It’s that time of the year again; the air starts getting colder, schedules become busier with holiday plans, and wallets become a little lighter. Budgeting for gifts, festive parties and outings can really start to add up. While our goal is to nourish our bodies all year long, one of the last things we want to be spending more money on is produce at the grocery store.
Here are some tips that can help keep your budget on track and those fruits and veggies on your plate this winter:
1. Shop for fresh produce that is in season
While we often think of the spring and summer months to bring lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, the winter months also have a lot to offer. Consider these winter produce options next time you are shopping:
Vegetables: beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, curly kale, parsnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, delicata)
Fruits: clementines, grapefruit, mandarin oranges, oranges, meyer lemons, kiwi, pomegranate
2. Choose frozen for produce that is out of season
Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at the time of ripeness and flash frozen and can last up to several months in the freezer. This makes them a great option all year round! Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts label for any added sugars or sodium. Look for 100% frozen fruits and vegetables without any additives.
Frozen vegetables – try adding your favorite frozen veggies like spinach, onions, peppers or zucchini to spaghetti sauce or in soups & stews. Frozen fruits – use as a base for smoothies, add for a sweet addition to muffins, or simply thaw in the refrigerator or microwave to top on oatmeal, yogurt or to have on its own.
3. Plan ahead!
Try a CSA, pick-your-own (PYO) fruits and vegetables from a local farm, or buy extra when some of your favorite produce is in season to freeze for future use.
Community Support Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support your local farms and try out some fresh new produce that you may not typically buy at the grocery store. Check out this link to find a CSA near you: https://www.localharvest.org/csa/
Pick-your-own (PYO) is another wonderful option to visit and support your local farm where you get to select the produce straight from the source at the peak of ripeness, and usually at a discounted price for putting in some of the work! To find a pick-your-own farm near you visit https://www.pickyourown.org/