Grocery stores. More like money pits. I swear it feels like I spend our 401K every month on groceries. Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but food doesn’t come cheap! Especially when eating clean, which equates to endless amounts of produce. SO.MUCH.PRODUCE. After a grocery run, my refrigerator looks like a scene out of Veggie Tales.
One of the biggest money pitfalls is letting all that beautiful produce go to waste, i.e. fruit and veggies spoiling before they are consumed. Every piece of produce that is tossed is like throwing money away. My house isn’t a night club so making it rain with dolla’ bills isn’t an option. But I get it, when life gets busy it’s hard to take inventory of what’s in your fridge or plan to use every spinach leaf, apple, tomato, etc.
Prepare Produce for Consumption
One of my cardinal rules for making sure produce isn’t wasted is preparing it for consumption 1-2 days after I bring it home. What does this mean? Chopping fruits and veggies in to snack size portions and storing in clear containers. Heck, channel your inner Martha and add a pretty label if it helps. This is a surefire way to grab and go when on the run since it’s visibly available and ready to munch. I know, this is a ‘duh’ concept, but taking a few minutes to do such simple tasks is key. Because who grabs a whole head of broccoli to gnaw on before rushing out the door?
Use Everything You Have
Another tip for getting the most out of your produce is saving the ends and leaves of vegetables to make homemade bone broth or vegetable stock. I do this with celery leaves, outer onion peels, carrot ends, and the list goes on. If you want to go the extra mile, save the peel on citrus fruits and grate to incorporate the zest in to sweet recipes.
Are you reading this thinking, “too late, I already have mushy produce seconds away from rotting”? Don’t panic. Freeze almost expired fruits for smoothies, add sautéed leftover vegetables to morning scrambled eggs or whip out one of my favorite electrical devices if you have it (no, not your phone – pretty sure my dog has her own tablet for Pete’s sake) – the food dehydrator! Throw dwindling produce on the tray and dry it out, quadrupling the shelf life.
Saving Money on Fruits & Vegetables
Now that we have the bases covered for getting the most out of preserving and consuming, here are some additional tips on how save money on fruits and vegetables.
And hey, if all else fails, pamper yourself to a DIY facial. Those cucumber slices are good for something.
What are some simple ways you avoid food waste and save money on fresh produce?