By Sara Eckel
Fresh, Delicious ProduceFresh, Delicious Produce
Buttery sweet corn, succulent strawberries and juicy tomatoes are some of the best parts of summer. The prices? Not so much. With the cost of your favorite fruits and veggies rising as much as 3.5% this year, you need some insider help. So, supermarket owners, produce managers and money experts spilled their secrets on stretching your summer food dollars, meaning you won't miss out on a single bite. Photo credit: iStock
Skip the cherry tomatoes and go for the larger round ones, which are usually about 50¢ to $1 less per pound. Better yet, grow your own. Ashley Watson, writer for the frugal-living blog Wise Bread and a former produce section associate, says they are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. For how-tos, ask around at your local garden club or nursery. Photo credit: iStock
BUY 4 LB A MONTH AND SAVE $4.
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Buy your guacamole fixings at a Latin supermarket. "While a chain grocery may price avocados at $1.99 apiece, I've seen them at ethnic stores selling three for $1," says Carrie Kirby, creator of FrugalisticMom.com. Photo credit: Getty Images
BUY 3 A MONTH AND SAVE $5.
Look for bruised peaches and nectarines at a roadside stand, says Jeff Yeager, author of The Cheapskate Next Door. Although you can't eat the bad parts, you'll pay about half what unblemished fruit costs, so you'll still be way ahead. Photo credit: ThinkStock
BUY 8 LB A MONTH AT 50¢ A LB AND SAVE $4.
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Instead of buying a clamshell of mixed greens at $5 per 6-ounce package, get those same greens by the head for about $2 each. For salad that will stay fresh for a full week, wash and thoroughly dry the leaves, then store them in a plastic bag you've punched holes in with a fork, says cookbook author Jorj Morgan. Photo credit: iStock
BUY 4 1-LB HEADS OF LETTUCE A MONTH AND SAVE $32.
Buy creminis instead of portobellos, which are just larger versions, says Watson. For most recipes, making a direct swap can save you about $2 to $3. At one San Diego store, an 8-ounce package of portobellos was $5.49, while the same amount of cremini was only $3.69. Photo credit: ThinkStock
BUY 2 PACKAGES A MONTH AND SAVE $4.
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Scott Varanko, produce manager at Stew Leonard's market in Norwalk, CT, says that unshucked corn is less expensive and keeps better than shucked. At his store, sweet corn with the leaves intact costs a third less than shrink-wrapped super-sweet corn. "Buy it the day you want to eat it," he says, because corn gets less sweet the longer it sits. Photo credit: iStock
BUY 12 EARS AT 33¢ EACH (INSTEAD OF $1 EACH), AND SAVE ABOUT $8.
These usually go for about $4 a quart in the supermarket, but if you pick your own, you can often get them for half the price, says Watson. Plus, you have entertained your family for a day! Photo credit: iStock
BUY 4 QUARTS A MONTH AND SAVE $8.
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When making potato salad, opt for bagged spuds. Loose ones can cost about $1 a pound, but you can find entire 5-pound bags for as low as $2.50. And because packagers are required by law to provide at least the advertised minimum weight, you'll usually get a little more. "If the bag weighs a bit under, they'll throw in an extra just to be safe," says Jessica Patel, a frugal-shopping expert for Bankrate.com. Photo credit: iStock
BUY 6 LB A MONTH AND SAVE $3.
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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