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Old 06-07-2017, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murk View Post
Is it possible your fridge is set wrong if your produce is going bad so quickly?

I buy a lot of fresh veggies each week, and the only thing that goes bad before the week is out is sometimes bagged spinach.

Buy seasonal produce and that which is on sale. Never buy pre-cut or pre-washed stuff. Waste of money and more packaging.
Just a guess, if she is getting the produce from roadside stands, it is picked when it is ripe. The store produce isn't picked ripe so it will last longer.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:41 PM
 
Location: The World
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There are only two of us, and I have found that produce goes bad on us a lot, too. I hate it because I *love* my fresh fruits and veggies, but I can only eat so much of it, and I always feel guilty throwing away food.

Because of it, I do buy a lot of frozen and canned stuff. Since there are only two of us, it just makes the most sense. Of course, I do buy certain things fresh that last for a while, like potatoes and onions.

I also stop by the grocery store or the produce stand and pick up certain things that stand out or that I need for recipes or that we are craving...

Honestly, people talk about how pre-cut fruit is the biggest waste of money. For many, I think that's true. For us, though, buying the pre-cut fruit mix at Food Lion is actually cheaper because we are able to enjoy multiple types of fruit without buying a whole watermelon, a whole pint of strawberries, a whole cantaloupe, etc. We don't buy it for the convenience...I don't mind washing or cutting fruit at all. It really is cheaper for us to spend $6 on pre-cut, pre-packed fruit with the variety that we want and that we'll eat up in a couple of days vs. spending $25 at the produce stand (like I did last weekend, even though I knew better) and throwing away 3/4 of it because it's just impossible for two people to eat it all before it goes bad...

OP, if frozen and canned are out of the question for you, then the only way I think you're going to cut out the waste is to buy your produce in small quantities and to buy it from day to day.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:00 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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As far as salad greens going bad. I am a recent convert to the bagged salad kits. Frequently they're on sale at 2 for $6. and there is no waste, and there is a great variety of kale or spinach, etc. In the past, I was dead set against this s sort of thing because it is an expensive way to buy salad ingredients. It saves in the long run, not only in produce, but in expired salad dressings.

I am a big fan of frozen steam in the bag vegetables too. Sometimes they're on sale for $1. and the small size is perfect for two.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:38 AM
 
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Thanks again. I got some great ideas from this thread from how and where I can make changes and makes some cuts.

While we are two people, my relative, well, eats like an old lady! Literally, just wants a piece of toast and coffee for breakfast, soup for lunch, and eats as much as a 10-year-old at dinner. So really, it's more like one and half people food consumption-wise.

To address some topics brought up since I last responded.

I really don't eat much meat. I like the organic because they don't use antibiotics. I also looked in my freezer and realized a lot of what I buy really isn't organic, it just says "no antibiotics" (like the Purdue chicken I buy). So I was wrong when I said I buy "organic" meat. I would probably save about $10 a month buying cheaper meat. Not a lot, but it all adds up. Although I think I will hold off on that simply because it's something I don't want to compromise on. I don't eat a lot of meat, but when I do, I want it to be high quality.

I haven't gotten around to the dollar store yet. The one near me is called Dollar Tree. I probably won't go for several months (cleaners last me that long). I looked at their website though and there are a few things I could buy there (but a lot of what I need isn't there, for example, I need special cleaner for my stove top and granite cleaner for the kitchen counters and I didn't see it on their website). I wouldn't save any money on shampoo (what I buy is already 99 cents) and soap is actually more expensive for some reason. But when it's time to buy deodorant, toothpaste, other cleaners, etc again, I will go since those things were cheaper.

Produce... like I said, I think this is where I can made a big cut. Just to clarify, when I buy produce from roadside stands, it lasts. They are just hard to get to for me (six hour round trip). When I buy from Whole Foods it lasts but it's the most expensive. Costco lasts too, but I have to buy too much and it eventually goes bad too (plus, I pay more buying so much). It's only the darn regular grocery store that I have issues with. I am still mulling this over in my head. I wonder if I would waste less if I just bought from Whole Foods instead. While there would more money paid, maybe I would pay it less often because things wouldn't be going bad on me. There are some things I can get at the cheaper grocery store that last: Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Carrots, Apples, etc. But other stuff... last week I bought a pint of strawberries. They turned to mush in one day (even though I kept them dry and in the fridge). When I buy roadside berries, they last 4-5 days at least.

The grocery store has horrible produce. There are times I won't even buy it (a lot of time things like green beans, squash, or peppers look shriveled up).

