You have heard this before, to be sure, but were unsure of trying to do it. It is not as hard as you think. Buying produce in some states can be very expensive for the one reason that trucking it there is expensive. Buying fruits and vegetables when they are out of season in most areas is even more expensive. So it would pay you to have a handy “Seasonal Growing Calendar” to help you buy on the cheap.
Just go online and search the terms, “Seasonal Growing Calendar.” Many of the hits will apply to gardeners, but others will be charts published by various agencies, including perhaps your own state’s agricultural department, among others. Your local county 4-H or department at a state college can also help you, and often has literature to guide you. You can still check out the articles for gardeners and shop by what they are being told to plant.
One of my favorite fruits is raspberries. When they are in season, I save almost $3 and often more on a small package. When they are not in season, and because I love them so much, I will pay top dollar to eat them. (I just can’t eat them as often as I would at the in-season prices.) That means spending close to $5 for 6 ounces of the beautiful red berries.
To give you an idea of what is in season into November and even some into December, here is what you can find in the Rocky Mountain region: apples, cabbage, cauliflower, fresh herbs, onions, potatoes, and squash. If you are in a warm southern climate, you have even more choices for the truly fresh produce. Some items, though, regardless of when they are grown—onions and potatoes, for example—are usually pretty inexpensive year-round.
Next time you go grocery shopping, notice the price of your favorite vegetable or fruit. Then watch it for a few weeks. You might just be a convert to smarter meal planning and grocery shopping. If you are watching your weight, planning your meals around a seasonal growing calendar can be a big help toward that weight loss. When you have choices, you can stick to a healthy eating plan much easier; when you don’t have choices, people tend to reach for the prepared food or boxed items–usually loaded with fat, salt, and sugar. Stick to the real stuff.