Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to up your shopping game and become a produce pro in no time! It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the grocery store aisles but fear not! You can learn how to shop smarter, not harder. Here are the secrets to selecting the freshest produce, maximizing your budget and minimizing food waste.

  1. Create a weekly meal plan that uses the same ingredients in different ways. For instance, extra grilled chicken can be used in a casserole or salad at another meal.
  2. Make a list of essentials. Make a regular grocery list of essential items you typically buy or like to have on hand each week. Use this as your base list, then add items that are needed based on your meal plan.
  3. Add vegetables to your meats. Stretch the servings of any meat of choice by adding beans or mushrooms for extra flavor, texture and nutrition.
  4. Look for deals and sales. Check your local grocery store coupons for sales on seasonal produce or take advantage of overstock discounts.
  5. Use coupons only for items that are on your list! This will help to avoid buying extras that may go to waste.
  6. Stock up on canned produce. Canned fruits and vegetables will last a long time and are a really easy way to add plants to meals and snacks. Stock up when they are on sale.
  7. Keep frozen produce on hand. It’s easy to store and will be available when you’re ready to add it to a meal. Frozen produce is also a great option for smaller families or when you’re cooking for one.
  8. Pick your own! Late summer or early fall is a great time to pick your own fruits and vegetables. This can be a fun and cheap way to buy in bulk and freeze, can or dry for later.
  9. Try new fruits & veggies! You might find a new family favorite. To minimize waste, buy new foods in smaller amounts that are easy on your budget.
  10. Give your leftovers a makeover. Spice up leftovers by adding fruits and vegetables to create something new for the next day. Last night’s dinner makes a great inexpensive lunch for today. Turn a chicken dinner into a veggie-rich soup or extra veggie sides into a casserole or pasta bake.
  11. Reduce food waste. Those berries that are starting to shrivel, or that bruised apple are great for blending up in a smoothie.
  12. Store your fruits and vegetables properly. To make fresh fruits and vegetables last longer, store them appropriately after getting home from your shopping trip. Learn how to do so here.

What tips are you going to try first?

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