If you’re into shopping for healthy food, you may be a regular in the produce section, but if your high-quality fruits and vegetables are also taking a chunk out of your paycheck, you may be looking at how to save money on groceries by making wiser shopping decisions. When it comes to buying fruits and vegetables at the supermarket, there are actually many different strategies that you can use to make sure you’re not throwing your money away on bad produce, or otherwise spending a lot on something you might not eat.
Making Good Volume Choices
If you’re like most people, a prime way to cut down on waste is in buying only the fruits and vegetables that you will be with to eat before they go bad. It helps to know the basic freshness timelines for every different kind of food that you buy. You’ll also want to think about how many meals you will make at home within that time frame. When buying organics, this is even more of an issue, since higher prices and less preservatives make it more critical to use your purchases quickly. Going to the store more often, rather than filling up your cart on a fortnight, can help out a lot.
Choosing Melons and Fruits
When you’re in the fruit section, looking at all those seasonal goodies that come your way during harvest time, it helps to use all of your senses. Pick up melons, peaches, plums and other fruits and look for excessive brown patches. A little bit of yellow can be okay on a watermelon, but look out for soft spots on these fruits that indicate rotting. You’ll want your peaches to be soft to the touch, not hard, but not gooey, either.
Choosing Corn: Husking
It may be tempting to just grab ears of corn at random and shuck them at home, to avoid getting corn silk all over your cart, but some corn can have wormy parts, underdeveloped kernels or other problems. Take a good look under the husk before selecting ears for your cart.
Choosing Greens in Plastic
Another potential money waster is packaged greens like spinach, lettuce, arugula, swiss chard or other very healthy fronds that are sitting in either plastic bags or plastic containers. Look carefully at the underside of these packages to make sure the greens are not already wilting or rotting on the bottom. When you get these items home, repackage them between uses to avoid more deterioration. Cut up heads of lettuce if necessary. Doing some additional work will keep your greens usable longer.
Choosing Beans, Asparagus and More
For vegetables that come in “stalks,” it’s a good idea to test the elasticity to look for optimal freshness. Thinner beans and thinner stalks of asparagus are also usually better quality. Asparagus or celery that bends to easily is getting toward its expiration date.
Use all of the above tips and evaluate all of the produce in your store, including organics, for more targeted purchases that will help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals without costing an arm and a leg. Efficient buying and less waste is good for your wallet and helps conserve food and energy.