Friday, December 09, 2005

Frugal Fruit

I know fresh fruit is healthy, but it's kind of expensive for a family of six. Where do you find the cheapest fruit? --Joann

Like Kathryn, I've been finding the most consistently low-priced fruit at Aldi. I recently bought and compared bags of 3-lb. mixed fruit: Sam's Club had bags for $3 (or $1/lb.) while Aldi featured bags with the SAME label for $1.50 (beating the warehouse by half). The fruit might have been slightly more irregular as far as size, but it was just as fresh and delicious. I don't mind buying fruit at Aldi, because I always peel before eating. When my timing is good, I can sometimes snag blemished organic produce discounted at my local Harris-Teeter. You can always save money by sticking with fruit in season, whether you buy it from a produce stand or your chain grocer.

Here's a little secret about my fruit bowl: the lemons are made of wood. Really! I keep this Victorian bride's basket on my kitchen table, but I didn't want the acidity of fresh lemons to pit the silver. My mom found these look-alikes at a yard sale. They were the perfect solution. Now I add whatever fresh fruit we have on top. The lemons go a long way in making the arrangement look abundant, every day, even if I only add an apple and a couple of oranges.


Kim C. said...

Oh, I miss Aldi's! We live in an Aldi-less state now and our food bill has risen by about 30%.
Once I was grumbling about the lines, when the woman behind me piped up with how grateful she was to have Aldi's. She added that they would never be able to eat the way they did if they had to pay full grocery prices.
I had an instant attitude correction!

Meredith said...

Aldi has wasted no time colonizing Tennessee this year--it probably won't be long before it spreads to Texas, Kim :)

Laura Talbert said...

I'm also an Aldi-er. I do get some of my fruit there, but it seems to be hit or miss on how decent it is. And selection? Not so much. But overall, I love 'em and do the bulk of shopping there.

BTW, I'm nodding my head about having to peel everything before we eat it. Their fruits and veggies (except most of the bagged kinds) are heavily waxed or something.

Meredith said...

They are heavily waxed, aren't they? so was the bag of fruit from Sam's Club. Maybe they think the discount shoppers are more attracted to shiny objects :)

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Sav-A-Lot is similar to Aldi's and in some locations where there is not an Aldi's.
Our grocery store also has one place where they keep a shopping cart of discounted fruits and veggies, things that are either almost or way past their prime. Get to know the produce person and find out when they rotate their produce. Ours knows that whenever they mark bananas down to .19 lb we'll take up to 20 pounds of them.

Dried fruit is also a healthy alternative in the winter months.

Kathryn said...

We are really blest then, we have both Save-A-Lot and Aldi's. We get the marked down bananas at Save-A-Lot too. Its a great deal and what we can't eat right away can be made into banana bread, oatmeal banana pancakes,frozen for smoothies, or dried. Aldi's and Save-A-Lot are on the same road here, with the Sunbeam bread outlet just a little way down the road. I love Publix produce though, it is fresher than any of the stores around here, since they get new truckloads every day except Tuesday.