It seems like every week I go to the grocery store, I end up paying more than I really wanted to. Food prices are going up and the package sizes are going down. Some of this is caused by inflation and our changing economy. Some of it is caused by the weather conditions and the drought in California. When I’m trying to feed a hungry family, it doesn’t really matter as much why the prices are going up. What matters is how can I keep my grocery spending within my budget and still feed my family healthy meals.
How to Eat Seasonally
Eating seasonally isn’t some new fad that’s just started in the past few years. Seasonal eating is the way our ancestors ate for years before there were grocery stores and long-haul truck drivers to bring us produce from across the country. We ate what was growing in the garden or the woods or what we could trade for. That was our only option.
Now, when we go to the grocery store, we see strawberries in February and apples in May. We may not be worrying about what’s in season when we shop. Buying what’s in season in our area will generally mean lower prices overall because it costs less to deliver the produce to the store.
Many grocery stores have signs on their produce indicating what’s locally supplied. If this is the case, simply look for the signs and plan your meals around what’s available. If your store doesn’t have local signs, you may need to look a bit further. Look at the bag for clues. Do your strawberries say product of Mexico when you live in Michigan? Do your apples come from Washington State when you live in Vermont?
To keep your bill down, look for produce that grows near you. I live in Vermont, so even in the summer, apples will be more affordable than oranges. If you live in Florida, the opposite may be true. Another way to eat seasonally is to search for a local farmer’s market. Buy produce that your local farms have for sale. That’s an almost guaranteed way to eat seasonally.
If you have the time and space, consider planting your own garden. You can eat during the growing season right from your own garden. Supplement with those things that are harder for you to grow or that you don’t have room for.
Have you tried eating seasonally to keep your grocery bill down?