The cost of fresh produce can be prohibitive, especially if you’re trying to eat healthy on a budget. The good news is that you can save on fresh produce by knowing which fruits and vegetables are in season. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of seasonal produce and stretch your food budget.
In Season produce cost less because there is an abundance of it. Summertime is great for fresh berries, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, and peaches. You can find what’s in season at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.
The Benefits of Eating Seasonal Produce
Not only is seasonal produce more affordable, but it also tastes better. Fruits and vegetables that are picked at their peak ripeness will have more flavor than those that were picked early and shipped long distances. Seasonal produce is also more nutritious because vitamins and minerals are lost as fruits and vegetables age.
How to Save on Out-of-Season Produce
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the produce aisle, don’t despair. You can still get your hands on out-of-season fruits and vegetables by looking for them in the frozen aisle. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and then flash-frozen to preserve their flavor, nutrition, and texture. And because they’re already pre-cut, they’re often more convenient than fresh produce. Just be sure to check the labels for added sugar or salt before you buy.
1. Buy From a Produce Stand or Pick Your Own
Another way to save on fresh produce is to buy directly from a farm stand or pick your own. You’ll often find that the prices are lower than at the grocery store, and the quality is higher. This is a great option if you have access to a farmers market or live near a farm that allows customers to pick their own produce.
2. Purchase From a CSA
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to get fresh, local, and seasonal produce at a discounted price. With a CSA, you pay a farmer upfront for a share of the season’s harvest. This allows the farmer to plan ahead and gives you access to high-quality produce at a reduced cost. CSAs are becoming increasingly popular, so check to see if there’s one in your area.
If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to get fresh, seasonal produce delivered to your door, Misfits Market is a great option. They sell “ugly” fruits and vegetables that grocery stores typically reject, but are perfectly fine to eat. Their produce is 30-50% cheaper than store-bought produce, and they offer free shipping on orders over $25.
More Shopping Tips
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- 10 Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries Without Coupons
Eating seasonal produce is a great way to save money on your grocery bill. Not only is seasonal produce more affordable, but it also tastes better and is more nutritious. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the produce aisle, look for it in the frozen aisle. Just be sure to check the labels for added sugar or salt before you buy.