A friend asked a GREAT question:
I am finding now that Fall is here – I struggle with costs of produce. I always come upon this in the Fall and Winter when fruit is harder to come by. My budget for fruit with my kids usually close to 40 dollars; any tips with fresh fruit?
The first thing that came to mind was bananas…they are ALWAYS a good price and one of the only reason’s I might stop at Quick Trip to get roughly 3# for $1. But let’s face it, how many bananas can you eat? Then comes banana bread, banana oatmeal cookies, bananas foster… You can feel like you are turning into a monkey!
So, I did a little homework. Common sense dictates that fruit is the least expensive when it is in season…so let’s take a look at what I came up with after doing an online search and talking to my friendly produce man:
October: cranberries, apples, pomegranates, grapes
November: cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, tangerines, pears, persimmons
December: pomegranates, oranges, tangerines, pears, papayas, tangelos, grape fruit
January: Florida Navel oranges, tangerines, lemons, papayas, tangelos, grapefruit,
February: oranges, lemons, papayas, tangelos, grapefruit
March & April: pineapples, mangoes
Granted, you may find some cheaper fruit at these times, but it is probably older/bitter/poorer quality. These listed items are at the height of their freshness, in their peak season and good to keep an eye on.
Cranberries are great when ground up and turned into a chutney or relish for pork or turkey dishes…we make a jam out of it with frozen strawberries added!
Apples and pears are easy to use – eat fresh, slice and can for those future pies, make apple/pear sauce and apple/pear butter.
Pomegranates are a HUGE source of great vitamins and fun to eat.
Pineapple can be sliced and frozen beautifully…grapes freeze well too!
Citrus is great all winter – that vitamin C helps keep you healthier when everyone else around you is starting to sniffle.
Keep an eye on the sales, figure a $.50 or less per serving price point and you should do really well!