Shopping for Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are tasty and nutritious! And they can fit into any budget. Here are some tips for getting healthy fruits and veggies at the best price.
Buy in season.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are most affordable when they are in season. They are easier to find and have more flavor. To find out which fruits and vegetables are in season at which times of the year, check our Extension publication P3144, Buy Fresh Fruits & Vegetables in Season!
Try canned or frozen.
Compare the price and the number of servings for fresh, canned, and frozen versions of the same fruit or vegetable. Choose the one that has the lowest cost per serving.
When you are buying canned, choose fruit canned in water or 100-percent juice (not syrup) and vegetables that say “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label. When you are buying frozen, choose vegetables without sauces.
Buy small amounts of fresh.
Some fresh fruits and vegetables go bad quickly. Buy small amounts of these, but more often. This way, you will have the fruits and veggies you need, without losing any to spoiling.
Buy in bulk for things that last.
It is often a better buy to choose large-size bags of fresh fruits and vegetables that you use often and that last a long time, like apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions. Be sure to store them properly so they will last!
Buy large quantities of canned or frozen fruits and vegetables when they go on sale. If you have space in your cabinet or your freezer, you can stock up!
Buy store brands.
Store brands of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are often less expensive that name brands. You can get the same or a very similar product for a lower price.
Buy them whole.
Buy fruits and vegetables that have not been pre-washed, pre-cut, peeled, or processed in any way. These convenience foods are often much more expensive per serving than buying the food whole and doing the preparation yourself.
Use them up!
Fix and freeze vegetable soups, stews, and casseroles to enjoy later. Add extra or leftover veggies to these dishes, too. Extra or overripe fruit is great to add to smoothies or baked items like quick breads.
Grow your own.
Start a small garden in your yard, in a container on your patio or balcony, or even in a little pot on your window sill!
Even if you have never gardened before, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are easy to grow. They can also add freshness, flavor, and nutrition to all your meals.
Get in touch with your county’s office of the Mississippi State University Extension Service to find out more! You can find their contact information here.