I’ve recently discovered an additional way for how to save money on groceries. A few of the local open-air, year-round produce markets, like the Milk Pail I referenced a few weeks back, are perfect options for this strategy:
Buy items marked down on “Special.”
Stores who need to move produce out before it’s too old may mark down items to a lower price point for quick sale. Or, if it’s the Milk Pail, it could be cheeses or canned / jarred goods that even make the specials list!
This is the moment YOU can benefit greatly…the moment of the “Specials.”
Today, I scored the following on “Special” – low fixed prices for pre-packaged chunks of produce:
- Organic bananas
- Organic eggplant
- Red bell peppers
- Purple Cauliflower
- Yukon style potatoes (not show in photo because I’d already opened and washed them!)
Each package of my produce was a flat rate of $1.99 each.
That means I got all of the above for right around $12. Not bad.
I weighed the bananas at the store to see what the price came to per pound. It was a little over 50 cents per pound. As you might recall, I posted about the best price on bananas previously. Organic bananas at Whole Foods now run around $1 / lb. and the lesser expensive Costco bananas lately failed me because they remained green and never ripened correctly (a disappointment, despite their lower 66 cent / lb. price point).
So this pack of 50 cent / lb. organic bananas was a smashing deal ripe for the picking!
You might be thinking, “Yeah, but Lisa, how am I going to make sure I use all that produce before it spoils, especially if it’s already pretty ripe?”
Here are 3 Ways to Make the Most of Grocery Store Specials:
(1) Cook the vegetables. I did such tonight for my husband, which included roasted potatoes, steamed purple cauliflower, and a mixed vegetable saute. For a basic vegetable saute recipe, simply put some oil in a hot pan, toss in minced garlic, chopped onion, chopped veggies of choice (I used red bell peppers and eggplant) and let it cook on medium until all is softened, and season with soy sauce. Voila! Veggie saute.
(2) Juice the produce. It’s a great way to get in vitamins via juicing at a lower than typical price point for your homemade juice. I’ll likely do that with the extra red peppers and cucumbers that my husband and I don’t consume within the next few days.
(3) Freeze some. Bananas freeze particularly well and are great for future smoothies – a delicacy I make for myself almost every morning. And all my smoothies almost ALWAYS include a banana. Why? Because it really helps provide a nice creamy consistency to the smoothie that I think is lacking if you skip it. Almost all good smoothies require a banana in my opinion. And if I’m going to eat that many bananas, why not freeze up the ripe, cheap ones on “Special?” And so I shall! And did!
As you can see in the picture below, just peel the bananas and put them in a ziploc baggie for freezing. It’s a simple as that. Then grab one out of the bag when you are ready to use it.
Note: frozen bananas also make a good snack with the flax almond butter recipe mentioned here. Simple slice the bananas with a knife and dip the pieces into your nut butter mixture. It’s pretty darn good. My husband liked it so much he started eating off my plate and I ended up preparing more since he was enjoying it so much!
Do you get produce on “Special” at your local store? If so, what do you like to do with it?