One of the ways we recently discovered to save money on our weekly
grocery bill is to utilize the local fruit and veggie stand. It's not too far from us and we're often close enough that gas mileage doesn't really factor in.
Based on the prices last Sunday when we went shopping at Publix and from the fruit stand today when I went:
Publix Cucumbers: 2/$1.79
Fruit Stand Cucumbers: 2/$1.00
Publix Beef Steak Tomatoes: $3.29/lb
Fruit Stand Beef Steak Tomatoes: $1.79/lb
Publix Red Bell Peppers: $3.99/lb
Fruit Stand Red Bell Peppers: $1.00/each
You can see that the prices are quite a bit lower.
Another thing I have to admit is that in addition to being a much better price, the food tastes awesome! Oftentimes what we get from Publix is but a shadow of what a garden version would taste like. (I grew up with a huge garden and miss it horribly.) The fruit stand tastes like I remember food. Yummy.
My one thing I have to improve on is learning how to pick out veggies and fruit that aren't perfect. What I see at the grocery store are the perfect-looking waxed primped versions. The fruit stand has "warts and all" versions. I need to learn what's a natural blemish, what's dirt, what's a real bruise, and what signs of rotting are for my favorite freshies. Unfortunately these are things I don't remember from childhood.
I've made a commitment to go to the fruit stand at least twice a month. I'm aiming for twice a week. (What we buy hasn't lasted as long in the kitchen as Publix stuff normally does. I guess it's not "bred" to be as transportable and hardy.)