When you’re buying produce by the pound, be aware that the water the stores spray on produce displays can add weight to the product. Sometimes the leafy greens are so drenched, they are almost sitting in water… if you give the bunch you choose a few good shakes and remove as much of the water as you can, it will suddenly be several ounces lighter, thereby lowering the price.

Prepackaged produce that is sold by the bag or by the item, instead of by the pound, can often have quite a variation in weight. Lettuce, cabbage, and various fruits and vegetables that are packaged by quantity often can be very different weights for the same price. To get the most product for the price, weigh several packages and choose the heaviest one.

There is often a substantial savings on the large bags of fresh apples, oranges, onions, and other produce, but it’s not uncommon to find that some of the produce you couldn’t see until you took it out of the bag has spots of rot. If this happens, save the fruit, the bag, and your receipt, and take them back to the store the next time you shop. Stores will gladly refund the cost of the unusable fruit, and many will (without you asking) give a refund for the price of the entire bag.

Don’t buy produce that has been marked down because it is past its sell-by date. Produce that has been bruised or has been sitting around is much more prone to bacteria contamination. The few cents you save are not worth the risk. Also, produce starts losing nutrients as soon as it is harvested, and “elderly produce” has already lost a great deal of its nutritive value. This is one bargain that should be easy to pass up.

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Finally – someone *brave* enough to buck the tide of frugalists telling people to buy bruised or past its prime fruit and veggies to save a few pennies. I agree completely. That’s no bargain for anyone and should be passed by. The other tips are great too. I just found your blog but I am enjoying it tremendously. Lots of great stuff here.


Thanks so much for the great tips Shirley. I have never considered the effects of water or that bagged produce would vary in weight. I’m going to weight those oranges from now on! And thanks too for the equivalent charts — great time saver.