 imperfect produce

Imperfect Produce is a newer company helping to deliver fresh ugly fruit to your door for a fraction of the cost. Sign up here and get $10 off your first delivery! *Not available in all areas, but sign up for their email so you get notified when the come close to you!

The produce is technically second-hand, meaning that it was rejected by larger grocery store chains because it didn’t look like it was up to their quality standards. However, the produce is still perfectly good! Store’s are just picky and want the best of the best in their aisles and bins.

Tip #7- The Healthiest Vegetables Are Local. Buy From Small Businesses

eat produce thats in season

Shopping from your local mom and pop grocery store is a great way to save money.

They often have much better prices and bargains can be found anywhere inside one of these shops.

Plus there’s the added bonus of helping families put food on their tables. Giving their kid that new bike or paying for the after-school program. Who knows where your money goes when you shop from a large retailer.

–Similarly, the same can be said about Farmers Markets.

By shopping through them, you are supporting your local farming community, while getting fresher produce.

I’m sure you can find a farmers market nearby, they often have great deals and a willingness to haggle prices. If you are a participant in the WIC or SNAP Food Benefits Program, you can get additional money to spend at your local farmer’s markets.

Tip #8 Shop at a Co-op

What is a co-op?

A co-op is short for a cooperative. It’s people voluntarily getting together to meet a common goal. Local farmers want to sell produce, so when brought together, a few pieces from one and a few from a couple of others can form a box of a variety of fruits and vegetables.

This is more appealing to the community of shoppers and they get to purchase these boxes for a great price. Farmers are happy their items were sold, and shoppers are happy that they got such great deals on healthy and local produce.

Some places have a brick and mortar co-op store, other locations are just set meeting places and parking lots.

There is also a program in the United States called Bountiful Baskets, it’s a volunteer ran co-op for produce.

bountiful baskets food co-op

You pay a set amount for a box of produce items and add in any extras you may want. However, for the most part, you have no idea what’s coming to you.

This really tests your creativity in the kitchen and can help keep a tight leash on your fresh produce budget.

You can save more money on produce by volunteering at the co-ops.

Since co-ops are volunteer based, it makes sense that they would welcome your help. As a thank you, you can often get unsold produce free or a discount on your produce purchases. This is a good way to help the community and your grocery budget.

Tip #9- Pick Your Own Produce

save money by picking your own produce

Pick your own places are pretty awesome.

You can buy produce for a fraction of what they cost in stores. Simply by cutting out the middle man and picking it yourself. Or you can buy produce by the pounds already picked and ready to go.

Not only does this save money, but it also turns your day into a fun experience.

Invite loved ones along and have a whole day of it! Making it into a fun frugal weekend with the family can bring you great memories and photos as well as tasty foods.

Tip #10- Weigh Pre-Bagged Produce

This is definitely one of the weirdest money saving tips for fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you’re buying bagged produce that is sold “per bag” weigh a few of them and select the heaviest one so you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

Often times these bags are done by volume and not weight, so there can be discrepancies between them. 

Tip #11- Another weird way to save money at the grocery store-

Don’t buy wet produce!

dont buy wet produce to save money

We’ve all seen those misters in the produce section of a grocery store. They keep the vegetables wet and help to preserve them a little longer, right? Well, something you normally wouldn’t think about is that they also add weight to your produce.

When the realization dawns on you, it makes sense. You weigh more when you come out of a shower, and there’s the expression, “wouldn’t weigh X soaking wet.” In reference to someone being so underweight that even while wet the weight wouldn’t bring them up to X weight.

When your produce, herbs, etc. are being sprayed by the misters, they’re getting wet, and therefore gaining weight. So before bagging them up and tossing them in your cart- give them a good gentle shake. Remove some of the moisture so you can be sure your money is going to the vegetables and not to the H2O.

Some produce sections have paper towels for this reason!

Tip #12- Start Your Own Garden

garden your own produce to save money

Seriously, the cheapest route to go has got to be growing your own food.

But that requires startup funds (dirt/seeds/pots or land/etc.) It also requires hard work and patience, so if you’ve got the time and the willpower, go for it.

If you have EBT benefits, you can buy food-bearing plants with the SNAP balance, or another cost-effective way is to buy starter seeds from your local Dollar Tree.

There are a ton of different items you can grow indoors, as well as portable or “off the ground” gardens you can build if you live in a rental area and can’t dig in the dirt.

If you wanted a garden badly enough, I’m sure there are several creative ways that you could start one within your budget and space allowances.

Tip #13- You can save money by only buying the dirty dozen organic

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a list of the 2019’s dirty dozen and clean 15 fruits and vegetables. They base their lists off of the Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program.

The dirty dozen list includes:

  • strawberries
  • spinach
  • kale
  • nectarines
  • apples
  • grapes
  • peaches
  • cherries
  • pears
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • potatoes.

So if you’re trying to avoid pesticides, these are the fruits and vegetables to buy organic.

The clean 15 lists:

  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • sweet peas
  • onions
  • papayas
  • eggplants
  • asparagus
  • kiwis
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • cantaloupes
  • broccoli
  • mushrooms
  • honeydew

These are some examples of the produce you can buy non-organic and be fine because the pesticide traces are minimal.

It’s a personal preference on whether or not to buy organic produce or non-organic produce. I personally don’t buy organic, unless it’s cheaper than the non-organic alternatives.

Tip #14- You can use coupons on fresh produce and here’s how!

you can use coupons on fresh produce

While coupons for fresh produce are rare they are not impossible to get!

Some of the easiest ways to get GOOD high-value coupons for produce is by checking out the manufacturing companies. Del Monte, Dole, Earthbound Farm, and Driscolls berries are all notorious for having printable coupons on their Websites of Facebook pages.

So look up your companies, follow their pages and see what amazing exclusive discounts they have for their loyal fans. If you don’t see any available, you can always write to the companies using their “contact me” pages on their websites and mention how much you like their products. They often send thank you replies or mail you coupons for providing them with helpful feedback.

So to recap, the 14 Best ways to save money on fresh fruits and vegetables are:

  1. Know your prices
  2. Purchase and eat what’s in season
  3. Be open to the idea of a wide variety of produce
  4. Compare store sales so you can find the best deals
  5. Save additional money on fresh produce with rebates
  6. Use produce liquidation stores if you have them available
  7. Buy local and from small businesses
  8. Shop or volunteer at a co-op
  9. Pick your own
  10. Weigh pre-bagged produce to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth!
  11. Don’t buy wet produce, shake it off!
  12. Start your own garden
  13. Buy the dirty dozen as organic
  14. Find and use coupons on fresh produce!

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Are you still wanting more ways to cut your grocery bill and eat healthily? I have a post about saving money on bread (and no, it’s not by making it yourself!) and a great post to help you save money on meat. Both can help you stretch that grocery budget further than you ever thought possible! Go check them out!

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save money on fresh produce with these awesome tips. Eating healthy doesn't have to cost a fortune. Find a way to cut or trim your grocery budget without sacrificing the organic or healthy fruits and veggies in your life!
save money on fresh produce with these awesome tips. Eating healthy doesn't have to cost a fortune. Find a way to cut or trim your grocery budget without sacrificing the organic or healthy fruits and veggies in your life!
save money on fresh produce with these awesome tips. Eating healthy doesn't have to cost a fortune. Find a way to cut or trim your grocery budget without sacrificing the organic or healthy fruits and veggies in your life!
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