Listen, we’d all like to save some cash on fruits and vegetables, but many of us don’t have time or space to start a garden or can dozens of jars of produce whenever we find a deal. Here are 11 tips you can implement today for immediate savings on fruits and vegetables.
1. Download savings and rebate apps.
In addition to Krazy Coupon Lady app, which I use daily to find out about the best deals, I primarily use the following seven apps to save money on produce.
2. Use multiple apps on one item.
Rebate apps work when you (the shopper) upload a picture of your receipt to the app. There are no restrictions that disallow you from uploading that same receipt picture to multiple apps. If Ibotta and Checkout 51 are each offering $0.25 off a zucchini this week, you’d better believe I’m going to upload twice for double the savings! Sometimes using multiple apps scores free produce.
3. Find produce coupons.
Produce coupons do exist. While rebate apps like those listed above often have savings on ‘any brand’ produce, printable coupons are almost always tied to a brand name: think Earthbound Farm carrots, for example.
[RELATED: How to find organic coupons]
4. Follow these 5 brands on Facebook.
One of the best ways to find printable coupons is by following brands on Facebook. Here is my top five: Del Monte, Dole, Earthbound Farm, Fresh Express and Organic Girl. And don’t forget Krazy Coupon Lady!
5. Price match produce at Target & Walmart.
Walmart and Target both match competitor prices on produce. To be safe, carry a copy of the competitor ad with you to show the cashier.
6. Weigh bagged produce for 10% savings.
Ever wonder if every bag of apples weighs exactly 5 lbs? Well actually, it doesn’t! The truth is, producers must fill the bag to at least 5 lbs, so it pays to weigh your bag to make sure you’re getting the most for your money! This 8 lb bag of potatoes weighs a full 9 pounds. That’s an additional 13%—for free!
7. Avoid stalky heads of broccoli.
When buying fresh broccoli crowns, you’re paying for the weight of the stalk. Look for short stalks with bushy heads to reduce weight.
8. Always compare unit pricing.
Produce is sold one of three ways: by the item, by the pound or by the bag. There isn’t any rule about which way costs least, so it’s important to calculate the unit price each time you shop.
9. Stack savings by combining price matching, paper coupons and rebate apps.
10. Shop Costco or Sam’s for frozen fruits and vegetables.
While Costco fresh produce may be slightly more expensive than local supermarkets, their frozen fruits and veggies win the cost (and quality) comparison, hands down.
11. Make smart trades at the salad bar like spinach over romaine and chicken over egg.
Fresh salad bars can be cost effective if you make smart choices based on the weight of each food. Simple swaps from romaine or iceberg lettuce to spinach or baby greens saves weight right off the bat. Avoidance of the real weighty culprits like hard boiled eggs is key. Even substituting sundried tomatoes for fresh ones can save a few cents.
[RELATED: Choose this not that at the salad bar.]