3 Budget-Friendly Ways to Buy Produce

You may have always heard “eat your fruits and vegetables” when growing up. It's obvious that fruit and vegetables are healthy and provide us with various nutrients when consumed, yet when you go to the supermarket, some of the most expensive things to buy are fresh fruits and vegetables. As a college student, money can be tight and sometimes fresh produce can’t fit into your budget. Here are three tips to buying fruits and vegetables when on a budget:

 

1. Buy frozen

“Fresh, never frozen” is a famous slogan Wendy's uses when referring to their burgers. When hearing the word “frozen” about any sort of food, it may bring about a negative connotation. Even though not everything that is frozen is healthy, buying frozen fruits and vegetables is one of the most ideal ways of saving money. Usually when buying frozen produce you can buy it in large bags or quantities, which gives the most bang for your buck nutrient wise. According to eatright.org, fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness and are typically frozen soon after. The nutrients are maintained at its highest quality when frozen and can be kept for a longer amount of time. A downfall of fresh produce is that it becomes rancid quickly, meaning you are more likely to throw away most of the food you bought. By getting frozen produce you avoid it from going sour and still enjoy the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

2. Buy in season

Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables will allow you to enjoy some of the most flavorful produce while spending less. When buying produce that is out of season, the cost often increases due to shipping and labor. By making a conscious effort in buying what's in season, you can save money throughout the year. Click this link to see what fruits and vegetables are currently in season. If your favorite fruit or vegetable isn’t in season at the moment, you can always go back to the first tip and purchase the item frozen to reduce the cost.

 

3. Buy more when there are sales

You may be thinking “why buy more if the produce will go bad and I waste more money?”, but when there are specials or any coupons for produce -- take advantage! One of the best ways to use the extra food would be to incorporate it with meal prep! Prepare your fruit or vegetable of choice and store the leftovers. If you know you will use the food within the next three days, you can refrigerate the leftovers until needed. This is perfect for a college student that is always on the go or even just an easy way to have lunch prepared for your next work shift. If you are unsure about meal prep, you can always freeze your own produce. By cutting fruits, blanching vegetables, and storing the produce in airtight containers it can be placed in the freezer and used at a later time. With having this extra produce at home, you will save money since you're not having to replenish your fruits and vegetables as often.

 

It is important to get in all five food groups (fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and dairy) every day to get all the nutrients you need. Although fresh fruits and vegetables may not always be budget-friendly, these tips should help you stay within your budget and enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables.