Veggies - How do you do it?


How do you maintain your veggie supply?  

51 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you shop for veggies?

    • Bulk - but some always goes to waste
    • Bulk - none goes to waste because I (Leave comment on what you do below)
    • I buy in week long batches at the supermarket/farmers market etc
    • I go to the store/market, etc several times a week to get veggies

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So obviously with this lifestyle there is a lot of veggie consumption. And by a lot I mean mountains.


How do you guys shop for your veggies?


I am a big buy in bulk type person but it seems no matter how fast we eat the veggies some always goes to waste. Looking for better ideas on how to stay stocked up and not have to hit the store 3 times a week



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I get a box every Saturday from my local farmer that varies by season and then I buy other veggies at the grocery store when I go - usually at least once per week.


I never waste any veggies because I am good at cooking whatever I have. I cook everything I have that is fresh and then may use canned veggies when I am running out of fresh. I start cooking things that spoil the fastest like fresh spinach, chard, etc. I cook the broken tomatoes first and if it looks like I might lose some, I cook a batch of stewed tomatoes with onions and peppers to either use for the rest of the week or to freeze. Some veggies can last a while - zucchini, squash, rutabagas, etc. I focus on cooking with them after the more fragile things are gone. 


I slow cook a roast at least once per week and then add a serving of beef to veggies that I wilt, saute, steam, or stir-fry as I go. If I need to eat veggies and roast for breakfast to make sure I use something while it is still good, I do. I can always eat eggs and sauerkraut (my typical breakfast) later in the day if I run out of fresh veggies. 

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I'm similar to Tom, although I do still waste things sometimes! In the summer I get a weekly CSA box and supplement with the farmers' market and grocery store. I do as much advance prep as I can - some things just get washed and sliced (green beans, squash), some things get cooked and reheated later (mashed cauliflower). I bought extra zucchini last week that I really didn't need, but that will keep for another week or so in my crisper so I focused on the tomatoes first. That kind of thing.


I'd buy some things in bulk, like anything frozen or baby carrots that will last a long time, but in general I think produce is not the best to do that with (unless you have a big family).

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This time of year I buy a big weekly haul at the Saturday farmer's market and then I hit a smaller farmer's market on Wednesdays if I need anything to tide me over. I supplement at the grocery store when needed for things like frozen spinach and fresh shiitake mushrooms, both musts for my egg bake, as well as sugar for my kombucha, etc. I mostly focus on sturdy greens like kale and cabbage as well as onions, zucchini, green beans, fennel, and a few root veggies at the farmer's markets. Rarely does anything go to waste. A slimy cucumber or wilty herb bunch at worst.

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Thanks for feedback all.


Here's my deal and what I lose mostly




Cilantro (although i don't use it a ton and its really cheap)


I chop it up and try to have it ready to eat, but it still turns to mush sometimes.


usually leafy stuff it just doesn't last all that well. I try to chop it and focus on eating just that ect. I don't usually throw away much, but I hate wasting it at all!

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I store my washed greens in my salad spinner - it keeps them contained but able to drain, and I think helps them last longer.


With things like parsley and cilantro, since I live alone, I just kind of accept that I'll probably lose some of the bunch. I wish they sold half bunches!

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I too get a weekly CSA type box that comes on Tuesdays. We go to the Farmer's Market on Saturdays. I meal plan around the vegetables and when they need to be used by to reduce waste.Plus I wash and prep the salad ingredients into a large container with a lid, so it's easy to just grab and put it on the table at every meal without preparation time. 

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I use shredded cabbage in place of lettuce and it holds well in a plastic bag with a paper towel.


For your butter lettuce, others...always put a paper towel or two in the plastic bag.  It keeps 2 or 3 days longer.   I use bags rather than plastic bowls.  That way you can shake it around every now and again.  It seems to hold it longer with the towels.   If your towels are too wet, just replace with a dry one.

Okey dokey.

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I just came across these storage tips on my CSA website. They are originally provided by Tony Tantillo, The Fresh Grocer.

Storage Tips
Artichokes: Put in plastic bags with a little sprinkle of water (not too much water or the artichokes will get moldy,) and store them in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator so they won’t dehydrate. If an artichoke looks a bit dehydrated just cut the brown part off the bottom of the stem and put the artichoke in a bowl of water. Artichokes will keep about a week in the high-humidity bin of your refrigerator.

Asparagus: Cut off an inch from the bottom, wrap the fresh-cut areas in wet paper toweling, place in a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator crisper drawer. This will increase the storage life beyond the normal recommended storage time of three or four days, although the flavor will gradually deteriorate.

