Spend Less on Refrigerated Food: Buy Less Produce?

Calm down health nuts—we’re not suggesting for a sec that you and your family eat fewer fruits and veggies. But here at Save.com we know a thing or two about feeding you and yours well, for less. And dialing back your produce buy may be just the ticket.

What we’re suggesting is that you not buy fruits and veggies that are going to rot in your fridge. The most expensive asparagus in the world is the asparagus that goes bad before you ever get around to serving it. Pretty obvious, right? Except we all keep doing it.

There’s a cure. One of the best things you can do to improve the efficiency of your fridge is to figure out your fam’s “run rate” when it comes to those pricey perishables: fruits and vegetables.

Start making a note of how much your family really eats when it comes to produce. Buy a pound of beans and see if you end up with leftovers, or with not enough to go around. Then try a pound and a half, two pounds. Every family’s different, but somewhere there’s a sweet spot for everyone that will have you stocked with all the greens you can eat, without so many that you’re really paying top dollar for future fertilizer.

Plan every produce purchase before you get in the car to shop. If you want your family to test out spaghetti squash that’s great. But don’t decide that at the store. Decide it when you’re meal planning. If you get to your local grocer and a particular veggie catches your eye, simply make a note and add it to next week’s menu. No need to bring it home yet. If you get disciplined about your produce purchases you may find you get more adventurous about trying new produce items—because you give yourself time to find the right recipe and figure out how much of the new food you’ll need. Then you can buy that rhubarb or fennel without any reservations!

What’s your trick for making sure fruits/veggies don’t rot in your fridge?