How to save money on Produce
Often with discussions about food and eating healthy you may hear someone say that buying produce is expensive.
Now, I know that food budgets are a very real and important part of our lives, as food is a big chunk of what money is spent on, and it is a very important part of our purchases. Realizing that it is food that keeps us alive and in good health is one factor that keeps us motivated to do our best.
However, there are a few indisputable ways to save money when buying the highest quality of food that you can, which is real whole foods, such as produce.
Here are a few tried and true ways to make sure your money is well spent and gets you the most bang for your buck.
1.) A meal plan each week is a sure way to ensure you only buy what you plan to use, and you know how you will use each item that you have.
We all do it, but when you throw out food, that is literally throwing money in the garbage. If you don’t eat what you have in your home, it is a loss of money, not to mention the waste of the resources it took to grow and transport those foods so you can have them.
How do you keep from throwing food out? Plan to use it before you buy it. And when you still have food that is not used, as it gets close to being over ripe or bad, either freeze it, or cook it into a soup or other yummy dish and then consume as is for freeze for future use.
Examples are - make a veggie broth out of veggies that are close to expiring. Just boil and then simmer for a few hours. Then strain so the good nutrients and flavour is left in the broth. You can use it or freeze the broth to use later. Another idea is to make a stir fry or some sort of veggie mix in a hamburger type of casserole. I google the main few ingredients I have on hand to find recipes with high ratings which means at least 100 votes with a 4.5 start or higher rating is my personal guide.
2.) Keep track of your favourite top 10 veggies/fruit and what their prices tend to be. That way you know a good deal when you see it and can stock up and freeze or batch cook when you see a great price which happens all the time, we just need to be watching and ready to cook or freeze! For example - often Quality Greens has cauliflowers at 2 for $5! Wow! And cauliflower is the new “swiss army knife” of food. You can literally use it for anything. Rice it, mash it, pizza crust it - or just roast in the oven. Enjoy!
3.) Don’t buy what you don’t eat. If you find you are throwing rotting lettuce out often, you need to reassess your need for lettuce. Maybe you want to make salad but don’t. There are lots of ways to use lettuce, but really it is an ingredient. You need to plan how to use it and then prep it. This means chopping and having other interesting items to put with it for a salad. Or, roll some sliced meat and cheese into a lettuce leaf, or a make chicken lettuce wrap if you want to get really fancy (but it is crazy easy if you want to try!).
So, basically it comes down to making sure you use what you have, find items you prefer at a good price, and not buying what you tend to toss out.
Having a binder of great recipes you know to be easy and yummy is a HUGE asset. Build one today so that you have a go to list for when you start to meal plan and make those meals that you know you will love. It really is worth the time and certainly worth the money you can save!
Your local Quality Greens market has an incredible and fresh assortment of produce to get you what you need for your amazing home made meals.
Have a great week!