Shop From The Reduced Price Produce Section
One way to fight back against Food Security Issues is to increase your groceries while reducing how much you spend.
An excellent way to reduce food costs is to shop from the reduced price produce section in your grocery stores.
Now, you might not always find a deal every week, but when you do, it will certainly help out your budget. It will also put more food on your table at the same time.
You will need to learn how to price compare.
Accidently last year, I bought some reduced price tomatoes. They were labeled to be half price. I thought, awesome! However, after getting through the check out, I looked over the receipt.
I felt that I spent more than I had thought was in my cart. Yes, it turned out that those bargain tomatoes—were not a bargain. Not even at half price. It was something ridiculous what the regular price was. So even at half price, it was way higher than I would ever pay for tomatoes. If I had realized sooner, I would never have bought the half priced tomatoes.
That was an example when the reduced produce was not a deal.
This was just one grocery store though. Generally, the reduced price produce section is a great place to find deals.
So, make sure you pay attention and look for the items that clearly state what they have been reduced to. Such as $1 or $0.99. If it is a half price item, then you be sure to check what the full price was first.
By being able to clearly identify the price you can look at it and know whether you are getting a bargain or not. For instance let’s assume the reduced English Cucumber is labeled at $0.99, but they are on sale this week for $1 each. Well, for the sake of one penny, I might just buy the fresher cucumber instead.
How Ripe Is Too Ripe?
Sometimes the fruits and vegetables set aside at a reduced price are more than just past their prime. Let’s face it, sometimes, they need to really be in a compost pile somewhere.
So the next thing you need to check is the ripeness of the reduced item.
Do not purchase a reduced price item just because it is a reduced item.
You need to look at your meal planning schedule and your family. If you aren’t going to eat something up before it fully spoils, then you are just throwing your money away.
Only purchase what you know you will use up that coming week.
And Then There Are Awesome Deals
However, there are times when you can pick up some pretty awesome deals. And if they also happen to be the fruits and vegetables you were looking to buy that week, then that is even better.
Even if not, perhaps by buying the items off the reduced price produce section, you can stroke off the expensive item on your list. You may also be able to rethink your menu and introduce a new vegetable to your family.
Or perhaps a vegetable that you consider a luxury and normally don’t buy, is on the reduced rack. That is usually when I pick up eggplant for instance.
Sometimes our local Walmart has some awesome deals on the reduced price produce rack.
Just look what I picked up one week off the Walmart rack. For a total of $5 I got the following:
- 2 heads of Cauliflower—total of 16 servings
- 10 Plum Tomatoes—useful for sandwiches, meat dish garnishes, and more
- 2 bags of Brussels Sprouts—this was at least 12 servings
Granted, not every week will you find as great a deal on reduced price produce, but wow! When you do it is awesome!
Make It A Part Of Your Normal Shopping Pattern
You should always carry a prepared grocery list with you when you go shopping. However, you should also allow yourself some wiggle room to adapt and make changes once you get to the grocery store.
For instance, on the day that I found that group of reduced vegetables for $5, I simply took other things off of my list. There had been other vegetables I had on my list, but upon seeing the reduced produce bargains, that quickly changed.
So instead of serving broccoli, or carrots, which were more expensive, I mentally knew we were going to have cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts instead. As a result, we spent less on vegetables that week, but most certainly had more meals from what we did purchase.
Get in the regular habit then of always checking out what is on the reduce price produce section first. See if there are any reduced items that you want to use. Then you need to determine what other, more expensive item, you can take off your shopping list.
Now that you have the fruits and vegetables covered, by learning how to shop from the reduced price produce section, you can proceed onto the meats.
Read: How To Read A Meat Label before you do.