Traditionally, most of us think that a diet heavy with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is expensive. There are however ways to make these nutritious choices and get variety without breaking the bank. And, it is critical that everyone get their fair share of fruits and veggies, as these are key in promoting good health and reducing risks of certain diseases. There are many low cost and smart ways to shop for fruits and vegetables.

Check out these helpful tips:

  1. Enjoy the seasons – buying fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season is always a good bet; they have more flavor, and are typically on ad or less expensive.
  2. Check out promos – local newspapers, online, point of store sales and coupons are all prevalent in today’s marketplace and are great ways to cut food costs.
  3. Make a list and stick to it – plan out your meals and make a list. This saves money by keeping you on track and making sure you only buy what you need. And, we are all guilty of shopping when we are hungry and buying those tempting and typically not-so-healthy snacks. Shop after you eat, you’ll be in a better mood and stay on track and in budget!
  4. Try canned or frozen – compare the price and the number of serving from fresh, canned, and frozen forms of the same veggie or fruit. Canned and frozen items may be less expensive than fresh. For canned items, choose fruit that is canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with low sodium or no salt added descriptions on their labels. Bagged frozen berries are a crowd favorite in our office, as many people are now on the morning shake routine. Try a banana, and handful of frozen berries, a couple of spoonful’s of fat free vanilla yogurt, and a cup of ice/water – a healthy way lots of us kick start our morning at UWT!
  5. Buy small amounts frequently – some fresh vegetables and fruits do not have long shelf lives. Buying smaller amounts and more often ensure you can eat them all with none going in the garbage.
  6. Buying bulk when items are on sale – you would think this contradicts our last point, but it’s all about knowing what you use often. If you are a huge carrot eater, buying a large bag is a better buy. Obviously, canned or frozen foods can be bought in large quantities when they are on sale as they last months in the freezer and on the pantry shelf.
  7. Plan and cook smart – prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews or other dishes in advance. This saves time and money and is a great take to work lunch option. Add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend to make soup; overripe fruit is great for smoothies or baking.

Helpful tips for us all to stay on track and healthy!  Check out more healthy tips on the USDA’s Choose My Plate site!

Fruits and Veggies – A Smart Shoppers Guide was last modified: by