Today I'm sharing an idea for thriftiness that is not necessarily new to me (nor will it be to many of you) but I am so excited about it this week. When you go to grocery store and you are in the produce aisle, always be sure to check out the reduced to clear rack. I used to steer clear of this rack because I would never want to be seen buying "rotten" fruits and vegetables. But now, this is the first place I go. More often than not, there are some really great buys there. Usually, the produce that is reduced is not completely and disgustingly rotten ... I'm pretty sure they wouldn't even try to sell that. Rather, I've found that they sometimes include produce that has fallen out of a package (i.e. loose apples that were meant to be sold in a 10 lb bag, grapefruit that was originally in a package) along with the items that are close to the end of their life and need a good home.
So here's what I'm going to start doing. When I get to the grocery store, I will go directly to the reduced to clear rack and 1) see if there is anything on there that was on my list to begin with and 2) see if there is anything on the rack that can replace something on my list. Say I have broccoli on my list because it's on sale for .99 but there is a cauliflower on the rack for .49 I will take that instead. Some weeks I'm sure I won't be able to find anything worth grabbing but other weeks (like this week, for example) I will score.
This week I found a package of 4 grapefruits that had no visible signs that they were bad for .59. They taste delicious and are absolutely not rotten. My breakfast for the week. I also found a package with one large field cucumber and 3 small zucchinis for .79. I made a cucumber salad the same night I went shopping (it didn't have much life left in it) and I roasted the zucchinis with some other veggies last night. I also got a huge package of grapes for .49 which my fabulous dude took to work to snack on.
All of that produce for less then 2.00 and I was most certainly able to use it all before any went bad.
Some other tips for reduced to clear produce:
- If you have a dehydrator you can dry many fruits and veggies that are at the end of their life to use in baking, snacks and soups.
- You can buy reduced to clear produce and if you can't use it right away, cook and freeze it for later use.
I think many people do not want to buy produce from this section because either they are too proud to (like I was in the past) or they are afraid it will all be too rotten. But I suggest you give it a try, you might find it's not so bad after all.
Have a thrifty Thursday! I won't be posting next week as it is Christmas day. I may (or may not) be back to regular posting on New Year's day, we'll see! Happy Holidays.