It can be very hard to find fresh produce at a decent price. I remember countless grocery shopping trips where I’d buy just a few pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables, but spend $30+. It’s no wonder I have some weight to lose. I’d oftentimes forego fresh produce just so that I could afford all of my groceries and be able to eat for more than a day or two.
That has all changed for me in the recent year because I’ve found places in my local area that carry amazingly fresh and tasty fruits and vegetables, at an even more amazing and affordable price.
So without further ado, here are 5 ways I have found that are great for saving money on fresh produce.
1. Grow your own garden.
Okay, so this probably seems like a no brainer, but I thought I’d throw it out there. I remember as a child we designated a large portion of our backyard to grow a vegetable garden. We grew potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, okra, squash and corn, that I can remember.
And I’m talking this garden was pretty big. Even as a child I remember using a hand-driven machine to till the land and then all the hard work and labor that went into planting, watering and picking everything.
Growing a garden is hard work, but if you grow only what you can manage, it’s definitely doable and saves a lot of money. I don’t personally have my own vegetable garden now because I live in an apartment, but I hope to one day be able to grow one. Until then I have to do some research on what I can grow in containers on my balcony and jealously admire everyone else’s Facebook pictures of their own garden goodies.
2. Local farmer’s market.
A farmer’s market is where I first found fresh produce at a good price. When I think of a farmer’s market, I picture something that’s outdoors with various stands where people sell whatever fresh produce they grow themselves.
Since moving to Miami, I’ve discovered that not all farmer’s markets live up to my preconceived notion. There is a small, but great indoor farmer’s market not too far from me. It’s literally just a small store. Nothing fancy, but just a location that has a farmer’s market feel and smell, and sells nothing but produce that’s very fresh and pretty affordable.
My first great find at my local farmer’s market was pineapples. At a regular grocery store a whole fresh pineapple will run me anywhere from $3.99 on sale to maybe $5.99+ at regular price. At my farmer’s market, they had them for just $2.50! That is a pretty big difference in price if you ask me.
3. Flea market.
This one may not really be on your radar when it comes to fresh produce, but a lot of flea markets have stands that carry nothing but fruits and vegetables. There’s one flea market, in particular, in my mother’s area that we visit occasionally while visiting her house.
The fruit and vegetables are sold in some sort of medium sized, open containers, in which the produce is stacked up and over the container as high as a stack can go without falling over. Depending on the size of the fruits and vegetables, I can purchase 6-7 nice sized tomatoes or 6-7 squash/zucchini for just a couple of dollars.
4. Small local grocery stores.
This has recently become my absolute favorite way to save on produce. If you have an Aldi store in your area and haven’t visited yet, you are surely missing out. You may have to bring your own bags and have a quarter on hand to use a buggy (cart, depending on where you’re from, haha), but the prices are totally worth it.
I went to Aldi just last week for my weekly shopping trip and stocked up on all kinds of fresh produce. A head of lettuce for a $1.29, hass avocados for $0.49/each, a medium sized seedless watermelon for $3.19, a bag of onions for $0.79, a container of grape tomatoes for $0.59, and the list goes on and on.
I haven’t found anywhere that beats these prices, except for one place and that’s Presidente, another local grocery store in my area. I don’t personally care for the feel of this store, but if saving money is on your mind and you want fresh from the farm produce, it may be the place for you. The store has weekly sales and sometimes you can get 10 limes for $1.00, or 4 cucumbers for $1.00, or 4 pounds of bananas for a $1.00. Where else can you beat those prices?!
5. Rebate apps.
Last, but not least, after every grocery shopping trip I always check my phone rebate apps to see if there are any rebates for the fresh produce I just purchased. Some of my favorite rebate apps include Ibotta, Checkout 51, MobiSave and Saving Star. Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Saving Star always have some sort of fresh produce rebates every week, and occasionally MobiSave does also. The rebates may be small (typically $0.25), but it adds up pretty fast.
Whether you grow your own garden, shop at a local farmer’s market, flea market or small grocery stores, or you use rebate apps, there’s definitely room for saving money on fresh produce.
Just do some asking around to see if there’s a location in your area that maybe you aren’t familiar with, but may have some great prices on fresh produce. It never hurts to try some place new. In fact, this is how I found my local farmer’s market store. I actually went to Google maps and simply typed in farmer’s market, and voila! Visiting became part of my to-do list and it turned out to be a good find.