Shopping Smart

If you cook, you’ve noticed grocery prices.  The other day I mentioned that there are some things I will not buy unless they’re on sale.  Red bell peppers are some of those things I rarely buy.  Green bell peppers will usually suffice and I have plenty of those in the freezer or dried that I bought during the summer when they were dirt cheap (since my plants never made the first bell pepper).

While at the grocery store yesterday . . alone thankfully, I knew I could use a red bell pepper in a recipe so I looked at them.  They were $1.49 each!  Just not going to do it.  I’ll pay that much for a Dr. Pepper in a restaurant (yes, we went out to eat Mexican on Monday and I had a Dr. Pepper) and this time next week, whether or not I paid $1.49 for a red bell pepper is not going to make a lot of difference but I just won’t do it.

Then I noticed they had three packs of red bell peppers for $2.99 so that brought them down to about $1 each.  Nope, not paying that either.

But our grocery store has a section at the end of the veggie row that has all kinds of fruits and vegetables in packages and you can buy 5 packages, mix and match, for $9.99.

I bought three packs of bell peppers, one package of kiwi and one package of avocados.  They’re $1.00 each and I got 4 for $2.00 in this package deal.  So, what am I going to do with 9 red bell peppers?

They were washed and sliced and put in the dehydrator.

They were reduced to an amount I can stick in a freezer bag and store in the freezer and just grab out a few slices when I need them.

$1.49 each or .70 each . . not bad, huh?  Just have to be on the watchout for those bargains!



  1. 1

    Gail says

    You inspired me to get a dehydrator (same one as you have) and give it a try. I didn’t get it until the end of the season, so I wasn’t able to take advantage of summer abundance, but I did do some trials and loved what I dried. Lately, I have done sweet potato slices for dog treats, much less expensive than commercial dog treats, and healthier. Yesterday I made yogurt with the dehydrator. It was pretty good, too. Now I just have to watch for sales and good prices to make the most of the machine.

  2. 2

    Barbara says

    I always wait and buy the red ones on sale. I roast them then freeze them. Great in salads or on sandwiches.


  3. 3


    Did you know ? There are male and female bell peppers? The ones with 4 bumps on the bottom are female and the 3 bumps or less are male. Why is this important? well – the females have more water and seeds – so you are paying for weight that is not edible. I also recently had a problem with Pepper jelly not gelling – and decided this may have been the problem?! Who’dathunkit??!!

  4. 4

    Linda in NE says

    What is it with red bell peppers anyway? I bought one last summer without paying attention to the price & when I looked at my receipt saw that it had cost me $2.49….for ONE red bell pepper. Insane. Haven’t bought any since. Our local store hasn’t even had any available since that batch. I wonder why???

  5. 5

    Gina says

    I love eatting red bell peppers raw but hardly ever do because they are so expensive! Great deal Judy!

  6. 6


    I got red bell peppers for .99 the other day. Considering they are usually $3 and up, it felt like a steal.

    Personally, I like the taste of the red pepper rather than the green pepper.

  7. 7

    Suzanne Smith says

    Would you believe that today I bought a whole bunch of red peppers they were on sale at .99 a pound –chopped and froze the whole lot! they usually are about 3-4 dollars or more per pound I sure don’t buy them then.

  8. 8


    I love finding bargains and drying and freezing! Good job! OK, Now tell me how you slice them to get your slices so even…….knife or something else? I

  9. 9

    Rose says

    Wondering, after dehydrating the peppers and moisture removed, why you freeze the peppers instead of just storing in the cupboard? I thought dried products last almost forever as there is no water left in them.

  10. 10

    Karen Langseth says

    Inquiring minds want to know….how many red pepper plants are you goingto put in the garden next year???

  11. 11


    I’ve never dried peppers before just frozen them. We use our dehydrator mostly for jerky. If you want to talk expensive the stuff you buy at the store takes the cake!

  12. 12

    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    Green bell peppers and red bell peppers are the same plant. When you put a bell pepper plant into your garden, you’ve just planted a “red bell pepper plant.”

    Why, then, are the red bells so much more expen$ive than the greens? ==> Because there’s time in most of the country to grow only one crop of red bells. You have to let the green bells ripen and become red. It takes several weeks extra! A few areas can grow two crops, but not many.

    Most of the country can grow green bells continuously for at least six months! And that’s why the greens have much more reasonable prices and the reds are so expen$ive.

    • 12.1

      Suzanne Smith says

      We grow a red pepper called a shepherd pepper that has a much thicker wall than a bell and is sweeter too! So you get more pepper with each one you grow!

  13. 14

    barbara says

    how long do you have to run the dehydrator to really dry out out the peppers for freezing? or any other fruit or vegetable? i always wondered if the cost of the electric made the whole process less worthwhile.

    • 14.1

      barbara says

      EDIT: did you know that a green pepper is just a red pepper that hasn’t got ripe yet? that’s why the red ones are so much sweeter. the sugars have been allowed to ……….. well, sugar.

  14. 15


    I gladly paid $2.49 for a bell pepper today. I will pay ANY amount for a red bell pepper. I never even look at the price of them. They are SOOOO good for you! They’re worth every penny. I’m very impressed that you could find a way to buy them for so cheap! Dr. Pepper may taste wonderful but is awful for you. Please reconsider. . .

  15. 16


    So when you use your dried bell peppers, do you just use them instead of fresh? As in, do you just drop them into soups and stews and such? Can you use them if you’re doing a roast in the oven even though they’re dehydrated? I’m curious, because I live in an area with an awesome summertime farmers market on Saturdays and I want to start taking advantage of some of these things!

  16. 17


    I always buy my bell peppers in packages of three, a red one, a green one and a yellow one. That way they are much cheaper a piece. I like the red ones best, the yellow ones are ok and the green ones (which are actually unripe red or yellow ones) are allright if you fry them for a longer time.
    By the way, I never knew that bell peppers were called bell peppers in English, so that’s a new word learned today.

  17. 18

    Doe in Mi says

    Good job, Judy. Don’t ya just love when you find a great buy and can take total advantage of it? I grabbed me a few deals on peppers this last fall while the gettin’ was good.

  18. 21

    Brenda B. says

    You are such an inspiration. I’m considering getting a dehydrator, looking at a smaller Excalibur – is there a book you would recommend to tell me how to dehydrate food? Thanks for sharing – great ideas!

  19. 22

    Marla says

    Hey Judy? Have you ever looked in the produce section of Aldis? I usually can find them pretty cheap there. I don’t buy them otherwise usually either.

  20. 23

    Lisa says

    Do you have a food saver? You know, one of those things that sucks out all of the air and seals the food. If you do, how do you compare the food saver to the dehydrator?