WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Where do you find your best produce deals?

Posted June 4, 2012

With the summer produce now in season, where are you finding your best produce deals? I chatted with Bill & Lynda on WRAL-FM this morning about produce deals. Here are some other ideas for saving that we did not get to talk about.  Please add any other ideas you have for saving on produce!

As I mentioned on the radio this morning, some of my best produce deals these days come from Aldi.  The produce deals here aren’t just good – they are ridiculous! strawberry day Discovering cheap fresh produce

Here are some of the produce sales at ALDI good through tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5. And I am not making up these prices:

Zucchini or yellow squash, 24 oz package, .69! At that price you can stock up and freeze for zucchini bread for the rest of the year!

Iceberg lettuce, .49 per head

White mushrooms, 8 oz. package, .59 – great price!

Tomatoes on the vine, 24 oz package, .99 – great price!

Multi-colored peppers, 3-pack, $1.49 – another great price!

Those are crazy good deals!  This morning after the segment I bought 48 oz of zucchini, 3-pack of multi-colored peppers, 2 lbs of baby carrots (.99/lb), 1 cantaloupe ($1.69), 3 lb bag of onions ($1.69) a 9 oz bag of spinach ($1.69). I also bought a pound of salmon fillets, frozen, for $4.49. Although there is not an Aldi in Johnston County, where I live, I will be at the radio station in Raleigh twice a month now so I will be heading to Aldi after each of those segments!

Other ways to save:

Buy what’s on sale and what’s in season: Look for produce that comes in at $1 or less per pound (and that’s usually what’s in season).

Buy local at the local farmer’s markets and roadside stands. At the State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh you can buy in bulk and get an even bigger discount in the wholesale area. I love roadside stands in the summer – local produce and often at very good prices.

CSA – Community Supported Agriculture: Members buy a seasonal share of locally grown produce and receive a weekly box of fruit and vegetables. You can usually pick up the box at the farm or at designated locations at specific times. Some CSA’s let you pick what produce you will receive and some do not. Some allow you to buy a share that equals as little as $12 per week. For a list of CSA’s by county, visit the NSCU website HERE.

Grow your own garden. It’s not too late to plant some patio tomatoes in a container on the back porch. Six hours of sunlight a day, plenty of water and voila – homegrown maters! 'Cause really, there is NOTHING like a homegrown tomato and cucumber sandwich with light mayo on white bread!  Although we eat whole wheat bread at my house, that first tomato sandwich always goes on white bread! I had my first one of the season last night with a cucumber from a local CSA and a tomato from the local roadside stand. It was superb!  This year, we are growing a small container garden with tomatoes, cucumbers and basil.  I planted multiple types of tomatoes this year and we have already enjoyed a few grape tomatoes.

Are you growing a garden? If so, what are you planting?



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  • llsnyder1 Jun 9, 2012

    Re:Door Step Produce, forgot to mention their foods are all locally grown and pesticide free. I'm baking zucchini bread as we speak from this week's delivery.

  • llsnyder1 Jun 9, 2012

    There's a new delivery company in town, Door Step Produce, and they are quickly expanding delivery areas. The produce is really fresh and delivered to your door on Thursdays. You can choose weekly or bi-weekly and prices range from $19 for a "snack pack" to $30 for a 3/4 bushel of goodness. They also offer special add-ons and they take consideration of preferences or allergies. Check out their web site !

  • Rohir Jun 7, 2012

    "Tiki and everyone, any tips for keeping squirrels out of the tomatoes? Hate those nasty things! And they always go for the tomato that is one day short of ripe :(" -- jdouglas13

    After trying every trick I was promised would work to keep squirrels and birds out of the plants, I finally found one that worked. Before the tomatoes start to turn red, hang red Christmas ornaments around the plant. The bright color tempts the critters to give it a try, and after they discover they aren't edible, they eventually quit trying. So when the tomatoes ripen, the squirrels and birds have already given up on those plants.

    I was always willing to share with the wildlife -- take a tomato or two! -- but they always insisted on taking one bite out of every single tomato!

  • jdouglas13 Jun 5, 2012

    Tiki and everyone, any tips for keeping squirrels out of the tomatoes? Hate those nasty things! And they always go for the tomato that is one day short of ripe :(

    Container garden here this year, although I did buy a raised bed kit and a small stand-up greenhouse for less than $40 together at Tractor Supply about a month ago. Plan to do lettuce once it cools off and herbs through the winter. For now, we have Early Girl bush tomatoes, some potted grape tomatoes, and lots of herbs - rosemary, mint, chives, garlic chives, green basil, purple ruffles basil, lemon thyme, and oregano. The basil is delicious as part of a mixed greens salad, something I hadn't thought of till I read about it a while back.

  • jdouglas13 Jun 5, 2012

    Faye, haven't read the whole post yet, but you have my morning coffee spraying all over the computer screen...rips produce? As in rest in peace produce? hahahahahaha (I know you meant ripe, but it was such an awesome typo!!!!)

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Jun 4, 2012

    Emily, I do the same thing littleteacher does and batch cook a bunch of loaves of zucchini bread and freeze them for the months ahead.

  • Kathy S. Jun 4, 2012

    Emilyburner if you want to freeze vegetables like zucchini you have to blanch them in boiling water for 3 minutes. See the following link:


  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Jun 4, 2012

    I am very surprised at your experience, oxy. I have shopped many of the Aldi's in teh triangle and not had that experience. The cantaloupe we had tonight ($1.69) was excellent. The yellow pepper was delicious. We also really like their 32 oz fat free vanilla yogurt for $1.99 and 8 oz brick cheese for $1.19.

    You should really e-mail corporate about your experiences, oxy and itsmyownopinion.

  • Oxymoron02 Jun 4, 2012

    itsmyownopinion, there are 4 Aldis, all ~15 miles from where I live. I've shopped in 3 of them, and I do not understand how anyone gets past the smell of rotting produce that hits you at the door. I just don't shop there any more. My husband talked me into trying the new Aldis in Knightdale last month, and I regretted it. We had to toss most of the produce in under 24 hrs (seriously, black mold growing in the multipack of tomatoes). Such a waste of money.

    I'll stick with the farmers market for good deals, thanks. I was there on Saturday. They had sweet corn that was picked today on sale, 12 ears for $5. Less than 40 cents an ear, and they hadn't been sitting somewhere, with the sugars converting to starches, or in transit for 4 days.

  • itsmyownopinion Jun 4, 2012

    I used to stop in Aldi for produce, but got out of the habit. I dropped by an Aldi one day last week and there was almost no produce. There was zero fruit, and only a couple bags of potatoes, which I didn't need, and two packages of broccoli. The broccoli seemed like a good price so I brought one home. It was totally wilted. I also used to buy a boquet of fresh flowers in Aldi's every week, but they had none. When I got to the check out I asked the girl if they were going out of business, and I was serious.