Welcome to our mini- savvy shopping series! Today’s topic? Buying produce in season.

Your wait is over, my friends. Today is the day that you take back the shopping cart. Plant your flag on top of the apple bin. Stare kale straight in the leaves and say, “I know exactly how to cook you”. You will become the savvy shopper. And the first step is knowing what to buy.

Buying in season produce is the definitely a must for a few different reasons. But we will get to that in a minute. First, you need to know what foods are in season. I love this chart from Oklahoma State University that outlines typical growing season for a ton of fruits and veggies. I have one printed out for my recipe binder and one inside a kitchen cabinet for quick reference.

produce chart

Now that you know what to buy, let’s talk about why you should buy in season.

photo via kingsfoodmarkets.com

photo via kingsfoodmarkets.com

1. Variety.  Fruits and vegetables grow during different times of the year because of temperature, precipitation, sunlight, etc. If you follow the growing season of produce, then you are less likely to get stuck in a rut of just eating green beans and broccoli. It also makes you try new things. (**Reminder: new things are good).

2. Freshness. Buying in season veggies and fruit will taste better. There is a difference between a green house tomato and a garden tomato! The flavor and taste is wonderful and the produce will actually last a little longer before going bad. The shelf life is not extended by much, but it will last a few more days while staying crisp and fresh.

3. Cost. It is CHEAPER! Ever noticed how strawberries go from a million dollars a quart to $2.00 per quart around April/May. Yep, because they are in season. Using the in season produce guide will go a long way to lowering your weekly grocery bill.

Happy savvy shopping! ~Lauren

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