There are plenty of ways to save money on veggies and still get that local, organic goodness. Recent studies have shown that the American diet has increased its veggie intake. Some attribute this to a higher percentage of vegetarians while others say it is because of the money saved on veggies versus its meaty counterparts. Whichever it may be, having a few ways to save money on your veggies is something we all can enjoy!
1 Grow at Home
Growing vegetables yourself is one of the best ways to save money on veggies and truly know what you are eating. If you have the space for a kitchen garden, I highly recommend creating one. My husband’s family had a kitchen garden growing up and he still says that he has not tasted better vegetables. Sure, the initial investment is a bit more than three zucchinis at a farmers market, but it will pay your back in foods that taste better, come cheaper, and have higher than average nutrient levels!
2 Farmer's Markets
There are a few great tips to getting a reduced price on your farmer’s market organic goodies. One of my favorite farmer’s market money savers is to get to the market later in the day. Vendors are more likely to cut deals on the remaining food when it is closer to closing time. Sure, you may not get those rare seasonal veggies, but you could end up saving quite a bit on the weekly necessities.
3 Shop Your Seasons
Both fruits and vegetables will be less expensive if bought during their growing seasons. Different geographical areas have different growing seasons. Research when certain produce are available in your area and you will be paying less in transit fees and getting fresher produce. Buying seasonal foods when they are in season also tends to give better tasting veggies!
4 Shop Sales
Local grocery stores are going crazy with out-couponing their competition. Take advantage of this by shopping the sales before hitting up the store. Stores do not always advertise all their deals on the rack, so by checking beforehand you can pre-plan meals and reduce splurge purchasing. Most grocery stores have money-saver apps, so be sure to check the app store for easier couponing.
5 Go to the Source
If you live close to your local farms, going to the farm instead of the store could be a great option. Farmers usually give better deals to those purchasing directly from them. You will not have to pay the transit fee and have a better chance of getting fresher produce. There are even produce groups for the city-folk out there. In produce groups, people take turns going to the farms and split the produce prices.
6 Store Your Produce Right
One of the worst things is to have a meal planned, then go into your refrigerator and find your key ingredient has spoiled. On average, Americans loose 14% of their food to spoiling. Avoid this by checking the shelf life of your produce. Mint.com has a great breakdown of the shelf life for the most commonly purchased produce.
7 Steer Clear of Pre-Cut
Sure, pre-cut veggies make cooking quicker and life easier. But, these veggies tend to cost quite a bit more and have a reduced shelf life and nutrient count. Doing your own cutting could save as much as fifty cents per serving. For a family of four, that equals $15 of extra savings each week from your veggies alone!
Veggies are a great source of nutrients and fiber. They are also much more filling than meat and are usually less expensive per serving. What are some of your favorite veggies and ways to buy them at a steal?
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