Getting the Most Out of your Produce in the Spring
Spring is in the air, and you know what that means, fresh fruits and vegetables! If you’re on a budget, now is the time to buy seasonal produce.
You may notice that these produce items are cheaper in the spring time:
Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches & plums; tomatoes, corn, lettuces, squash, carrots & more!
Here are some typical in season vs. off season prices you may see:
Strawberries: $0.99- $1.99/ lb vs. $3-4
Blackberries, raspberries & blueberries: $0.88-$0.99 vs. $2-$4
Peaches & plums: $1-$1.50/lb vs. $3-$4
Tomatoes: $0.68-$0.88/ lb vs. $1-$1.25
Some tips for buying seasonal produce:
1. Shop the front page of sale ads: Cheaper produce is usually what’s in season.
2. Learn the prices & the trends of your favorite produce.
3. When prices rise, that’s usually a sign that the produce is going out of season.
4. Stick to seasonal produce or produce that usually stays about the same price & you should notice that you’re saving some extra bucks!
Looking to grow your own produce? Here are some fun tips:
Gardening isn’t as hard (or expensive!) as it sounds. A simple google search can provide many ideas for “scrap gardening”. This type of gardening uses kitchen scraps from the fruits and vegetables you already have. Experiment and have fun with it! You don’t even need a pot, you can use old buckets, cake pans, small trash cans, or any other old dishes you have laying around. The key is to make sure whatever container you use has good drainage, so you might have to make a couple holes in it. Try dollar stores for cheap gardening supplies; they usually carry seeds, pots, tools, and more for $1 or less.
I recently tried placing green onion roots into a pot outside, and in one week; these are the results! Reusing & re-growing your scraps can really save you some money if you get more than one use from your produce. You simply cut the tops off enjoy!
There are many other produce items that can be grown in little containers, such as tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and more. They won’t take up a lot of space and require little maintenance; place seeds or starter plants in your container, water as needed (usually once a day or less), and watch it grow!
Right now in our area this is a planting guide for April: Beans, collards, corn, cucumbers, okra, peppers, and more!
Search your area, sometimes there are free gardening clubs, classes, or even a community garden that can offer you tips, give you a place to grow produce, or just give you the opportunity to work in a garden.
—– Kelley Kocurek, RD Intern