We moved to Ann Arbor so my husband could get his MHA at the U of M (Go Blue!). Because of this, I learned a few ways to save money. One of my favorite money saving spots is Joe Randazzo's Fruit and Vegetable Market in Westland, MI. You cannot believe how much produce you can get for such a small amount! I have been very happy with about 95% of my items (and I'm a picky produce person), plus they support local growers which is a big bonus. I love having an abundance of fruit and vegetables...when we have more good food around, we eat more good food!
Prepare for a drive. Joe Randazzo's is in Westland (a few minutes from the IKEA in Canton). From my home in north Ann Arbor it took me about 25-30 minutes, from Saline it takes 40-45 minutes, so stay away from traffic times. It's a bit long but so worth it.
Be flexible. The deals are different every time I go, so it's best to go with an open mind. If something looks good and is a great price, grab it!
Be picky. Take your time to be sure you are getting the best of what Joe's has to offer. I have not been disappointed in the quality of my produce, but I also try to be careful in my selections.
Stock up. I like to make it to Joe's once every couple of weeks. To make our produce last, I buy some things that are ready right away and other things that need some time to ripen or will stay fresh a bit longer, then I plan my meals around the produce I pick up.
Try something new. Joe's has fantastic ethnic options. They have Asian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Italian favorites. Every time I go, I grab one new thing for my family to try. It's a fun and inexpensive way to introduce new items to your palate.
Check the back. At the back of the warehouse there are always especially great deals on produce that they need to move. The last time I was there I got 8 pineapples for $2. Three of them were not good, but 5 pineapples for $8 is still a steal.
Think freezer. Certain fruits and vegetables freeze really well. Don't let items go bad if you can freeze them! http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/cooking/freeze-vegetables.php
Try smoothies, stir-frys and minestrone soups. Unfamiliar with how to use all this produce? These dinner staples are great options to pack your day with fruits and vegetables. Also, do overlook just cutting produce up and placing it on the table as a snack or side dish.
Look for dry goods. Joe's also has killer prices on pasta, bread, honey, vinegar, oils, and other canned goods.
If you go.
Use your GPS. I am directionally challenged, but in my opinion, Joe's can be hard to find. Make sure you know where you are going.
Pay with anything. Joe's takes cash, credit, debit and EBT.
Check the hours. They change depending on the season. I would hate for you to drive out there and come home empty handed.
My Bill at Joe's was $60. This is what I came home with. AMAZING!
8 pineapple (only 5 good)
2 heads of nappa cabbage
1 spaghetti squash
4 large avocados
1 bag of onions
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
2 lb. bag of fuji (crunchiest variety right now) lunchbox apples
3 heads of broccoli
3 red peppers
6 green peppers
1 head of cauliflower
1 pint strawberries
1 bag of baby carrots
1 bag of large carrots
2 large bags of green grapes
2 large bags of red grapes
1 bag of matchstick carrots
1 stalk of celery
2 bunches of green onions
1/2 lb. snow peas
1 lb. green beans
8 lbs. oranges
5 lbs. grapefruit
1 medium sized seedless watermelon
12 large Fuji apples
Labels: canton, cheap eats, good eats, Michigan, shopping, westland