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March 08, 2018 06:13 PM

Eat Healthy & Save Money

When you're grocery shopping for fresh produce, you may find your bill is more than you expected.

But dietitians say there are many ways to lower the bill, without forfeiting the produce. 

Getting to the check-out line and seeing a total much higher than you expected is frustrating. 

That's why Paula Spielmann plans ahead.
"I usually make a list, and if I forget, I end up with a lot of things I didn't plan on buying," Spielmann said. 

Spielmann also recommends doing some research before you shop. 

"I went to get my flyer, and the front page is asparagus! I'm thinking this is a sign. So what did I do? I came in and I bought the asparagus," Spielmann said. 

"A really great tip is, just check out the pricing. If things are kind of on sale that's a good way to know if things are in season," Registered dietitian Anna Heronimus said. 

Registered dietitian Anna Heronimus says when something is in season, bulk up. 

"But of course sometimes it's hard to eat all of those in one week. So, some great ideas is you know, if you're buying some extra strawberries those freeze great for smoothies later on," Heronimus said. 

Spielmann says she's no stranger to freezing fruit, and the taste is just as good. 

"What I have done is froze tomatoes whole and then you can use them in your chili, you know where they'll cook down," Spielmann said.

If you don't want to freeze it, try putting your produce in the fridge. 

"You want it to ripen on the counter and then once it's pretty ripe, then you can throw it in the refrigerator. That stops the ripening process from it getting too mushy," Heronimus said. 

If the way your produce looks doesn't bother you, Heronimus suggests heading to the misfit section at Hy-Vee.

Here you'll find produce with a much smaller price tag based completely off of appearance. 

"An orange is still an orange if it's a little lopsided or has a bruise here and there. So, it's a great way to afford fruits and vegetables," Heronimus said. 

So make a list, find out what's in season, and shop around so your next trip to the register is good for your health and your wallet. 

For a list of produce that's in season currently, click here.

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