When you’re on a tight budget and trying to eat healthy, strawberries are a luxury. Here’s how you can save the most money on berries – with hacks for organic, pick-your-own, freezing, and zero-waste!
We are serious about strawberries.
When you’re on a tight budget and trying to eat healthy, strawberries are a luxury. Smoothies are a luxury, and berries are a key part of that.
Since strawberries are part of the Dirty Dozen, we prioritize organic or unsprayed, local berries. Even on a small budget, you can find ways to make them fit!
Here’s how I’ve saved the most money on berries over the years:
Buy in Bulk & Freeze
This applies to 99-cent berries at Aldi and unsprayed, organic, pick-your-own jewels from your local farm. I’ve done this several different ways:
- Grab all the cartons at the grocery store when they go on sale.
- Negotiate with a farmer at the farmers market and buy several gallons at once for a discount.
- Put the whole family to work and pick berries at a Pick-Your-Own farm. Our favorite place has a picnic area and playground for the kids, so we turn it into a fun, all-day affair.
Freeze Berries Whole – Green Parts Too!
If you plan to use the berries primarily for smoothies, save time and energy by leaving the green parts on them!
The green parts are edible, so you can simply flash freeze them and store them in gallon-size freezer bags.
Freeze the Tops
If you’re slicing berries for a recipe, save the tops and flash freeze those as well. Saves you time while slicing them, and it prevents waste.
Buy in Season
Whether buying from the grocery store or farmer’s market, my policy is no fresh strawberries over winter. They’re expensive and it’s bad for the environment. Even when they go on sale, they really don’t taste good compared to real, fresh berries.
As always, however, do what works for you! Saving money and eating healthy looks different for everyone.
Pick-Your-Own vs. Organic
There are a lot of opinions about this.
I settle for a combination, based on what I can find. During berry season, we eat unsprayed local berries.
When those run out, I buy organic frozen ones from Aldi, because that’s the best price I’ve found. Costco also has a great price.
We had an unexpected surgery pop up this week as part of my husband’s long recovery (almost 3 years and 12 surgeries). I don’t know what you do when you’re stressed and emotionally drained, but we go outside. ☀We had an impromptu picnic, and we picked strawberries. And I stress-cleaned the house top to bottom 😬. Thanks to lingering #whole30 habits, my coping didn’t involve 🍫 or 🍨. •••• How do you deal with stress? #strawberries #stressreliever #reallife #playoutside
Generally, we barely have time to freeze our berries before they’re all eaten. This year, because we’re in survival mode, we didn’t get to freeze any. But we did go to a local farm and eat way too many berries.
Mix-in-the-Pan Fruit & Oat Bars
Easy, frugal, allergy-friendly, and they only dirty 1 pan and 1 small bowl. Use any combination of seasonal or frozen berries. Gluten-free and dairy-free options (it’s already egg-free)!
Strawberry Breakfast Cake
Healthy enough for breakfast, sweet enough for dessert! This cakes uses whole grains, healthy fats, natural sweetener (honey or maple syrup), and no weird and hard-to-find ingredients.
Oat & Berry Bars (Vegan, Low-Sugar)
Simple, frugal breakfast bars loaded with real food and berries. Also included: gluten-free, dairy-free, and no-added-sugar variations.
How to Make Cheap Smoothies
When I say cheap smoothies, I don’t mean crappy smoothies. I mean smoothies that taste awesome and don’t cost a lot of money. here are all the hacks that save you the MOST money.
So you take the tops and put them in smoothies? You dont taste that bitter green at the top?
We don’t – it’s just like adding kale or another stronger-flavored green to your smoothie. Only in this case, it’s just a little bit!