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Many people think that you cannot save money on produce, but there are so many tips, tricks, and even coupons to do just that! Here are some of my favorite ways to save money on your produce.

piggy bank

  1. Purchase items that are in season, or are on sale at your store. This one may seem simple, but trying to purchase off season products will increase your bill due to extra transportation and sourcing costs.
  2. Figure out the best places to purchase your produce. My 3 favorites are:
    Walmart – Use overage at Walmart from your coupons on other items to cover the cost of your produce. Additionally, you can price match produce at Walmart with advertised prices for local competitors! Here is their official “Ad-Match Guarantee
    walmart ad matchYou can also still use your coupons at Walmart on these price matched items to save even more.
    Local Farmers-Type Market – For me, this is Valley Produce. Most cities will have a local market that offers great produce deals. You probably won’t want to purchase anything outside of produce (and possibly meat), and you will find yours through trial and error.
    Hispanic Markets – This is a Vallartas/Superior Groceries/etc. These types of markets are GREAT for produce/milk/meat, and not so great on anything else. This is a perfect location to pick up all of your produce at great prices. Most of these places will also accept coupons on your order as well.
  3. Produce is sold usually by the “each” or by the pound. If your produce is sold by the “each”, it means that the tiny little dinky avocado is the same price as the giant big beautiful avocado. Make sure to get the largest produce if sold by the each. If produce is sold by the pound, I usually just take exactly what I need, since I am paying for every morsel.
  4. Weigh your produce. All 10 pound bags of potatoes weigh the same thing, right? Wrong! These will actually vary up to 25% of the listed weight, with the amount printed on the bag as a minimum. You shouldn’t weigh all 45 bags of potatoes, but take 3-4 to the scale each time, and make sure that you are maximizing the amount that you are paying for any pre-weighed produce. This will include everything from potatoes to onions to apples and oranges and more!
    produce weigh bags
  5. Dry your produce. This is another easy one that I had never thought of in all of my past shopping. I realized how much water everything gets under the misters, and decided to shake off my lettuce of all of the water. I came home last night with my lettuce, and found that there were a couple of TABLESPOONS of water in the bottom of my bag…I paid for their water! Make sure you attempt to get your water off of the produce as best you can, or it will wash away your savings (yes, pun was totally intended).
    produce misting
  6. Many people don’t know this, but there actually are coupons for produce! Here are some great places to find coupons (not all might have them today, but keep checking for new ones to be released).
    opal apples
    Fresh Express also has a GREAT program where you can earn high value coupons off of their salad mixes by purchasing their products and entering codes. Every two bags earns you a coupon! Sign up HERE for this awesome free program.
    Other great coupons are available as peelies or tearpads on the racks that hold the produce, or on cereal boxes. Finally, Target has had tons of mobile coupons available for $1/$1 fresh fruit, $3/$7 produce, and so on, so I would sign up for their mobile offers. Sign up by texting OFFERS to 827438, and you will receive a new mobile coupon every other Saturday.  Target also has lots of Cartwheel offers for produce, so make sure to check that app as well.
    produce fresh express
  7. Rebate apps (click HERE for a more detailed description of rebate apps) have really changed the game in the past couple of years. They are again evolving and really increasing all of the variety of items that we can redeem, namely with fresh offers. Keep in mind that you CAN stack your rebate apps, and earn money back from all of them for the same purchase!
    Ibotta – my favorite app in the whole world, and has just started publishing rebates for money back on any produce purchase. That means
    you can purchase ONE item and get it for free (or close to it!) with the app.
    Checkout51 – this app has really been evolving in the past month to allow for more items to redeem, as well as multiple redemption per item.
    My favorite part, however, is the produce offer of the week. Every week, they offer a offer on any one of 5 produce items on which to earn cash
    Snap – Snap has offers that can also be redeemed multiple times, and they have started adding such a huge selection of produce and generic
    offers; I would highly recommend you add Snap to your arsenol of money saving ninja apps 🙂
    SavingStar – SavingStar offers a new “Healthy Offer of the Week” every Tuesday, and will reimburse 20% of your purchase price when you
    submit your receipt. I always aim to redeem one Checkout51 and one SavingStar offer every week to take advantage of these great rebates!
  8. Storage Techniques. Once you have your produce, the worst thing that can happen is you throw your money in the trash by allowing it to go bad. Make sure that you are storing your produce properly. Onions and potatoes need to be separated, many fruits and veggies should not go in the fridge, and many items will benefit from being in the produce drawer instead of on the shelf (they should really come up with a better name for that drawer to indicate what it should be used for!). Produce releases a ethylene gas, which causes it to ripen quicker. This can also affect the other fruit around it as well. I would reference this chart for more information on what should go where:
    produce chartAnother great way to help avoid this gas affecting your produce are these great produce bags. They can keep produce fresh for weeks (I’ve tried it!), and are reuseable. They are available at many places, but the 99 Cent Store is my favorite place to pick one of these up. I would buy a pack, and see how they work for you.produce bags
    Finally, you can freeze your produce. If you are going to do big batches, I would look up specifics on your type of fruit or vegetable. Most produce, however, can be frozen easily by using the following blanching method:
    1. Blanch vegetables/fruit first, then submerge in ice water to cool. Dry completely
    2. Store in heavy-weight freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before freezing
    3. Use within a year before your quality starts decreasing
    Note that frozen produce will usually change in consistency, so I would recommend it for cooking or smoothies, or something where you are not eating it raw.

produce smoothie

Saving money on everything in our lives is totally possible, as long as you know where to look! Hopefully this post helps you identify a few ways that your family can save to be able to eat healthier, and enjoy amazing cooking at home.