Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
I’ve been freshened up ever so lightly with water mist as I’m looking through fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, and for some reason, it makes me happy.
Consumer conditioning is most likely, but understanding the reasons behind this lavish Canadian and American way of selling produce is more than the just-picked look.
Not likely; however, there are pros and cons to benefiting from the water mist psychologically and financially from both the store and customer perspective.
Water Mist Is More Than Just A Pretty Apple
Back in the UK, I was never introduced to this type of care for produce as it’s not a used practice.
Judging by our recent visit to the UK, using automated water misting machines still isn’t on the market. *note- that I am aware of.
Most often, I would go by the sweeter the smell, the sweeter the taste ideal when making my purchases.
This is why I find it incredibly important to smell what you buy before you buy it.
Our son thinks the automatic water mist machines at the grocery store are exciting.
He acts all giddy when he can see the mist in the back display mirrors (another illusion of freshness and attention-grabbing methods).
Customers view produce with a water mist stream glistening of fruits and vegetables similarly but from a consumer’s point of view.
To Water Mist Or Not To Water Mist
We view foods we want to eat and buy that appear fresh, clean, and of the best quality over those that don’t have the water mist appearance.
On the other hand, if there is no water mist, you’d likely still buy it, especially if it’s not a practice you’re used to seeing.
This makes the manual or automated water mist machine process crucial for grocers offering this specialty service.
The benefit is not all for the customer, though I am surprised I’m not. A fresher, heavier product makes dollars and sense on their end of the cash register.
When a product stays heavy and fresh, it rings at a higher price.
When it starts to wilt away, it gets lighter and less expensive for the buyer, with potential profit loss for the grocer.
Freshness is essential to any grocer, but quickly moving products with a short shelf-life out the door is even more critical.
Have you ever noticed that the produce section stares you in the face when you walk into the grocery store? Now you know why.
Add the smells of the fresh bakery, deli-fresh meats, seafood, and dairy all along the perimeter, and you’ve got a cash cow.
Too Much Water Mist
What happens when the store water mists too much?
Sometimes, too much of something means that you either overdo it or it causes the opposite effect of what you set out to do.
By this, I mean when grocers water mists their produce too much, the opposite of crispy, fresh farm-picked happens.
Well, it is possible to saturate produce until it begins to mold or rot.
Many of you understand what I mean because you’ve had it happen in your refrigerator plenty of times.
This is another reason we clean our refrigerator out as often as possible.
Think about the moisture in your crisper drawers, produce stuck in plastic bags (remove) for long periods, or a bowl of grapes immersed in water.
All excess moisture goes straight into the produce and sometimes causes the rotting, or what I like to say, the “mush” process begins.
If it’s suitable for the bugs, it’s good for you!
My father-in-law says this is another reason you may find rotting fruits on fruit trees, excess rain, or lack of moisture.
The other reason is happy bugs or an illness the tree is suffering.
I had to laugh one day because he said, “If it’s good for the bugs, it’s good for you.”
Never throw out an apple because a bug hole just cut around it.
Fair enough, I thought.
One tip he gave me this summer while we were in his garden was to soak any greens from the park, such as lettuce, kale, and rapini, in cold water to clean.
Once you remove it from the water, drain it on a paper towel until the excess water dries up.
Finally, roll down a grocery bag so the lettuce can breathe, but add a paper towel to soak up moisture.
In the meantime, water mist the leaves to keep them fresh longer in the refrigerator.
I believe anything he says after seeing the outrageous garden he grows yearly.
I’m not joking; it’s hugely organic and complex not to eat fruit and vegetables from the vines or trees.
I’m entirely comfortable doing this without worrying about whether I’ve washed garden-fresh tomatoes, figs, or grapes from the vine.
I suppose there is something comforting in picking your fruits and vegetables over buying them from the grocery store.
On that note, always wash your fruits and vegetables when you get home before eating because you don’t know where they’ve been or what they’ve touched.
Many products are also coated with a wax called ‘Fruit Waxing‘ to increase shelf-life by keeping moisture and controlling bruising from transportation.
Hydration Is Money
When a product loses luster and starts to look like it has seen better days, that means the grocery store loses money.
That might mean the veggies and fruits land on the reduced rack, waste, or weigh less on the produce scale.
What does that mean?
That means less money for the supermarket because dehydrated products weigh less and thus cost less.
Have you ever left apples on the counter for weeks and noticed they shriveled up?
This is what happens to fruits and vegetables after time without hydration.
Hydration in the ground or on a tree happens naturally from nature or growers who water their gardens.
When water loss goes beyond hydration, products wilt as if they are aging.
Once picked, keeping vegetables and fruits hydrated keeps them plump and healthy looking for longer.
Consider putting your spring onions in water and watch how they perk up.
