Save By Season: 3 "How Tos" to Buying Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
We all know that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for our health. But sometimes the options can be overwhelming. Should you buy local? Organic? Fresh produce in season? Or should you hit the frozen or canned aisles of the grocery store to find the fruits and veggies you need? Below are some guides to consider as you navigate this cornucopia of questions with cost-savings in mind.
1. Fruits and vegetables in season are fresher and cheaper
Not only are fruits and vegetables that are in season fresher and taste better, but they also tend to be cheaper. When you can’t find fruits and vegetables in season, Wholesome Mommy recommends frozen or canned. These options tend to be cheaper than non-seasonal produce, and are preserved (canned or frozen) when the produce are ripe. Coupled with additional discounts from Coupon Cravings, nutrition doesn’t have to deplete your bank account. Check out Wholesome Mommy's great list of some of the different fruits and vegetables that are in season each month.
But where should you buy all these fruits and vegetables? Often your best bet is the local farmer’s market. Before heading to your local market, check out these 10 Shopping Tips.
Farmer’s markets offer one of the best places to buy fresh and local fruits and vegetables. For great deals, consider buying in bulk and checking out your local market latter in the day, when some vendors may offer lower prices. If the freshest produce is what you are after, then head to the market early. Whatever time of day you go, however, be sure to bring your own bags (the bags offered by vendors can be small and flimsy) and small change. And you might even be inspired to get down and dirty and help out at a local co-op or farm, another inexpensive and fun way to introduce healthy food into your diet.
3. Avoid Pesticides, Choose Organic for Some Fruits and Vegetables
Prevention Magazine has a useful list of fruits and vegetables that you might want to buy organic. Some fruits and vegetables, they note, are exposed to more pesticides. Thus, for the “dirty dozen” – things like celery, peaches, strawberries, and spinach – you’re better off going organic. Other fruits and vegetables, however, are naturally cleaner and exposed to significantly less pesticides and other chemicals. According to Prevention Magazine, when it comes to things like onions, bananas, avocadoes, and corn, conventionally grown is fine, as most of the chemicals they are exposed to don’t make it past the peal.
With a little knowledge, the freshest, healthiest, and cheapest fruits and vegetables are easy to find!