Tips for saving money at the grocery store

Organic, conventional, GMO, non-GMO. Where do you begin? When conventional avocados are 3/$1 or $1 each for organic, which should you choose? Do you really need organic? Although store clerks may or may not know if the produce is genetically modified, the produce sticker does.

As long as processed junk food is cheaper than produce, it will be difficult to feed our families healthy foods.

Sometimes, though, paying more for organic is unnecessary. Many fruits and vegetables are grown without pesticides so buying conventionally is ok.

In other cases, though, spend a little extra for organic because these can be laden with pesticides and toxins.

image*The Dirty Dozen. Not growing your own? Choose organic when buying
Apples
Strawberries
Grapes
Celery
Peaches
Spinach
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines
Cucumbers
Potatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers

image*The Fab 14. Though you’ll definitely want to wash before cutting or eating, these are usually grown without toxins and conventional is alright.
Pineapple
Avocado
Onions
Cabbage
Asparagus
Kiwi
Mango
Cantaloupe
Sweet Potatoes
Grapefruit
Watermelon
Eggplant
Sweet Peas
Mushrooms

image*Wondering how to decode those produce stickers? They can reveal more than store signs.
4 digit PLU codes = conventional produce
5 digit PLU code beginning with 9 = organic produce
5 digit PLU code beginning with 8 = genetically modified produce

*How far did it travel? Cheap produce can sound great, but if those grapes traveled from Chili, how many chemicals were added to keep them “fresh.”

image*Save money on fresh produce by shopping at farmers markets or local farm stands. Making jelly or sauces? You can often buy baskets of bruised fruit for a couple bucks! Who knows better how the produce is grown than the farmer.

*Get the most out of your money. No one want to spend money on delicious fresh fruit that doesn’t get eaten. Don’t toss the produce, freeze it. Peel bananas & keep for banana bread. Frozen grapes are a fantastic sweet treat. Use other berries for smoothies. Organic Gardening has great tips for freezing vegetables.

Avocado Photo credit: barron / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
PLU code photo credit
Jarred produce photo credit

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2 responses to “Tips for saving money at the grocery store

  1. Pingback: Test your Eco-IQ | ftedailygreen

  2. Pingback: Greener Living: small steps to better health at the grocery store | ftedailygreen

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