Leave them out in your refrigerator and watch them wilt away.
Keep your asparagus hydrated by doing the same thing.
Do the same thing with your herbs!
In the summer, we grow a tonne of fresh organic basil, and when we bring it in for cooking, we add the stems to water in a glass to keep them fresh for longer.
This works for almost any herb, but clean and change your water daily.
I suggest changing water daily for any vegetables you may store in water, such as chopped celery, asparagus, and spring onions.
You can wash a bruised fruit all you want, which won’t keep it fresh any longer, but it can keep it looking gorgeous until someone buys it or eats it up.
If you owned a grocery store, you would want your fruits and vegetables to look colorful and attention-grabbing.
If you fail at both, you might lose business because consumers want to spend their money on the best quality products they can find but for less.
By perking up the color of produce with water mist, it gives the perception of freshness; crispy just picked from the farm vibes.
Would you rather spend your money on wilted, dry-looking lettuce or vibrant, crisp lettuce with a water mist on the leaves?
If you’ve never been conditioned to this process, you might for the wilted look, which is common if produce doesn’t fly off the shelves in the UK, but in Canada, glistening is best.
Finally, we all love a clean, sparkly vehicle because it looks new again; the same goes for produce.
If you’ve ever been to a fruit orchard early in the morning or your back garden to pick, you most likely will notice dew drops of water or mist on the trees.
The sensory experience I get from picking an apple like this and eating it screams fresh, crisp, and clean.
I confess more goes into my belly than the basket at times.
All the happy findings a consumer craves when sourcing produce, especially organic.
Unfortunately, not everyone can pick fruit, especially when it is out of season, so the next best place is the grocery store, market, or farm (in-season).
The allure of cleanliness makes our eyes sparkle and drives us to buy!
Not All Produce Gets A Water Mist
Although using a water mist will keep produce looking lovely for longer, some vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, zucchini, yams, onions, and those with a wax covering won’t need a water mist.
The skins on the outside help keep moisture in for far longer.
Discussion: What have I missed about why grocers water mist their produce?
Perhaps you’ve worked in the produce department and have the inside scoop.
February Grocery Game Challenge
Join the 2018 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC), but before you do, read The Grocery Game Challenge Rules and print the 2018 schedule.
In this section, I will post each week’s grocery game challenge blog posts for the month.
February GGC Posts
- Last shop January- 4 Simple Ways To Cash In On Weekly Specials
2018 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2018: $3600 or $300/month (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings or that you would like to track on your own.)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $300
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $300
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Optimum Points Earned to date: 1,800,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet – $0.
- Checkout51- $1.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
- Knoxx Gelatin $6.99
- Gay Lea Sour Cream $1.99 500 ml
- 2 x Neilson Milk $8.70
- Clementines 4lb $3.97
- PC Cider $4.99-50% $2.50
- Spartan Apples 4lbs $5.99-50% $3.00
- Lettuce Iceberg $1.47
- Bananas $1.66
- Green Onion $0.99
- PC Pork Chops 2 packs $6.00-50% $3.00 ea $6.00
- 3 x Maple Breakfast Sausages $6.29 each -50% =$3.15 each $9.45
- Castello Creamy Blue Cheese $6.10-50% $3.05
Total Out-of-Pocket $49.93
Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month: $300- $23.05 overage from January $276.95
- Stockpile budget 2018: $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $0
- Christmas Reserve Fund: $35/month Jan, Feb $70 Saved
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $34.32
- Total in-store deals to date: $24.00
- Total spent this week: $49.93
- Total spent so far this month: $49.93
- Total over/Under spend this shop: under
- Total left to spend for the month: $227.02
- Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $
A huge CONGRATULATIONS to all of you who have completed the first month of the Grocery Game Challenge!!!
Woohoo, you’ve made it, and now you have 11 more months to go with me, so don’t back down now.
Wait until you see how much money you have saved and spent over the year.
We had a small shop this week since we had enough food in the house.
Our little guy is back on the milk again.
As you might have noticed, we’ve been buying it more frequently again.
We are watering it down hoping he eats more food, but we suspect he’s in a growth spurt again.
2018 Coupons and Coupon Apps
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!
We’re finding fewer and fewer coupons in the stores these days.
What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over paper coupons?
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link, please message me, and I’ll add it to the savings list below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program, and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus, check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any links below don’t open properly, please report them to my email address or use the comment form.
- Danone Coupons: Get up to $25 in coupons
- Kraft Canada: Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should Know About – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source, etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2018 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first, and if you have any questions, email me or comment on this post with your questions, and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates, but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and is just one way to help cut your budget and save money if you find items you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our iPhone, so if you want to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide!
You’ve decided to take control of your grocery budget.
Now show me your shops and let’s get saving!