I did buy a watermelon from the grocery store on Saturday. I am still eating it, but it's finally starting to turn. It won't last and I will most likely end up throwing about 1/3 of it away despite having melon for breakfast and lunch every day (I've even got the dog eating it! Haha). I just can't eat that much. I am also throwing away celery I bought two weeks ago for the same reason. Most of my recipes only call for one stalk, but you have to buy a whole bag of it at a time. I'd freeze it, but my freezer is full of meat I bought on sale and leftovers stews and sauces (for example, when I make spaghetti sauce, I make a whole pot. It lasts for at least 6 or 7 meals, so I have to freeze most of it, unless we eat spaghetti every day for a week, lol).

I buy the bagged salads for the same reason. At least I eat them all and get a variety. If I bought everything that's in the bag separately, it would be a lot less expensive per pound, but it would definitely rot.

I need to "get" myself to like frozen veggies. There are some things I don't mind frozen (corn, lima beans, peas, and brussel sprouts). I prefer fresh, but those are okay frozen. I have a hard time with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans... they always seem chewy or mushy. I don't mind them in stews though. Anyway, that will help me save money.

Did I mention before I live in a high COL area? I think groceries are just a little more expensive here, so I will most likely not cut as much as some here say I can, but I appreciate the encouragement. I will be happy with $100 a month cut. I know when I buy things by my mom, stuff like milk is about $1 more a gallon by me, a lot of fresh fruit is almost twice as expensive (those strawberries are $2.50 a pint at the roadside stand near my mom's, $4.99 a pint at the "cheaper" grocery store), she can actually get potatoes for under a dollar a pound too. I am not sure how I compare to the rest of the country though.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:48 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,531 posts, read 42,694,765 times
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I will just add that if you truly cannot get good produce at your grocery store, then I guess Whole Foods makes more sense, but in my experience, I get gorgeous produce at any of the 4 grocery stores near me, and I would never pay the prices at WF or Fresh Market, because they are unnecessary.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I will just add that if you truly cannot get good produce at your grocery store, then I guess Whole Foods makes more sense, but in my experience, I get gorgeous produce at any of the 4 grocery stores near me, and I would never pay the prices at WF or Fresh Market, because they are unnecessary.
I'm going to see what's a little further out. I have three grocery stores within 20 minutes of my house and all are the same chain and all have the same produce issues. Then there are two While Foods. But if I can find another chain a little farther out of my neighborhood I could try getting produce there. It's just an extra trip and more time.

I'll figure something out.

Oh, I also have a Trader Joe's. They sell mostly frozen stuff it seems (that I don't usually buy). But I think they have produce too. I need to look there as well.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:38 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,531 posts, read 42,694,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaLind View Post
I'm going to see what's a little further out. I have three grocery stores within 20 minutes of my house and all are the same chain and all have the same produce issues. Then there are two While Foods. But if I can find another chain a little farther out of my neighborhood I could try getting produce there. It's just an extra trip and more time.

I'll figure something out.

Oh, I also have a Trader Joe's. They sell mostly frozen stuff it seems (that I don't usually buy). But I think they have produce too. I need to look there as well.
I realize it's a trade off sometimes. Our time is valuable too. At least yours probably is, but I'm retired so I can go potsing around to 2 or 3 stores.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:08 AM
 
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Handling your produce in a different way may help it last longer. Here are a couple of the tricks I use.

Celery will last for several weeks if you wrap it in aluminum foil. Take off a stalk or two as needed and wrap. Don't wash the stalks until needed. If you mainly use that or peppers in 'cooked' foods like soup, then maybe freezing is better. Possibly you just need to get a second freezer.

I find strawberries will often turn on me in one day too. I have better luck if I wash and handle them that day. I cut up and put them in a container with a spoon of sugar. That works for me. My neighbor cuts them up and puts them in a sealed container with a couple of paper towels. Someone else may have a better solution.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:19 AM
 
Location: USA
1,809 posts, read 2,139,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaLind View Post
I'm going to see what's a little further out. I have three grocery stores within 20 minutes of my house and all are the same chain and all have the same produce issues. Then there are two While Foods. But if I can find another chain a little farther out of my neighborhood I could try getting produce there. It's just an extra trip and more time.

I'll figure something out.

Oh, I also have a Trader Joe's. They sell mostly frozen stuff it seems (that I don't usually buy). But I think they have produce too. I need to look there as well.


Do you not have a Walmart neighborhood grocery near you? They are definitely the cheapest I have found for produce of all kinds


Here's a couple of charts on produce storage and shelf life -- not just for you, but for everyone.




https://www.pinterest.com/pin/150800287493612289/


https://ohmyveggies.com/how-long-doe...fresh-produce/


How to Store Fruits & Vegetables in Refrigerator Humidity Drawers/Crispers | The Maids Blog






Some canned veggies can be made more "appealing" by adding a little onion and a bit of butter
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:25 AM
 
974 posts, read 853,284 times
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Strawberries, blueberries, grapes all freeze really well. I especially love them straight from the freezer on a hot day. Freezing seems to me to intensify the flavor. I agree with the idea of a second freezer if you can find a way.
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