ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- There are ways to stretch a food budget and get the most time between trips to the store. Buying foods with a long shelf life, making a list, checking best by dates, freezing perishables and buying produce in bulk are some of the ways Hannaford Dietitian, Fran Weiss, says people can save money in the grocery store.

Weiss says foods like apples, carrots, onions, and squash make good choices because depending on how they are stored, they can stay fresh for months. It’s also important to make a list and check the pantry before making a trip out to buy something that may be lurking in the back of a cabinet, says Weiss.

“Shopping in the produce department, one good thing to do is try to buy produce that will last for you awhile,” says Weiss. “Buying in quantities of large bags, you will probably save money than by the piece.”

Weiss says how produce is stored makes a difference in the shelf life. She says apples and oranges should be taken out of the bag and stored in the refrigerator. Carrots can remain in the bag but Weiss suggests putting a couple of paper towels in with them to absorb moisture. Onions should be kept in the bag bought in and stored in a cool dry place.

Before bananas and avocados get too ripe, they can be cut up and frozen. Weiss says they make a good addition to smoothies. She also suggests putting frozen banana pieces in a blender and creating a sort of ice cream or as Weiss says “nice cream”.

Have more questions about nutrition and other ways to save money? Weiss is available by email at Frances.Weiss @hannaford.com.