Thought I share some food tips with everyone that we do in our family to save money on fruits and veggies. Although some people may not like slightly bruised and old fruits and vegetables, they are still good and should not be thrown out just because they aren’t so pretty.
It saddens me to think of all the food that is wasted in this world and the richest countries are some of the biggest wasters when it comes to that issue.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t pockets of people out there trying to do their part with doing the right thing and that right thing is not to throw out that apple just because there is a little bruise on it. Cut the bruise away; smother some peanut butter on a slice and sprinkle with walnuts and raw oats…now you have a healthy snack.
Now on to our little secrets to yummy low cost meals, first thing to do is find a good grocery store that sells slightly damaged produce. You can ask around to see if your grocery store does this.
We have a couple in Phoenix we go to that will sell huge bags of fruits and veggies for $1. Food City and Rancho is a couple we shop at for these deals. Look at what $1 got us.
Anything we don’t eat right away we store in mason jars for later. We always try to store all our food items in glass, which is much better to store things in then plastic containers, which can release toxins into your foods.
Left over meals or too damaged fruits and veggies that don’t get canned, get either fed to the chickens or tossed into the compost pile.
We also collect seeds from our foods and grow more food from some of those seeds. We have quite a seed collection going and will share with friends, family and neighbors. Some of our neighbors even bring us some of the food they grow from the seeds like these green peppers our neighbors brought us one day. Our garden is organic so the bees and butterflies are never harmed.
I make little seed baskets to give as gifts to friends and family that I know are into gardening and if they aren’t it is okay to start them on one. Little seed basket sets are another one of those gifts I call a gift from the heart. One year a friend of ours grew some of our sunflower seeds and she got the biggest sunflower she ever saw that year. Seeds really are a gift that keeps on giving. Bonus points, they are perfect for all age groups.
Another way we get cheap produce is a program we have in our city (check to see if your state participates) called market on the move . There’s a different location every week where you meet up and pay $10 for a box of fruits and vegetables.
The supplies change but they are always good deals and sometimes there are other food items. One time a giant tub of butter was included. They have tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and onions. My favorites are watermelons and green beans.
Anytime we get peppers or fresh onions we try to make our homemade salsa. Homemade salsa is the best when you live in warm climates. If you don’t like your salsa hot, then leave out the peppers.
1 bundle of cilantro. I cut off the stems but you can dice them up really small if you like and add them as well.
7 or more green onions. I love green onions, so I tend to add a lot.
2 yellow peppers, poke holes into peppers with a fork and boil, then let cool and chop up after removing seeds. Seeds always make your salsa too hot.
1-2 jalapenos, same instructions as yellow peppers.
3-4 tomatoes diced or peeled whole tomatoes from the can diced.
1 can of tomato sauce (optional)
Fresh salsa always goes nice with homemade pinto beans from our crock-pot, plus handmade flour tortillas that my husband and son make. Always add a lot of colors to your meals. The more colors, the healthier the plate. We are big pizza eaters in this family but we are trying to eat healthier meals (trying) so I have been adding a lot of green and red bell peppers, spinage, mushrooms, and broccoli to our junk food pizza…remember the key word here is trying to eat healthy. Baby steps are recommended when making life changes.
We usually end up making green chili quesadillas if we get green chilies. Just burn off the outer layer from your green chilies then peal away skin using a knife. Cut up and jar for meals later.
Another thing we do when we cut up our green onions for salsa is we leave the ends to plant later.
This keeps those green onions growing and we still have enough of the onion left for the salsa. My husband also takes beans and plants them around our citrus trees. It helps the trees grow.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a post about growing food from our scraps at Kelleysdiy. I was so happy to see someone else out there doing this and sharing it as well; we really need to stop wasting our food. Check out kelly’s blog post on this at https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/117499213/posts/21312 it has a ton of really good information about this subject. Thanks Kelly, loved that post.
If you are in the mood for a documentary (I can feel eyes rolling everywhere) hey, I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to some shows and I LOVE documentaries, then I found one that should not be missed. It’s called ‘Just eat it; a food waste story”. Grant Balwin and Jenny Rustemeyer, a couple from Canada decided to quit shopping at grocery stores and live off of (http://www.foodwastemovie.com). They got all their food from garbage bins (I know, gross huh?) but they were clean about it and most of it was packaged anyway. It really is a good show, and it had some humor to it too. In the end the couple had so much food they had to call friends and family over to shop in their kitchen…it was crazy. I remember working in a bookstore years ago and they threw away books. It is something retailers all over the world do when something doesn’t sell…they write it off and toss it. Apparently they do it with food also. So check with your stores, check for programs in your part of the world and even if you can’t stomach eating a bruised apple or an ugly banana (really ripe bananas make the best smoothies and muffins) then find a friend or family member that can. Happy frugal food shopping everyone.