How to Save Money » Frugal Living

Save money on produce at the grocery store

I just wanted to give you a few quick tips for saving money on produce at the grocery store.

Only purchase sale items

My number one money-saving tip when it comes to producing is to only buy sale items.

Take a look at your store’s sale flyer every single week and only purchase the items that are on sale. This is going to save you an incredible amount of money, as opposed to just going out and buying whatever you feel like at full price.

Always look at the sale prices and only purchase what is on sale that week.

Save on Produce

Check the clearance rack

You also want to check out the clearance racks at your local grocery store. These are racks full of products that may not look very nice but are still perfectly edible.

The reason that stores mark this product down is that some people seem to think they need to have the most beautiful piece of produce, and a little ding here or ding there makes the item garbage – and this is simply not true.

So check out your clearance racks and you’ll often find bananas, peppers, oranges, apples – that kind of thing.

You can take these items that may not look very pretty, and cook (apples = apple sauce) or freeze (chopped peppers, bananas) them. Or you could eat them right away, of course.

I find that the discount is often 30%-50% off the regular price for these clearance items, so this is another great way to save money on produce.

Buy in bulk & freeze

My final tip for saving money on produce at the grocery store is to buy in bulk and freeze.

What I mean by this is to take your sale items (buy as many as you can afford if the deal is really good), bring them home, cook or chop them, and then throw them in the freezer.

This will ensure you have lots of products for a long time, as long as you are consistently adding to your stockpile when more great sales come along.

Saving money on produce is as easy as saving money on the rest of your groceries. It just takes discipline.

The main thing is to get used to only making meals that consist of sale items.

I also suggest downloading our FREE in-season produce guide, so you know when to expect certain items on sale.

How do you save money on produce?


  1. Betty

    I often buy fruits & veggies on the discount pile and as you say, make apple sauce out of the apples, slice whole mushrooms, squash, freeze bananas for banana bread, etc. Even strawberries, blueberries, etc. are a pretty good deal; I just pick out the bad ones, clean them off & put them in the freezer for when I make smoothies or I want some fruit in my cereal. Also go over the day old breads & baked goods. Cookies & muffins are still good; I just throw them all in the freezer for later.

  2. teachermum

    I’d say 90% of the produce we eat is on sale. I always have bananas in the house but they don’t really change in price here (except that they are 10c a pound more at Superstore, Metro and Foodland! forget that!). Having bought this way for…forever, I find that I don’t really need to stock up and freeze as there is always enough variety on sale. I also find buying the already frozen veg on sale is more cost effective for the most part. I don’t buy the processed/sauced ones, just plain frozen veg. The freezer is still full of the no name bags from the last No Frills sale…

    I do make a point of buying again on the Thursday before the flyers change if it is a great deal ie I’ll be making sure to get more strawberries this week to last into next.

    The old/damaged racks here don’t usually offer much, frankly I can’t believe sometimes what they have on it-clearly rotten.

  3. Lindsey

    The clearance rack in the produce section at my grocery store is also hit or miss. But the ‘last call’ rack in the bakery is where I save BIG!!. I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for bread, bagels, pitas or english muffins! I usually keep these items in the freezer anyway so why pay full price when I can get enriched whole grain brand name bread for a $1.00 or whole wheat english muffins for $0.50!!

    I wish there were more coupons that save on fresh produce and encourage consumers to eat healthy and local.

  4. Lyn

    This is really good advice! It has been saving me and my husband a lot of money. Thank you Cassie.

  5. Mesenga

    So smart! I buy meats on clearance because we have a small freezer so I can stockpile. It’s perfect because I’m getting the savings without compromising on space

  6. Emily

    I will second teachermum’s comment about considering frozen produce on sale. These items are frozen quickly at the peak of freshness and are ready to go. You get to eat every bit you buy.

    My best produce tip is to investigate where you can buy produce. Here produce stores are quite common. The selection, quality, availability of local items is far superior to the grocery stores. They won’t always have quite as low a price as the supermarket flyer price, but averaged out over the year I definitely save money on the total produce bill. The same can be true for ethnic grocery stores as well and produce stands. Despite living in a city, I am within a few blocks of a produce growing area with produce stands. They sell what they grow, plus what they purchase from other growers and some imports. May thru September they have many very fresh items often picked that day. When they have a glut of something the pricing gets passed along. Also the pricing on the items that don’t go on sale at the grocery store regularly (swiss chard and kale for example) is much better.

    Approach the produce section with an open mind. For example, broccoli might be expensive in a given week. What about one of the many Chinese vegetables instead–bok choy, gai lan, Shanghai bok choy etc.

    Last tip –buying lots on sale does not necessarily translate into money saved if the produce gets thrown away because it goes “bad”. I find that produce is an area I need shop carefully. In this case sometimes spending a little more will actually be less expensive

  7. Janine

    I do all of those things! Definitely saves money. I got weight watchers pitas for $1.50 because they were going to expire soon, but i keep them frozen anyways and heat them in the microwave one at a time when i want to eat them. Also, I always buy avocados in the green bags when they are on sale for really cheap and then put them in my fridge so they stay fresh longer, taking 1 avocado out at a time to ripen and eat. If an avocado ripens before I can use it then i cut it in half, remove the pit, and put it in the freezer, and that way i can use it for guacamole whenever i run out of fresh avocados 🙂

  8. Nicole

    I try to get discounts where ever or whenever I can. I find that my issue is freezer space. I know to freeze stuff for later but my husband and I live in an apartment with no room for a deep freezer or even a smaller one. Once I put my meat items in the freezer I find that I have no room for much else. I try to buy cheap can veggies. I am so tired of my produce going bad that I do not know what to do. What advice is out there for people who do not have the space to freeze everything?

  9. Cassie Howard

    Nicole: Only store what you are able to fit in your freezer. Here’s a good post on how to creatively organize your freezer –

  10. Christa

    lately my cousin and I do a lot of canning too. This past weekend we canned 3 cases of papaya, 8lbs green beans (from discount rack at .75 cents a lbs) case of radishes. We also cooked down 14 cases of tomatoes, blended and stained to make tomato sauce.
    I like to freeze my veggies (after blanching)and fruits individually first then putting in bags

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