How to Save Money on Fresh Produce

I came across an interesting article about how we waste money in the kitchen in ‘Taste’…the Culinary Institute of America’s magazine. This info is too good not to pass on. I don’t know about you, but I often go through my refrigerator and toss fruits and veggies that have gone bad. Turns out, on average, we toss at least about $600 a year worth of produce for that reason. There are some guidelines you can follow to get the most from your produce. If nothing else, it might save you from those last minute dashes to the grocery store when you have no veggies that are edible for dinner. Here’s the lowdown…

Some fruits emit ethylene which is an odorless, colorless gas that speeds ripening and can lead to  the premature decay of sensitive veggies. If you put spinach or kale in the same bin as peaches or apples, the greens will turn yellow and limp in just a couple of days. Separate your produce —here are the recommendations.

*Refrigerate these produce that release gas – apples, apricots, cantaloupe, figs, melons

*Don’t refrigerate these gas releasers – avocados, bananas (unripe), nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes

*Keep these away from all gas releasers – ripe bananas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce and other leafy greens, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes

Also, don’t seal your fruits and veggies in plastic bags. Keep them loosely open…veggies need to breathe. And, never refrigerate potatoes, onions, winter squash or garlic. They can last up to a month out of the fridge.

Lastly, get produce home from the grocery store and into the fridge as soon as possible. And, shop farmers’ markets early in the morning. Just harvested greens will wilt quickly in the sun.

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One Response to How to Save Money on Fresh Produce

Christi Brogan says: July 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Tanji, have you heard of the Bountiful Baskets co-op? If not, you should really check it out! It’s a great way to save money on fresh produce AND to try some things you may not have tried in the past. There are two drop locations in San Antonio and one in Boerne. We have a pick-up this Saturday morning in fact! Would love for you or someone from your team to come out and check out what it’s all about! I volunteer for the pick-up location in Boerne and not only enjoy the great produce and other products we can get for a good price, but also love spending time with my friends and getting to know more neighbors during the pick-up. You can read all about the co-op on their website at and I’d be happy to give my own thoughts about it as well.


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