Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for She Speaks and Rubbermaid.
Recently I realized that I was wasting money on fruits and veggies – or should I say food in general. While these aren’t the most expensive foods in the grocery store that $15 here and there starts to add up and don’t know one got time for that.
Anyways every couple of months I like to review my finances and adjust things (AKA cancel things that I am paying for automatically, but not using) and since this year I am focusing on being a wiser shopper, putting money into retirement, and putting a decent dent in my student loans, I made a strict budget when it comes to my personal monthly expenses.
One area that really stuck out to me in my budget was how much money I was spending on food a month. Not only was I spending more than $600 on groceries each month, but I was also getting snacks from the store every day (I had a habit of going there in the morning with the kids before school and then again, most days on the way back from the bus stop) and ordering delivery EVERY weekend. I was spending entirely too much money on food to put it nicely.
So, in January of this year, I decided to put a stop to this nonsense. I made a budget that I would spend $400 on groceries a month, the kids wouldn’t be getting breakfast bars, chicken, and all the other mess from the store every day, and I would leave $50 for fast food/delivery.
Sounds good, right?
What would you say if I told you that I have not only been keeping my budget but at the same time I have been at least $100 lower than my estimated budget most months?
I’ll save the full-blown breakdown of my food expenses for another day. However, today I am going to share with you just how I save money on fruits and veggies each month and how you can too.
Purchase Fruits and Veggies That Are in Season
Now, this is a tip you probably have heard before but possibly forgot about because apparently, I had when I was paying more because I just had to have stuff that was out of season. I won’t spend too much time discussing this because most fruits and veggies are in season all year unless you want to be a little fancy lol.
So, there you have it, your gentle reminder. Keep this in mind when grocery shopping next and save yourself a few coins.
Don’t Go Overboard When Shopping
This is a huge one. I love fruit and my boys love it too – or so I think when in the fruit isle and just seeing all the selections. Therefore, I was stocking up on about 7 grapefruits, a bunch of grapes, lots of oranges, etc., thinking it would be gone before it goes bad.
See, I have school aged kids now. They have breakfast and lunch at school and we do dinner and snack at home. Weekends is an open game, but that’s only two days a week. Plus, when I’m slammed with work I barely have time to do anything but work – the last thing on my mind is eating.
Therefore, those sweet potatoes and apples may seem like they are going to fly by, but you don’t need a lot because no one is going to be able to eat that many before its time for your next grocery trip.
Some people avoid this by having a meal before going grocery shopping so their eyes don’t get the best of them. In my case, I’ll share under the comparison shop section just how I keep from going overboard when shopping (don’t skip there now though or you’re going to miss an important saving hack).
Do a Combo of Fresh and Frozen
This is a big one and it kind of goes hand in hand with the comparison shopping hack, but I figured it needs its own section. What a lot of shoppers don’t realize is that frozen fruits and veggies can be just as good as fresh ones (also canned fruit works well for the kiddos too).
I like to do a combination. Now let’s talk numbers to bring the reality into this hack. For this example, I’m going to use Walmart as the store.
Say you like making smoothies with strawberries and a variety of other fruits. You see that 1 pound of fresh strawberries is $2.48 and think nothing of it and just add it to your cart. However, in your unconscious mind, you see that the frozen 16-ounce bag of strawberries is $2.14.
Hmm, why not go with the $2.14 bag of strawberries since its cheaper and it’s going in a smoothie?
Either you see pounds and automatically think that’s more (even though it’s not) or you see .48 and .14 and figure how much of a difference does that make. Don’t worry I did the math for you so you don’t have to pull out your calculator.
Let’s say, you need 1 pound of strawberries a week for your smoothies. That means that each year you are spending $128.96 buying fresh strawberries. Alternatively, if you were to go with the 16-ounce bag of strawberries you would be spending $111.28 per year. That is a saving of $17.68 per year. This is just for making the switch with one fruit. Imagine how quickly this number will rise once you add in others.
To be honest that $17.68 is a good saving for me because that will get me at least 3 small field trips for the kids or a couple of school supplies to donate to the classrooms when asked (we get asked a lot lol).
I think you get the point of this savings hack so I’ll move on.
Store Them in Rubbermaid FreshWorks
This savings hack will save you a ton too.
In case you haven’t heard, Rubbermaid has introduced a new product to their product line. It is called FreshWorks.
What is FreshWorks?
FreshWorks are microwavable, dishwasher safe and BPA free containers that come in three sizes – small (suggested for small berries), medium (suggested for strawberries), and large (great for leafy greens such as salads).
How Does Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver Help You Save Money?
These containers help you save money because they allow your fruits and veggies to stay fresher longer thanks to the Rubbermaid FreshVent technology that regulates the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide to ensure that they have the optimal environment to stay close to just as fresh as to when they were picked. This in return results in you throwing away less food because your fruits and veggies won’t go bad in just a few days.
Did you know that Americans waste $24 billion worth of produce every year? This means that you could be throwing away at minimum $192 each year.**
Now, what could you do with that?
The best part is they are easy to use. All you must do is remove your fruits and veggies from their store packaging before putting them inside of the Rubbermaid FreshWorks container.
No cutting or washing required!
My Rubbermaid FreshWorks Review
I was provided with a set of three containers for review from Rubbermaid. I decided to use mine to keep my salad fresh. AND IT WORKED.
When I leave the salad in the bag it originally comes in whether I even get around to opening it or not, it never fails, the salad goes bad within 4-5 days every time. Well, things have been busy for me, so when I purchased the salad I didn’t get around to eating it as planned. Good thing I had FreshWorks on hand!Check out how @Rubbermaid's new product helps @Giveaways4Mom save money! #FreshWorksFreshness Click To Tweet
I left the salad inside of the container for an entire WEEK before I finally got around to making my salad. And guess what? It was still just as fresh as when I took it out of the bag. And it still is!
Now, we’ve finally made it to my last shopping hack for saving money on fruits and veggies. This is another awesome one.
Comparison shop. No, I don’t mean run from grocery store to grocery store. Do it from your computer instead. Yep, shop online for your groceries. That is unless you look forward to taking the kids to the grocery store with you – but if that’s your me time, I understand, I may put overspending at risk too just to get a break alone lol.
What I like to do is write down everything that I need on my list. Then, I lay back in my bed with my pillow and log into Walmart Grocery Pickup. I put everything in my cart that I need and the goal is to get however many items on my list for $100 or less. This usually gets me between 45-50 items. The only time I go over $100 is if I want to get fancy with dinner and ordering some juicy steaks.
Back on topic though, once I get everything from my list into the cart I go back over it again to make sure I have the cheapest price of each (without sacrificing quality of course) and then relook at my total. Usually, this brings me down to between $80-$90. I use that to throw in some bonus goodies for the boys.
Remember those Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers that I was just raving about? You can even throw them into your cart too and have them on hand for when you are putting away your groceries.
Final Thoughts on Hacks for Saving Money on Fruits and Veggies
For those of you who made it to this point, I hope you found this article to be valuable and that it allows you to save some coins when purchasing your fruits and veggies. It sure helps me!
If you found it valuable please don’t keep this information to yourself. Help your friends out by sharing this article on one of your social media channels.
Also, make sure you tell me one of your favorite shopping hacks for saving money on fruits and veggies in the comments section below.
*Based on strawberries in FreshWorks™ containers vs. store packaging. Results may vary depending upon produce and use.
** Source USDA 2014