Luckily, one of the best ways to cut your grocery costs during the summer is also one of the tastiest and healthiest! You can’t fool Mother Nature; only seasonal produce tastes as good as it looks, unlike off-season fruits and vegetables. Increased geographic availability means a shorter span between harvest and table, which preserves more nutrition since nutrients break down as fruits and vegetables wait for consumption.
Fruits and Vegetables: What’s in Season? Depending on where you live, look for an abundance of fresh in-season options during the summer months (June, July, and August) such as these:
To increase your savings on seasonal summer product, bypass the regular grocery store and head to your closets farmer’s market. Buying directly from the grower is a great way to save since you eliminate costly store overhead associated with the grocery “middle man”. Plus when you buy directly from the grower, you have advantages you wouldn’t have in a traditional grocery store. One great example is the opportunity to buy economical “seconds” – fruits and vegetables that are misshapen, but perfect for dicing into summertime meals. And if you’re a local customer, you may be able to work out a deal with the grower – it can be surprising how much you can save if you just ask! In supporting local produce, you help sustain community farms, and because of the reduction in environmentally damaging travel time, you do your part to protect the environment too.
It doesn’t get any more local than (literally) your own back yard. You don’t need much space to grow your own crop – certain
varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers can even thrive in pots. Needanother reason to get out your gardening gear? A St. Louis University School of Public health studypublished in 2007 found that preschool children who ate homegrown fruits and
vegetables are more than twice as likely to achieve the goal of eating daily 5 fruits and vegetables.
BOTTOM LINE: Everyone benefits when you buy seasonal summer produce. You can not only reduce your grocery bill, but also feed your family the most nutrient-packed foods, reduce strain on the environment, and help sustain your local economy.