Using a Seasonal Produce Guide
Using a seasonal produce guide will help you save money. Growing seasons vary. Occasionally, quality and supply are affected by severe weather or pests. Produce that is out of local growing season is shipped from around the world to our store shelves. Often, harvested before maturity to lengthen shelf life. Locally grown produce doesn’t travel as far, therefore it is fresher and will last longer. The convenience of consistent availability costs us more. Furthermore, huge displays at the grocery store are not always the best indicator of what is in season.
Menu planning with a seasonal produce guide
Grocery shopping on a budget can be a difficult task. In fact, saving money could include shopping multiple stores, buying in bulk, watching ads or taking a trip to the public market. Menu planning is a great way to keep on track with spending. Using this chart will assist you, or at least give you an idea of what produce you should be buying. By no means is this a complete list, but it does cover the basics. You can find a printable PDF here. Above all, never purchase more than what you can use in a few days or within a week.
Broaden your palate and recipe box
Lets face it, we all have fruits and vegetables we don’t like. At one time I could flat out say, “I hate spinach!”. Over time I realized it wasn’t entirely true. For example, I eat spinach mixed with other vegetables, as in a salad, only if the ratio isn’t higher than other vegetables. I eat it sautéed (hidden) with other vegetables. Come to think of it, I’ve probably had a few smoothies with it as well. So, sometimes our first impression of a vegetable or fruit is based upon a poorly prepared dish, or our first bite of it as a child. For that reason, consider trying your “unfavorite” again.