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Buying bulk fruits and vegetables for preserving at home is an excellent way to extend your food budget and provide your family a healthy (and readily available) alternative to buying fresh or canned fruits and vegetables from the grocery store.
Often, fruits and vegetables purchased at the local grocery stores or superstores are shipped in from far away commercial farms. There are a couple of problems with that.
First shipped in fresh foods generally have to be harvested before they reach their peak in ripeness, which means that the true flavors (and nutrients) don't get a chance to fully develop.
Second shipping them in, naturally means that the additional cost of shipping, handling and packaging gets added into the price you have to pay.
All that being said, fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery are still far better for you than junk food, or any other kind of more processed food. If that's what you've got available, that's the stuff to get!
A great alternative is to buy fresh fruits and vegetables locally. We have purchased apples and peaches from local orchards, blueberries and strawberries from U-pick berry farms, and all kinds of locally grown produce from farmer's markets and roadside stands. An afternoon at an orchard or u-pick farm is not only a good way to buy in bulk, it can also be a fun family outing.
Of course if you have the room and time, the best option is to grow it yourself. You don't get any fresher than home grown. That's not always an option for some folks. Buying fresh and locally grown is the next best thing!
In almost every case, the food we have purchased from a local grower has been better quality, fully ripe and less expensive than if we had purchased from a grocery store. A bushel of green beans, or peaches, or apples or tomatoes, can easily be taken home and canned, or frozen, or processed into something else (apple butter or pasta sauce) for your family to enjoy all year round.
Buying fresh fruit and vegetables in bulk from a local source is a great way to extend your family's food budget, and improve the quality of food you eat. It's also another simple way to increase your level of food self sufficiency.
Do you have a favorite place you go to get your bulk food?
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What's the name of your favorite bulk food source?