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Saving money on fresh produce can be a real challenge since there are rarely coupons or B1G1 sales. One of the best ways to save money when buying fruit and vegetables is to buy what’s in season. When there’s an abundance of a crop, prices go down and you save money. You can also save more money buy buying local produce, it has traveled a shorter distance (less gas cost), spent more time in the ground growing, is fresher, and tastes better.
Knowing what’s in season can be tricky, since we can usually find any type of produce year round. There are some great resources though to help you figure out when a good time to buy certain items. My favorite is a site run by the federal government that tracks farmers markets across the US. I can’t say that the report is the easiest to read, but there are a few things it can quickly show you.
First if produce that you want isn’t listed… it’s not at the farmers market right now. Second it will show you whether the market is light, trending up, steady or decreasing. The best prices for items will be when the market is steady or heavy, with higher prices seen as the market is slow.
Another great resource is a government report issued every week analyzing thousands of grocery ads across the US. (I wouldn’t want this job). You can see not only what is being marketed nationally, you can see the average price of those items.
If you want to go the easy way on finding out what’s in season, Publix offers a service called At Season’s Peak that will email or text you when your favorite produce is at its peak season — pretty cool!
So after all that, how about if I just tell you…
Remember that growing seasons do vary in different parts of the country but here’s what to expect in season and at its best price for May:
first crop of peaches and oranges
end of the season for apples so get any you want now
cabbage and salad
beginning of the season for corn
beginning fo the season for tomatoes
hot dogs & other grilling meats