How Much Produce Should I Buy? 6 Simple Tips

When produce picks are priced per-pound, you can buy as much or as little as you'd like. Photo: Shutterstock

When produce picks are priced per-pound, you can buy as much or as little as you’d like. Photo: Shutterstock

Tip: Buy by weight

Earlier this year, Valentine let us in on a game-changing secret: When produce is sold by weight, you can buy exactly what you need. Don’t need the whole bunch of carrots? Just pull off one or two. Only using half a cabbage? Ask a produce to representative cut it for you.

We’ll admit this suggestion blew our minds a bit, but it really is that simple. To eliminate produce waste (and shave a few dollars off your grocery bill), keep an eye out for picks sold by the pound and buy only what you need for your recipe.

For produce that goes soft easily, such as avocados, bananas or pears, Valentine suggests choosing a mixture of ripe and under-ripe picks. Chow down on the soft ones first, and the others will be perfectly ripe (read: not overripe or spoiled) by the end of the week.

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Mary Mazzoni
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  1. As someone who lives alone and eats lots of raw veggies I face this challenge almost daily. One way I’ve managed to reduce waste is freezing for stock. When my veggies start to get a little limp (not spoiled, but not crispy) I put them in a bag in the freezer along with my “trimmings” that I save (onion peels, herb stems, and

  2. Sometimes you just can’t resist a beautiful veggie you didn’t expect to see in the store. Go ahead. Buy it. You can compensate by taking something else off your list. There is usually some produce that isn’t up to par that day. Just be sure to add an appropiate recipe to your menus.

  3. Thanks for this post. This is always a problem that I encounter when I shop. I don’t want to waste good, organic produce so I will have to do a better job. I usually make soups, salads and smoothies with produce to use it up before it is inedible.

  4. I juice lettuce, celery, kale, etc. that is going limp and use it in soup. Makes me feel a little less guilty about it, at least.

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