I have gotten several messages from readers wanting to know how I save money on produce. There are several methods I use for saving money on produce the first is my favorite…garden! A couple of years ago I started my own above ground planters with lettuce, beets, cucumber, squash, potatoes, onions, green beans and some other various veggies we love to eat. I also use pots to grow tomatoes and jalapeno peppers…this is because they require FULL direct sunlight…but can also be a little temperamental, so I like to be able to move them around the yard if I need to. Because we cook so much in our home I had always wanted an herb garden…so I tore out all of the shrubbery in front of our home and planted rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, and oregano (I planted cilantro in pots). I have to tell you growing your own produce and especially herbs is a HUGE money saver. We also grow our own fruit…in Washington I had an apple tree, rhubarb bush, strawberry patch, raspberry bushes and several blueberries…all this reminiscing of my garden is making me anxious to build my new garden here in Kansas!!!
I know for some of you gardening is not an option…and for most of us gardening is only an option for a portion of the calendar year…so how do I save money on produce during the off season? Farmers markets is one way (I find it educational and fun for me and the kids), join a community garden, but still if these options only last so long…during the off season I try to buy my produce and meats with transferred prescription credits. I am not sure if you saw my episode on Extreme Couponing…but on the first season I was able to walk away with nearly $2700 in groceries (including produce, meats and organic milk) and got paid nearly $60 to do so!!! I did that by transferring prescriptions to my local grocery store when they were offering a $25 credit for every transferred prescription.
But still there are those of us who do not have monthly prescription needs, therefore that option is not great either…so here goes my most current solution that I have been using. Shop the sale cycles! Yes produce and meat have sale cycles, throughout the year produce and meat reach rock bottom prices depending on the season. I shop those sales and plan my meals around whatever is in season and CHEAP. For example, in the summer berries, peaches, lettuce, and bell peppers are usually at their lowest prices…I buy those items at their lowest price and design my meal plan around what I was able to pick up. I generally try not to spend more than $1/lb for produce or $2/lb for meat.
When fruit reaches those low prices I buy several pounds at a time and cut and freeze them so that we can have yummy fruit in the winter! I do the same with meat…when meat goes below $2/lb (depending on what it is) I try to pick up enough for several meals…and put it in my freezer stockpile…this way when there is a “bad” sale week and no “good” prices for meat I already have what I need in my freezer!
For instance last week I was able to pick up baby back rips for $1.99/lb!!!! Now we love us some BBQ ribs…plus we would much rather eat them at home than at any restaurant. My hubby is King of the BBQ. So I picked up 3 racks of ribs to put into my freezer…for only $5 a rack!!! Kinda wish I bought more but it wasn’t in my budget this week…so I had self control.
The most important thing to remember about saving money on produce and meat is that there are several ways to save money and stick to budget…you simply have to set your mind to saving, make your meals based on the sale cycles/seasons and try not to be too picky…LOL
I hope this helps…good luck!!!
Here are a few website to check out for produce coupons:
- Earthbound Organic
- Fresh Express
- also look for produce coupons on packaging (ie. Kraft, Dole and Del Monte products)
Right now you can snatch up a Topsy Turvy for this amazing deal: Get 2 Topsy Turvy Tomato Planters and 2 Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planters – only $10.00 + P&H.** (originally $19.95 for just the Tomato Planters)
***I have used Topsy Turvy for my tomatoes it’s seriously the EASIEST way ever to grow!!! Plus if you have issues with critters getting into your plants and vegetable gardens…you won’t have to worry with Topsy Turvey…they are safely hanging where ever you find the most convenient!!!
The TIME IS NOW to start ordering your plants, seeds and getting your starters ready for your garden…so ORDER NOW and get ready to have a great growing season!
Having a few plants to start out your produce garden is better than nothing right?!?! I grow produce every year and it cuts my produce bill/budget down by 70% for the entire year!!! Seriously it’s totally worth the little bit of time and effort!
If you don’t like tomatoes…do you make spaghetti…grow tomatoes and make your own tomato sauce and freeze it!!!
There is also this AWESOME deal for Chili Peppers if you want to grow some peppers in your garden this deal is pretty rock’in if you ask me!!!