Bell Peppers: They like cool not cold temperatures, ideally about 45°F to 50°F with good humidity. Peppers are ethylene sensitive, so they should not be stored near ethylene-producing food such as pears or apples. Put peppers in plastic bags and they will keep up to five days in the refrigerator. Green peppers will keep slightly longer than the other, more ripe, varieties.

Broccoli: Store broccoli in the high-humidity vegetable crisper of your refrigerator for up to three days.

Cabbage: Head cabbage stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator’s humid vegetable bin will last at least a week. Savoy and Napa cabbages should be consumed within three or four days. Kohlrabi globes will last a few weeks in the refrigerator, but the leaves are more perishable and should be used within a few days.

Carrots: Remove their green tops, rinse, drain, and put the carrots in plastic bags and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator with the highest humidity. They’ll last several months this way. To keep the carrots crisp and colorful add a little bit of water in the bottom of the plastic storage bag; this will keep the carrots hydrated. Carrots should be stored away from fruits such as apples and pears, which release the ethylene gas that cause carrots to become bitter.

Cauliflower: Place in a plastic bag and store in your refrigerator crisper. When stored properly, cauliflower will last up to five days; however, it is best when eaten within three days.

Celery: To store celery, trim the base and remove any leaves or ribs that are damaged or bruised. Rinse, place in a plastic bag, and keep in the refrigerator’s humid vegetable bin, and it will last about two weeks. Be sure to keep celery away from the coldest sections of your refrigerator (the back and side walls), since celery freezes easily. Frozen celery stalks will be limp and watery when thawed. As with carrots, sprinkle or add water to the plastic bag to maintain the freshness of the celery. Cut celery (unwashed), stored in well-sealed plastic bags, will last about three days. Celery can be stored refrigerated in a plastic bag for 7-10 days.

Corn: Refrigerate your corn in the high humidity storage bin as soon as you get home. It is best to refrigerate corn with the husks attached to keep it moist, but if the corn has already been husked, partially or fully, refrigerate it in a perforated plastic bag.

Cucumbers: Store in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator at a temperature between 45°F and 50°F for up to a week.

Eggplant: Does not like severe cold, so the front part of the refrigerator where the temperature is around 46°F to 54°F is ideal for storage. Eggplant is ethylene sensitive, so store it away from ethylene-producing produce such as apples. If kept in a plastic bag (to retain moisture,) eggplants will last up to five days.

Leeks, Green Onions, Scallions: Store away from odor-sensitive foods such as corn and mushrooms, which will absorb the odor of the onions. Remove any rubber bands and any damaged leaves and store in plastic bags in the crisper section of the refrigerator. They’ll both last up to five days.

Green Beans: Place green beans in a perforated plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator crisper. Although they will keep longer, up to 5 days, enjoy them within 2-3 days.

Garlic: Stored under optimum conditions in a dark, cool, dry place with plenty of ventilation, garlic will last from several weeks to one year. Ideally, try to use fresh garlic within a few weeks and do not refrigerate unless the garlic has been peeled or chopped.

Mushrooms: Paper bags are commonly recommended for storing mushrooms. The paper bag will absorb moisture from the mushrooms, so consider putting the paper bag in a larger perforated plastic bag. This two-bag system will allow the mushrooms to breathe but not go dry. Store mushrooms on the refrigerator shelf, and not necessarily in the vegetable crisper drawer. Mushrooms absorb odors like a sponge, so keep them away from foods with strong aromas. Properly stored mushrooms should last several days. Don’t clean or chop mushrooms until you’re ready to use them.

Onions: Store in a cool, dry, well ventilated place, in single layers. Choose and store pearl and boiler onions in a similar fashion. If the onions at home show signs of sprouting, cut away the sprouts and use them immediately.

Potatoes: Potatoes like cool (45°F to 50°F) humid (but not wet) surroundings, but refrigeration can turn the starch in the potatoes to sugar and may tend to darken them when cooked. Store in burlap, brown paper, or perforated plastic bags away from light, in the coolest, non-refrigerated, and well-ventilated part of the house. Under ideal conditions they can last up to three months this way, but more realistically, figure three to five weeks. New potatoes should be used within one week of purchase. Don’t store onions and potatoes together, as the gases they each give off, will cause the other to decay.

Radishes: When you buy radishes with the greens still intact, immediately separate the two when you get home. Radishes will last up to two weeks inside a plastic bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator, but greens have a much shorter shelf life… only a few days. Keep both well chilled.

