How to Save Money on Produce
I get so many questions about produce here at GSFFatTheMart HQ. Everybody wants to buy it but nobody wants to pay for it. Unfortunately produce rarely ends up on my FREEbies list (Or the $1.00 and Under list) but when shopping at Walmart, there are a few tips you need to know to save money.
I cannot tell you how important it is to get in the habit of price matching your fruits and vegetables. A few years ago, some medical issues caused Dian and I to have to make some changes to our diet. The most important being that we we now eat a small Spinach salad before dinner with tomato and avocado every night. Guess what, that get’s expensive!
I went on a mission to figure out exactly how to get these as cheaply as possible and was surprised to see how often grocery stores will put tomatoes, avocados, and a bunch of other produce on sale at deep discounts. There is a little store near me called El Rancho that routinely has Roma Tomatoes 5/$1 and Avocados for even cheaper. You should see what this store sells oranges for when they are in season!
They aren’t alone. Kroger often has very good deals, Safeway is pretty good at certain times of the year. The point is, chances are whatever produce you like to buy, someone has it on sale. All you need to do is check out your local ads and then go to Walmart and price match to get the best deals.
One important thing to keep in mind is Walmart has one very important rule when price matching produce. If Walmart sells a type of produce by the pound, they will only match a per pound price. Conversely, if Walmart sells something by the unit, they will only match a per unit price.
For Example, if Walmart sell Fuji Apples for $.98/lb and Safeway has them on for $.78/lb, you can match that. If Walmart sells Fuji Apples for $.85 each and Safeway has them on for $.78/lb, you can’t match that. Clear?
Produce coupons are rare but they do exist, you just might have to do a little work to find them. They usually have coupons on their websites but if you will sign up for their newsletters or text alerts, you can get notified when new ones come out. Here are a few you can check out.
- Driscoll’s Berries – Every month you can get a coupon for berries.
- Fresh Express – Occasionally will have coupons for Salad Mixes, Sometimes the coupons are on their FaceBook site.
- Earthbound Farms – Frequently will have coupons for their Organic Products
- Avocados from Mexico – Frequently have B3G1 coupons for Avocados (A BIG player in our house)
- Nature Sweet Tomatoes – There is a newsletter you can sign up for that will occasionally have coupons.
- Organic Girl – I’ve only ever seen this at Whole Foods but there is a $1.00 off coupon that shows up sometimes.
Only Pay For the Food
This last tip might be a little nit-picky but I do it every time so I like to think it’s actually saving me some money. You know how they spray down the produce so it looks good on the shelf? Don’t pay for that extra water. I always shake as much of that water off the green leafy vegetables as I can before I put it in the bag. Not only will it make your produce lighter, it will actually keep fresh longer.
Also, don’t put anything on your bag that will make it heavier. Most stores will provide metal wire twist-ties or little plastic widgets to seal the bag, these just add to the weight you are paying for at the register. Just grab a few ties and put them in your pocket if you need them and tie a knot in your bag until after you’ve paid.