Food for Thought Blog
Tips to Save Money on Fresh Produce
With Canada’s Food Guide recommending that half our plates be filled with fruits and vegetables, learning how to save money in the produce department is a great way to maximize your food budget. Not to mention, during the winter months produce can become especially expensive. Check out these tips to learn how to get the best deals no matter the season.
Tip #1 – Shop in Season
Opting for seasonal fruits and vegetables is a simple way to save money on produce. Even with the cold winters in Canada, you can still access many fresh, local, fruits and vegetables year-round. This produce is often cheaper and can easily be frozen to be enjoyed later. Review the chart to the right to learn more about what is in season each month in Ontario.
Tip #2 – Try Canned or Frozen Produce
During the winter months some fresh fruits and vegetables can be more expensive. This is a great time to try out canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, which are often cheaper, especially for produce out of season. Not to mention, this produce is picked at its peak and then frozen or canned to lock in nutrients, making it just as nutritious as buying fresh. When choosing canned or frozen produce, look for options without any added salt or sugar to avoid extra amounts of these from sneaking into your food.
Tip #3 – Avoid Convenience/Precut Fruits and Vegetables
While precut fruits and vegetables may be convenient, they often come with a higher price tag. Instead, try purchasing your fruits and vegetables whole and chopping them yourself. Prepping all your produce at the beginning of the week allows you to easily grab them for a snack or saves time when cooking during the week.
Tip #4 – Buy in Bulk
Roots vegetables such as potatoes, beets, turnips, and onions are great foods to buy in bulk. Since they do not spoil easily, you can buy a large bag without them going bad for a few weeks. Not to mention, these items are often cheaper in bulk compared to buying them individually. Store these vegetables in a cool, dry place or split with a friend or family member if it is more than you can use.
Tip #5 – Prevent Produce from Ending up in the Trash
One of the simplest ways to save money on produce is to prevent it from getting thrown in the trash at the end of the week. Try setting a goal to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables at each meal. This will not only help you to meet Canada’s Food Guide but is an easy way to ensure your produce is getting used up. Also, if your produce is close to going bad, try freezing it and using it later instead of throwing it out. Frozen produce can easily be used in smoothies, soups or even banana bread.