Salad Greens: Lettuce will perish quickly if not stored properly. Lettuces like moisture and cool temperatures, so store lettuce in perforated plastic bags wrapped in damp paper towels, and keep in the refrigerator vegetable crisper.

Spinach: When you get bunched spinach home, untie it, remove any blemished leaves, trim off the stems, and wash it thoroughly in cold water. Repeat if necessary until you’re sure all the grit is gone. Spin dry in a salad spinner or drain well, then put into clean plastic bags very loosely wrapped with paper towels. It will last only two to three days, so plan on eating your rinsed spinach right away. Cold, moist surroundings, as low as 32°F and about 95% humidity are the best for storing spinach.

Summer Squash: Summer squash should be kept cool but not cold, about 41° F to 50° F with good humidity. Uncut melons in plastic bags will last several days in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potatoes: Store Sweet Potatoes between 55°F and 65°F in a dark, dry, cool place, for up to one month, or use within one week if stored at room temperature. If refrigerated, their natural sugar will turn to starch and ruin the flavor.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes should never be refrigerated until they (1) have been cooked, (2) have been cut or put into a raw dish like a salsa, or (3) are fully ripe and would spoil if left further at room temperature. Place tomatoes stem end up, and don’t put them on a sunny windowsill to hasten ripening. Instead, put tomatoes in a sealed paper bag with or without ethylene-producing fruit such as bananas. Ripe tomatoes will hold at room temperature for two or three days. Ripe tomatoes you’ve refrigerated to keep from spoiling will taste better if you bring them to room temperature before eating.

Winter Squash: Winter squash should not be refrigerated unless cut. Stored at 50°F to 55°F away from light in a well ventilated spot with low humidity, it will keep for up to three months. Cut squash will keep about one week when wrapped tightly and refrigerated.

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Lots of great tips.  I too struggle with lettuce.  So, I tend to use greens that can also be cooked, like cabbage and spinach.  I eat it raw for a few days and roast or sautee (perhaps in bacon fat or clarified butter) before it goes bad.  If I have enough, I will freeze a few servings for a little food security and variety because I am always in need of veggies!

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You can freeze cilantro. Chop it up, bag it up, and then freeze it. Can do with any herb -- thyme, parsley, anything. Doesn't work so well if you are going to put it in salads, but if you are going to cook with it, it's fine.

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I voted as a weekly shopper, but fairly often we end up making a second or even a third special trip for veggies every week.


Almost nothing goes to waste unless I "hide" the chopped/sliced vegetables in the crisper (that's where they go, guys!), in which case no one sees them to eat them.

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During my first Whole30, I lost a lot more to waste. I'm a lot more familiar now about veggie portions, not buying too much and eating things like lettuce when they're fresh and at their best. A lot of our food planning skills need revision as we often cook quite differently from how we used to.


Lots of things can be made into soup, or frozen for use in soups later (although I'd skip the lettuce).


Pesto and other sauces can also be frozen, even nut butters and coconut butter.

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If I buy veggies from a local supermarket, they go to waste because they rot so quickly after you open the packaging (think salad mixes, a bag of carrots, or a pack of baby cucumbers).  But the veggies I get at the local farmers' market stay good for a month or more.  Difference is that in the store, you're buying veggies picked a month ago (more or less).  If your locally grown market veggies cost a little more, just keep that in mind.  For me, the little extra cost is worth not having to waste any of it!  (Headed to the market right now, actually....)


But hey... you left one off!  "I grow my own."  I rely on that one somewhat, too... but I'm not very good at it.  I have a fig tree (just about to ripen OMG), some cucumbers, melons, and padrón peppers


*Added note on the peppers (they're my fav!)- they say that one in ten is super hot.  So the trick is to only eat nine at a time. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Cilantro and Parsley:  Plant some!!  


They'll both grow in pots easily enough and can be grown in your kitchen (though outside is preferable). Just snip a few stems as needed.

Parsley is a biennial, once it flowers in the second season, pitch it and start a new plant as it becomes too bitter to eat.  

Cilantro does not like hot weather and will go to seed if it gets too hot, but the seeds are whole coriander, which you can grind up and use in spice cupboard.

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I used to have a lot of loss but it was actually doing the whole30 that helped me overcome that once and for all.  When i do feel like I have more veggies than I'm going to manage in time I toss them all into a pot and make a big batch of veggie soup.  I'm a big fan of soups so that's what works for me since I'll eat soup 3x a day all week long if it's available.  Usually though, just prepping my veggies in advance assembly line style after shopping makes it easy to use them all up in a timely fashion. 

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