How to Shop

10 Tips: Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits

This is a recycled blog post! 
Credit: Most of the words here are not mine. I borrowed the post from "Choose My Plate," a U.S.-Government website. I modified their words and deleted what does not suit my adherence to shopping for fruits and veggies.
Download this tip sheet: English PDF or Spanish PDF
Choosemyplate.gov says that it is possible to fit vegetables and fruits into any budget. This is true as it helps because "Making nutritious choices does not have to hurt one's wallet. Getting enough of these foods promotes health and can reduce the risk of certain diseases." 
www.cnn.com
 The website offers many low-cost ways to meet fruit and vegetable needs.
  1. Celebrate the season: (Buying in-season food is always cheaper.) Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season. They are easy to get, have more flavor, and are usually less expensive. Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce.
  2. Why pay full price? (I never do!) Check the local newspaper, online, and at the store for sales, coupons, and specials that will cut food costs. Often, you can get more for less by visiting larger grocery stores (discount grocers if available).
  3. Stick to the list: (This is my weakness!)
    Plan out your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list. You will save money by buying only what you need. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Shopping after eating will make it easier to pass on the tempting snack foods. You’ll have more of your food budget for vegetables and fruits.
  4. Try frozen: (Originally, this tip said, "Try canned or frozen." I deleted "canned." I hardly buy canned due to its high sodium and preserves.)
    Compare the price and the number of servings from fresh, canned, and frozen forms of the same veggie or fruit. Canned and frozen items may be less expensive than fresh. For canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.
  5. Boston Magazine
    Buy small amounts frequently: (True! Since I eat fresh, I buy small quantities even if it means visiting grocery stores two or three times a week.)
    Some fresh vegetables and fruits don’t last long. Buy small amounts more often to ensure you can eat the foods without throwing any away.
  6. Buy in bulk when items are on sale: (True again! I belong to Sam's Warehouse and to Costco, so I buy big bags of frozen foods.)
    For fresh vegetables or fruits you use often, a large size bag is the better buy.       I do not buy canned foods or frozen fruits. I buy frozen vegetables in large quantities since they last much longer.
  7. Store brands = savings: (I love Kroger and Aldi brands. They are of better quality than most national brands.)
    Opt for store brands when possible. You will get the same or similar product at a cheaper price. If your grocery store has a membership card, sign up for even more savings.
  8. Keep it simple: (Yes, avoid packaged fruits and vegetables because of preservatives.)
    Buy vegetables and fruits in their simplest form. Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat, and processed foods are convenient, but often cost much more than when purchased in their basic forms.
  9. Gardener's Supply
    Plant your own: (I am hoping to get to this point. My daughter has been exploring with her own organic herbal and vegetable garden.)
    Start a garden — in the yard or a pot on the deck — for fresh, inexpensive, flavorful additions to meals. Herbs, cucumbers, peppers, or tomatoes are good options for beginners. Browse through a local library or online for more information on starting a garden.
  10. Plan and cook smart: (This is my expertise!)
    Prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews, or other dishes in advance. This saves time and money. Add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend them to make soup. Overripe fruit is great for smoothies or baking.
Thank you for the valuable information, ChooseMyPlate.gov!

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