When people see photos of all the deals that I get when I go shopping, they often ask how I live on shaving cream, deodorant, soup and pasta.
I do buy produce and perishable items – really! So, how do I save money on produce?
I do two things – buy sale items and freeze.
Shop The Sales
They very best way to save money on items such as fresh fruits & vegetables, milk and eggs, is to only buy them when they are on sale.
Eggs and milk don’t often go on sale, so I usually just buy them at the cheapest place possible (which, in my area, is Shoppers Drug Mart).
When it comes to vegetables and fruit, I plan my menu around the items that are on sale.
This week broccoli is on sale for $0.79 cents and cauliflower is on sale for $0.99 cents. That means we will have those particular veggies with our meals this week.
Below is a list of what I consider to be good prices for a variety of different produce items:
Beans – $1/lb
Peppers – $1/lb.
Lettuce – $1
Spinach – $1
Tomatoes – $1/lb
Cucumber – $1
Bananas – $0.59/lb.
Apples – $0.79/lb.
Grapes – $1/lb
Strawberries – $1.50/lb
Pineapple – $2
Blueberries – $1.50/pint
Raspberries – $1.50
Oranges – $.79/lb
Milk – $4
Eggs – $2/dozen
The items that are on sale in your fliers are often those that are in season. So, by buying those items, you will not only be saving money, you will also be eating the freshest food.
Buy In Bulk & Freeze
You can easily freeze most perishable foods, as long as you do it properly.
Broccoli, Cauliflower – Chop into bite size pieces and blanch in hot water for 3 minutes. Dump them in an ice bath for about 30 seconds to stop the cooking. Freeze in freezer bags or containers for up to 6 months.
Carrots – Peel and chop into bite size pieces. Blanche in hot water and a pinch of sugar for 3 minutes. Dump them in an ice bath for 30 seconds. Freeze up to 1 year.
Beans – Blanche in hot water for 3 minutes. Dump them in an ice bath for 30 seconds. Freeze up to 1 year.
Onions, Peppers – Chop and freeze for up to 6 months.
Spinach – Wash and then steam spinach until it wilts. Remove to a colander and once it is cooled, add to freezer bags or container and freeze for up to 1 year.
Tomatoes – Although you cannot freeze tomatoes, you can make your own homemade pasta sauce and freeze that instead.
Bananas, Pineapple, Strawberries – Chop into bite size pieces and freeze for up to 3 months (1 year for strawberries). Use these in fruit drinks and smoothies.
Blueberries, Raspberries, Grapes – Freeze for up to 1 year.
Oranges – Peel and freeze individual orange slices for up to 3 months. Use these in fruit drinks and smoothies.
Milk – Freeze individual bags only for up to 1 month. Let thaw in refrigerator for 48 hours and give the bag a good shake before you use it.
Freezing items that you can not consume before they go bad is great way to save money. Don’t forget what you have frozen by sticking a freezer inventory sheet to the front of your freezer.