How to Find Cheaper Produce

If you’ve been around the produce section of your local grocery store, then it’s not a secret that food has gotten outrageously expensive! Getting inexpensive produce is not as impossible as it might seem, and you can avoid paying full price for the fruits and vegetables on your meal plan. Here is how to find cheaper produce no matter when you’re looking!


Tips on How to Find Cheaper Produce


Pick Good Produce

There is no worse feeling than cutting into your recently purchased produce only to find they are rotting, overripe, or bland. Picking good produce is the first step in saving money on your produce because if you can pick the best pieces when you shop, your produce will last longer!

For example, when picking the perfect watermelon, knowing what to look for in terms of color and what sound it should make can ensure that you get the longest-lasting watermelon every time you buy one! If you’re unsure what to look for, do a little research before heading to a farmer’s market or store to know what to look for.

Protip: Don't be afraid to take bad produce back to the store. Most have a money back guarantee! You will need the uneaten produce and your receipt. This isn't for the faint of heart! Some of you would rather die in a fiery car crash than go to customer service with a bad watermelon you are returning. I get it. But there's a return policy for a reason, don't be afraid to use it!

Buy What’s in Season

Buying seasonal produce is the best way to save money no matter where you shop. Produce has a very limited shelf life if it’s fresh; stores and farmers know this. Buying near the end of a harvest season can help you get deep discounts as the season begins to end, and buying what’s in season can help you get better prices because it’s cheaper to have them in stock!

Cut Your Own

I don't mean cutting your own from the tree, I literally just mean cutting your own fruits and veggies. I once had someone tell me that fresh produce was too expensive. Then he showed me the pineapple he purchased that had been pre-cut at the grocery store. It was more than twice the price of a whole pineapple. 

It is most definitely easier to buy pre cut fruits and veggies, but friends, cut your own! Even if it intimidates you {I'm pretty sure I still don't cut a mango properly!}, just do it anyway. You'll save money and you'll get more!

cheaper produce tips on buying good food

Buy Seasonal Produce Locally

Farmers Markets

This is one of my favorite places to look for cheaper produce. If I’m shopping in season, I know I can find a better deal at my local farmer’s market for most of the produce items on my list. I know where my produce is coming from, and I know that these haven’t been sitting in the store for days before I arrive. We actually have several area farmers markets that all land on various days, so there's almost always a market open!

Local Farm Stands

Pop-up farm stands and local farmers have stands where they sell their harvest to the public! Look up local farm stands in your area for a great way to get discounts on your produce! Some farmers might also be willing to haggle with you, which can lower the price even further!

I actually follow a few local farm stands on Instagram and Facebook. They will often post updates on what is being sold and in season each week.

Grow Your Own Produce

You don’t have to have a whole farm to be able to provide your family with organic-grown produce! Having a small herb garden, a few berry plants or a couple of planters in your backyard can help you save a ton of money! Regrowing lettuce from your lettuce scraps or seeds from your pumpkins can help you start your own garden and sometimes give you more produce than you know what to do with!

There are also community garden spaces that you can grow in if you don't have the yard space. And even if you do, they might offer the support and help you need if you are just getting started with gardening!

Our library even had a little seed library this year. I picked up packets of seeds from spring to summer and used them to grow my own produce. There's nothing more rewarding than having a meal with something you grew from the garden!

Don't miss this post: 5 Easy to Grow Veggies to Plant

One of the hard parts about gardening is making sure you can successfully grow produce all summer long. Here are some tips on how to Vacation Proof Your Garden

money saving tips for produce

Join Your Local CSA

This might not be available everywhere, or your options might be limited depending on where you live. But joining your local CSA can get great deals on everything from local produce to discount meat. Where we live, we can get amazing raspberries and other fresh, locally-grown organic produce for far less than you’d find at the grocery store.

Some CSA's will have a monthly box you can purchase, while others will allow customers to u-pick produce. I actually split a CSA box with some friends many years ago and it helped me learn how to cook with seasonal vegetables in a way that I hadn't before!

Want to read more posts like this?

From the archives: Living Well on Less: Saving Money on Your Food Bill

8 Items I Always Shop for First at Grocery Outlet

Save Money on Groceries with These Money Saving Tips

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