7 Ways to Save on Fresh Produce

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Ways to Save on Fresh Produce | Save Money Buying Fresh Produce | Storing Fruits and Vegetables | Buying Fresh Products“How do I save money on produce?”

This is one of my most common reader questions. And, as a vegetarian and as a mom, it is a question that I personally face every week as well.  I save an incredible amount of money on my groceries with coupons, but I will readily admit that much of what I buy is often processed or packaged food.  It is not unhealthy, per se, but it definitely needs to be supplemented with the nutrients that can only come from fruits and vegetables

Green and red peppers are great to stock up on if the price is right, but don't over-buy and waste.

And while I have gotten much better at “shopping” from my stockpile and coming up with creative stockpile meals using the ingredients I have on hand, I still need to buy fresh produce.

Here are 7 ways I have discovered to save on fruits and vegetables:

1.  Buy only what is in season and on sale

This may seem obvious, but sometimes we can get so caught up in shopping for a specific recipe or dish that we buy what we think we need, not what is on sale.  Learn what is in season when and pay attention to the sale prices.

Produce that is in season will be cheaper than out of season items.

2.  Buy from Local Farmers

Farmer’s markets have exploded in popularity in the past few years to the point where they are found almost everywhere, and there can be some amazing deals on produce!  (But beware, there are also some “trendy” Farmer’s Markets out there with a lot of overpriced items.  Don’t assume that because it is a farmer’s market, it is always a good deal.)

Local farmers markets are great places to score deals on the freshest produce.

My favorite local market is the Punta Gorda History Park Farmer’s Market, which is held every  Sunday from 8-2.  It just a few blocks from my house but whenever I show up at 1:30 (just before closing), the vendors are ready to bargain!  Last Sunday, for instance, I scored this whole pile of fruit and veggies (4 pints of strawberries, 3 eggplants, 4 large sweet onions, a bunch of radishes, a pint of grape tomatoes, a watermelon, & 3 apples) for only $10.  These same items would’ve probably cost me well over $25 at the grocery store.

Stocking up on a variety of produce ensures you'll always have something in your kitchen to make.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price.  The worst that can happen is they say no, and then you’ve lost absolutely nothing.  Finally, if there are multiple vendors, be sure to shop around and find out which ones are willing to bargain before you buy.

Similarly, roadside produce stands can have some amazing deals on fresh locally grown produce.  If you see one, stop for a minute.  You never know what you might find!

3.  Price Match

This takes a little more effort but it can save you a lot of money on produce.  Go through all the grocery sale flyers each week to find the best prices, then bring them with you to a Walmart Supercenter or other store that matches prices.  Load up on all the cheapest groceries, than do the rest of your shopping at your regular store.

4.  Use Coupons

Okay, so produce coupons are rare, but they are out there.  Packaged products like Fresh Express Salad mixes go on sale quite often and can be matched with coupons for some great deals.  Target occasionally puts out a $1 off fresh produce coupon (great if you live near a SuperTarget or store that accepts Target as a competitor) and most grocery stores have Baby Clubs or other signups that often mail out coupons for fresh produce, meat, and other store items.

Watermelon is a great fruit for the hot summer season.

5.  Stock up on Frozen Produce

While fresh produce coupons can be hard to find, coupons for frozen vegetables are much more common and easy to match up with store sales.  It is a good rule of thumb to stock up on frozen vegetables whenever you can find them on sale.  They are great in recipes, contain just as many nutrients as fresh veggies, and can sustain you through weeks where buying a lot of fresh produce just isn’t in the budget.

6.  Grow your own or join a farm co-op

I am by no means an expert on gardening, so I was hesitant to even add this one to this list.  In fact, I probably have the brownest thumb of anyone I know, and my own gardening attempts have been, for the most part, and abject failure.  But I do know that even if you live in an apartment or don’t want to put in the effort of a larger garden, you can grow herbs and small vegetables in a pot garden.

Another option is to join a local farm co-op.  My family has been a member of Worden Farm for the past two seasons.  For $30 a week, we get a huge selection of fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables.  We’ve found that not only does it help us save money on produce, but we buy far fewer regular groceries during farm season, which saves us money as well.


Learn how to get the best value at your local ALDI Store. Find out what to buy and what to skip. Download your free ALDI Shopping Cheat Sheet now


7.  ALDI or Discount Grocery Stores

If you are lucky enough to live in an area with an ALDI store, this is a great place to score on cheap produce! Other areas will sometimes have discount produce stores or discount grocery stores–keep your eye out and you never know what you might find!


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How do YOU save on fruits and vegetables?

Ways to Save on Fresh Produce | Save Money Buying Fresh Produce | Storing Fruits and Vegetables | Buying Fresh Products


  1. February 23 at 08:03PM

    Great ideas! I personally subscribe to the buying in season or growing your own when possible, but I’d also like to recommend CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). You pay a farm to purchase a “share” of their produce. It’s a great way to support local farmers and enjoy fresh, local produce all season long! We participated for the first time this spring and are loving it so far. You can use a site like LocalHarvest ( to search for a participating farm in your area.

    • Ruth
      February 24 at 12:40PM

      Toni, that is such an AWESOME idea! I had never heard of it before but I checked out your link and there is a participating farm right here in Punta Gorda. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Shaina
    February 23 at 11:58PM

    There are no farmers markets in this area (unless I was to drive in to Chicago, which is too much of a pain to be worth it!)

    There are two grocery/speciality chains in this area that offer AMAZING deals on produce: Brookhaven and Euro Fresh. Like for example, last week at Euro Fresh, cauliflower was 39 cents a pound, and avocados were 4 for $1! They also have some pretty awesome deli deals, but as for canned/boxed/frozen items they are extremely expensive!

    • Ruth
      February 24 at 12:41PM

      Wow, lucky you to score avocados for a quarter! Those stores sound great. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jennifer
    May 19 at 03:43AM

    We wanted to use multiple coupons on a sale this week at Walgreens however the Walgreens ad says “limit 1 coupon printed per offer”. If the items are 3/$10 does that mean we can only use one coupon instead of three (1 per item purchased)? Thanks for your help.

  4. Jennifer
    June 3 at 10:05AM

    I live in Cincinnati, and we do/ have done it all–CSA, Farmers Markets, etc., and it’s all been helpful. Our largest local chains are Meijer and Kroger. I use the Kroger Plus card, which creepily monitors my shopping habits, BUT I often get personalized coupons for specific produce items, as well as general ‘save $2.00 if you spend $10.00 in the produce section.’ We can also load digital coupons to our card, and these can be used up to five times per trip for as long as they’re good. For bagged salads, cherry tomatoes, bagged apples, etc., this can save us a bit. It’s also worth looking in the markdown bin for reduced-price loose produce. As long as it’s in decent shape, it certainly doesn’t have to be beautiful! We get similar coupon deals for stuff in the frozen section, too.

  5. May 15 at 11:48PM

    I love stocking up on produce when it is season, there is little else that tastes better than fresh green beans or asparagus.
    One big thing we do in my little family is to go out to local orchards and do pick-your-own. We usually can get a 5 gallon bucket full of apples or pears for $5, some people practically give their fruit away in my area. I take it home and spend the fall making jams and jellies, as well as pre-mixed apple pie mix that I freeze. It’s a great way to stretch those produce dollars just a little bit further.

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