Stay healthy and save money in the fruit and vegie aisle this summer.
Consider varying where you shop. Fruit and veg outlets and farmers’ markets sometimes charge less than supermarkets. And most shops will have a table of produce that is going to ‘turn’ soon, so those items tend to be cheaper.
Drop by the local farmers’ market at the end of the day – there may not be as wide a selection, but because the farmers won’t want to take produce home, it will be reduced.
Seasonal produce is abundant, so it costs less. Compare the price of corn cobs at the height of their season, with their prices in the middle of winter, when they’re imported. The height of summer is prime time for berries, cucumbers, avocados, mangoes and tomatoes.
That massive bag of carrots might appear cheap, but it’s not if you only use a few of them and end up throwing out the rest when they go limp. Buy loose items, and only what you need. Or buy a few that are ripe and others that need to be stored for a few days before they’re ready to eat.
Split the bill with family, friends or neighbours. Buy that huge bag of potatoes or box of mangoes and split it up. You’ll save money by buying in bulk and avoid the wastage.
Plan ahead. It’s obvious for the main part of your weekly meals, but also think about side dishes, lunchboxes, after-school snacks and the fruit you’ll need for breakfast, to ensure you don’t have to make costly, last-minute trips to the local convenience store.
If you’re good at planning ahead, watch for discounts on tomatoes or fruit. You can make pasta sauce or jam that can be bottled and stored for use later. And anything homemade will be free from unneccessary additives, potentially making it healthier for you.
Avoid pre-cut vegetables and fruit – they’re more expensive (due to all the excess packaging) and don’t last as long as whole produce. Besides, it doesn’t take that long to cut things up anyway!
Bananas will make other fruit ripen more quickly, so if you want your fruit softer, put the bananas on top. If not, keep them separate.