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Save Money By Eating Seasonally

Save Money By Eating Seasonally

Now that spring is here, seasonal eating has become easier with more and more items coming into season each week. Seasonal eating is based on purchasing foods during their natural (or seasonal) growing times. This means you are eating them when they are at their freshest. Not only are they fresher, but they are tastier too.

Seasonal foods also pack the biggest nutritional punch. That’s because they don’t lose nutrients like fruits and vegetables that are stored or have to travel a long-distance to get to market.

But, did you ever realize that eating fresh, in-season foods actually saves you money?

If you buy items that aren’t in season, you pay a premium for them. How so? That basket of peaches you buy during winter can cost twice as much as it would if you buy it when peaches are in season locally. Having those South American peaches transported halfway around the world shows up in your food bill, not to mention it is very environmentally unfriendly.

And, if you take a look around your local supermarket, you will see that in season, fresh fruits and vegetables are the most inexpensive things there. In fact, just a quick glance at a store’s sale ad usually lists “fresh produce” on sale each week. Those sale items are usually prominently located right at the front of the store’s produce aisle.

While the supermarket is a great place to get a few of the most popular seasonal produce items on sale, the best place to buy what’s in season is at your local farmers’ market.

Not only is shopping at a farmers’ market one of the easiest ways to find in-season, locally grown fruits and vegetables, it can also save you money. Unlike the supermarket, at a farmers’ market you have the option of walking around first and checking out all of the stands to compare quality, selection and price before you buy.

One way to get the best deals at the farmers’ market is to shop the market right before they are getting ready to close. If it’s their last market of the day, most farmers don’t want to have to take produce back to the farm and are more than happy to let you have it for a bargain price. Many farmers will negotiate on price at any time the market is open.

A great resource for finding local farmers’ markets is Local Harvest. Before heading off to the farmers’ market check out Sustainable Table to find out what’s in season in your area. The Natural Resources Defense Council lists food miles and local food availability for every state and every season.

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Eating for Health, Food, Green, ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

75 comments

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9:07AM PST on Jan 24, 2014

Thank you for sharing...

5:51PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Great idea thanks.

7:37AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

I wish there was a farmers market near me.

5:09AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

thanks for sharing

1:37PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Thanks for sharing!

9:35PM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

Great article. Thanks.

5:00PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

Here we are lucky to have a good selection of fruit and vegies most of the year round as we live in the semi tropics.

5:00PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

It's definitely best to buy organic, local, seasonal produce. I do it every chance I can.

4:58AM PDT on May 10, 2011

Thanks, I always buy what's in season, otherwise it's not local.

3:58AM PDT on Apr 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Very informative! I wish I knew someone who could benefit from it.

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