Shop Seasonally: Tip-of-the-Day #78


It's hard to resist those beautiful berries imported from Chile during our chilliest winter months...but are you willing to pay through the nose for them? Luckily right now is berry season, so buy up! I remember picking up a bag of cherries several months back and nearly dying of sticker shock when I was charged almost $15 for the measly one and a half pound bag! Strawberries can cost $2 a pint or $6 a pint, depending on whether you buy them in June or January. And, depending on what kind of year it's been (heavy rain, no rain, natural disaster, or fruit fly epidemic!) the price of everything from lettuce to avocados can also vary pretty drastically.

I've learned (the hard way) to plan my menus around what's in season in my area, and in that way I avoid paying extra for produce that's imported from other places with different growing seasons.

If you're a once-a-week shopper (or even bi-monthly shopper like me), plan to use your freshest ingredients in the first few days, picking recipes with less perishable ingredients for later in the week. That way your lovely fruits and veggies won’t go to waste. (Though I did submit that fabulous tip about what to do with veggies on their last leg).

The point is, we pay so much for groceries already, why spend more than you have to on produce that's not native to the area? Look for helpful naming conventions if you're unsure, like Winter Squash and Summer Corn. If nothing else, coupon clip if you absolutely must have that papaya in the window.

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