Save Money on Fresh Produce

by Julie on March 23, 2011 · 13 comments

Fresh produce is often a grocery budget buster. There are rarely coupons for it and it’s hard to stock up on as well. One method that works well, however, is to plan your menu around produce sale items each week.

One of my local grocery stores has strawberries for 69 cents/lb this week and I’m betting a lot of you are seeing specials on strawberries too. To celebrate I thought I’d post this wonderful recipe that was recently shared with me for a Poppy Seed Salad that uses strawberries.

Are you seeing good deals on strawberries? What’s your favorite way to use them?


Poppy Seed Salad

6 cups of the salad greens of your choice

Combine with your choice of the following combinations:

  • 1 c. pecans, 1 c. raspberries, 1 c. cubed brie
  • 1 c. cashews, 1 c. sliced strawberries, 1 c. cubed swiss
  • 1 c. walnuts, 1 c. diced, red apples, 1 c. havarti

Toss with the following dressing*:

1. c. salad oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. onion powder
1/3 c. white wine vinegar
1 dash salt
1 t. prepared mustard
2 T. poppy seeds

* This makes a lot of dressing. It could have easily been cut in half and I would have had plenty for the salad.

Another delicious strawberry recipe is this chocolate strawberry pizza at Angela Pritchett’s Kansas City Baking Examiner blog.






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broke professionals March 24, 2011 at 1:59 am

Fresh produce is the best, particularly in the summer. However, my wife and I have started to go more towards frozen. It is more expensive but never wasted. I would be interested to see what is actually the smarter purchase.

Julie March 24, 2011 at 3:26 am

BP, I don't know which is the better purchase money-wise, but I know that, nutritionally, frozen is the next best thing to fresh.

LaTisha D Styles March 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I've been getting strawberries too! I melt some chocolate and make chocolate covered strawberries with them.

Julie March 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

LaTisha – I like your idea better! :-)

Dave B March 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Reaching my mid 40's these past few years I've added a lot of fresh produce to the diet. I also bounce around the sale items and discovered a few additional benefits to saving money. One is that I've found I like several foods that I had never tried before! Second is that I feel SO much better which has to be a not so obvious money saver. Hen House sounds like a great stop for me today!

Julie March 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Dave – Nice non financial benefits you've got going on there. And you're undoubtedly much healthier for it too.

Barb Friedberg March 26, 2011 at 11:59 am

I buy frozen fruits and veggies in addition to fresh to keep costs down. Hope summer will bring lower produce prices.

Julie March 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Barb, An abundance of fresh produce is one of my favorite things about summer.

Family Balance Sheet March 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

I'm looking forward to strawberry season. There is nothing quite like a fresh, local strawberry. I go to a U-pick patch and pick enough to freeze for the fall/winter. My stash has been gone for a few months though, so we are getting antsy.

Julie March 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Great idea, FBS. Any special tips on freezing them?

Damsel April 13, 2011 at 8:19 am

Great post!!

We’ve changed the way we eat pretty drastically over the last year or so. We’ve moved to very lean proteins and fresh (or frozen) produce, and I’ve severely cut back the amount of processed things I buy. We’ve also moved to a lower-carb diet (though we’re not fanatical about it at all) and buy whole grains for those carbohydrates we do eat.

Somewhere along the way, I finally decided that good, healthy food is just flat worth the money. I’m not buying processed junk like I used to, so I’m saving money there. If there’s anything *really worth* spending money on for our family, it’s fresh, healthy produce. It tastes delicious and is just so good for us! I save money in lots of other areas so that I can spend where it matters for us, and this is where it matters.

That said, though, I pay attention to the prices and buy more of something when I know it’s at a good price point. Then I plan our menu around that.

Julie April 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

Damsel, I couldn’t agree with you more. I like the fact that you are “intentionally spending” on fresh produce and healthy foods. It’s a good trade-off.

Mina Joshi August 16, 2012 at 5:35 am

Strawberry season here in UK too now and we have been getting some great deals at the moment though not as cheap as in USA. I love stopping at farmers markets to pick up some fresh stuff at reasonable prices. I like to support the local growers too who tend to leave their produce just outside their Gate and trust you to leave the money in a box. E.g. A huge bag of 10 lbs of carrots is only a pound and it’s great to use for juicing and soups.

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