This is the Real Daily Cost of Eating Fruits & Veggies
By Katarina Tornich
Think you don’t have enough cash to meet the daily recommended intake of fruits and veggies? Wrong! Eating produce isn’t nearly as expensive as most Americans believe, a new study finds.
Imagine that you have $2.60 in your pocket. You can spend it on Pop Tarts and a bag of Skittles or you can dole it out in exchange for an entire day's worth of fruits and vegetables. We know what you’re thinking, “the latter option isn’t even possible.” But two singles and a chunk of change is really all it costs to hit the five recommended daily servings of apples and carrots, according to a recent United States Department of Agriculture report. That breaks down to be about 50 cents per serving, which is less than a burger from McDonald’s or your favorite fast-food joint.
Don’t believe it? The proof is in the data: According to the report, watermelon and bananas both cost less than 40 cents per cup, while apples and oranges were found to cost less than 60 cents per cup. Some other veggies that fall under the wallet-friendly category include potatoes, dried pinto beans and dried lentils. Which foods will bleed you dry? Raspberries, frozen artichokes and fresh asparagus all cost more than $2 per cup, so if you’re on a budget we suggest steering clear. In the spirit of saving cash, here are a few more simple ways to save on fruits and veggies:
Buy fruits that are in season & shop at the farmers' market
Strawberries are cheapest April through June, during their natural season. Apples and bananas are easiest on the wallet during the winter, and berries are best bought during the summer time. Shopping at the farmers' markets can save you big bucks and time, too. When you buy goods directly from the farmer, you cut out the middle man—and the markup. Plus, you won’t have to wait in those long lines at your local grocery store.
Try growing your own
To save money on gas and food, start a garden. Tending to fruits and veggies is a great way to burn calories and serves as an opportunity to teach the entire family about agriculture and healthy eating.
Stop buying processed junk
To free up funds for fruits and vegetables, the United States Department of Agriculture suggests cutting back on things like sugary sodas and candy, and canned soups, frozen meals and chips, which are all huge salt mines. Currently, this kind of junk eats up about 35 percent of American’s food-at-home budget, according to a USDA Economic Research Service report.
For even more ways to save cash on groceries, check out our exclusive report, 17 Simple Swaps That Save $255 a Month of Groceries