This is post #1 of our Healthy Savings Series, and the first strategy for saving some money is through seasonal produce.
This is something Sarah, myself and our Seasonal Recipe Subscribers are well accustomed to, but it’s always a great thing to keep in mind.
Go Seasonal in the Produce Department
Next time you’re at the grocery store, notice what produce is over-stocked and piled high. This is almost always what’s in season, and is also the cheapest you can buy it for.
Some produce can also be bought on the other half of the year, when it’s in season in the Southern Hemisphere. Things like apples, pears and squash you’ll notice are abundant in the spring (opposite of our fall season) and usually from countries like Argentina (not local and not very well priced).
Watch out for the Pre-Season Tease!
I remember bringing home some Brussels sprouts last year only to find out they cost me more than $9 per pound! I hadn’t seen them in almost a year so I got excited and immediately threw them in the basket. Sarah busted me shortly after I got home in reviewing the receipt!
This is a good reminder to always check the prices too. Produce is sometimes priced opposite than you would think, like per each instead of per pound. The store we shop at has fennel priced at per each and I sometimes forget to grab the largest one I can find – not like it’s the end of the world if I don’t, but often feel tricked when it happens!
Shop The Farmers Market
This is pretty obvious, but always a good reminder. Shop your neighborhood farmers market whenever possible. Weekends, weekdays, every-other week, etc. The only stuff you can buy is what’s in season, and is priced the best too. There are some exceptions like potatoes and squash, dried fruit, etc. – and buying bulk quantities of these is always a clever idea. (confession: we’re TERRIBLE at buying bulk anything)
Get a CSA Box
Going along with the farmers market suggestion, this is just as good, but perhaps a little better even. When you get a CSA box, the produce overall is cheaper than if you were to buy everything individually. There’s many more benefits of getting involved with Community Supported Agriculture than just saving money, learn more about it and see why it’s all the rave these days.
Now that we’ve covered the $$ part, let’s talk about the important stuff…
That’s right, if saving money weren’t sweet enough, guess what? Going seasonal get’s you top value in terms of nutrient density.
Did you know produce can lose up to 40% of
its nutritional value within just 1 week of harvest?!
This is a great thing to keep in mind when buying any kind of pre-packaged produce in the refrigerated section. Think bags of salad, salad mix or other vegetables.
Sorry Trader Joe’s, this means you too!
Do yourself a major favor, and pick up a head of lettuce. Go home, spend 2 minutes washing it, another 2 minutes chopping it, and enjoy the additional 40%+ additional nutrients you’re getting in that salad of yours.
What’s your opinion?
Do you save money when shopping seasonally?
Do you still buy into the convenience trap of pre-packaged salad?
We’d love to know!