How to Make the Most of Bulk Fruit and Veg: Prep, Portion & Pack
It’s not secret. I love Costco. No seriously. I LOVE Costco.
So much so that each time we move, which is quite often as a military family, shortly after researching the best schools for the kids I’m researching where the closest Costco is.
I can buy meat and paper products until the cows (no pun intended!) come home and not have any issues, but when it comes to fresh produce, I sometimes struggle.
Yes, that 5 pound carton of grapes looks amazing, but are we really going to eat them before they go bad?
And from a financial standpoint, the price is comparable to what I’d pay at a local grocery for maybe 1/2 the amount of fruit…so should I buy it and plan on throwing out whatever we don’t eat, or minimize waste and pay more per pound?
These are questions I struggle with. And I’m guessing if you’re still reading, I’m not alone 🙂
So after struggling way too long, I found the secret. Ready for it?
Snack-sized ziplock baggies. That’s it.
When I come home from a magical trip to Costco, I food prep like a crazy lady for maybe 30 minutes, and not only have I saved our family money when it comes to our grocery budget, but I’ve also provided the family with healthy, ready-to-eat snacks. Win! But perhaps most of all, I’ve given myself peace of mind because I can buy that huge carton of grapes, now knowing full well we’re going to eat every last one of them. Little things like this make me happy 🙂
Let’s Talk Specifics
It’s really quite simple and comes down to prep and portions.
As soon as I get home, I start washing all the produce. Or better yet, multi-task while you’re prepping dinner. Either way, don’t go to bed without prepping your produce because we all know once it enter the fridge it’s not coming back out until it’s ready for a plate.
Portion & Pack
After you have all your fruit and veg cleaned, it’s time to portion and pack.
A serving size of fruit and/or veg is a measuring cup (or, if you’re using the portion fix containers, it’s either a purple (fruit) or green (veg)). Either way, measure your fruit/veg into either your measuring cup or color-coded cup, and then dump the contents into a snack-sized baggie. That’s it.
Now you not only have snacks at the ready, but you’re also got a foot-up on meal prep during the week. Need veg for dinner? You have portions all ready and washed in your fridge. Kids need a quick snack on the way to swim class? You’ve got baggies ready and waiting for them. Feel like prepping a mason-jar salad? Again, your veg is already portioned.
By using this method I’ve found not only has our food waste plummeted, but our family’s fruit/veg intake had doubled, if not quadrupled. My kids are not going to portion out carrot from a big bag, but they will happily grab one of my prepped baggies from the fridge and finish it off in no-time.
So next time you head to Costco or another bulk food store, know you have options to ensure your family can not only take advantage of the cost savings, but also the wonderful array of produce available. Just remember, Prep, Portion and Pack!
If you have a favorite trick for making the most our of your bulk shopping trips, please share! I’d love to hear from you 🙂