Where to Find Cheap, Fresh Produce

  • The Key to Produce Savings

    Apples and various root vegetables are in season nationwide in November, but do you know what the cheapest fruits and vegetables are where you live? Produce is generally the most plentiful in areas near where it’s grown. And the more supply there is, the more likely it is to be on sale, whether you’re buying from a roadside farm stand, a farmer’s market or your local grocery store. Here’s a rundown of what’s fresh and cheap right now and where in the country you can find it. Photo Credit: Darwin Bell
  • Pumpkins

    Where they grow: Northwest, Midwest and South, according to Epicurious.com. How to use them: Pumpkins may be a commonly-known ingredient in pie, breads and muffins, but they’re also great for more savory dishes like soups, stews and curry.  Plus, they’re in season and cheap right now. Photo Credit: Nesster
  • Cranberries

    Where they grow: Northwest. How to use them: Cranberries are in season, cranberry sauce is an obvious classic, and making it fresh may be easier than you’d think. They’re also great in muffins, and a splash of cranberry juice in hot apple cider can add a nice, bittersweet bite. Photo Credit: Half Chinese
    Hardy Greens
  • Hardy Greens

    Where they grow: Kale in the Midwest, collard greens in the South. How to use them:  Fall is the unofficial beginning of soup season, and kale is a hearty and healthful ingredient in soups along with carrots and celery, which are also in season and widely available. Photo Credit: Sultry
    Fingerling Potatoes
  • Fingerling Potatoes

    Where they grow: California, Idaho, and Colorado, according to nationwide produce supplier Melissa’s.  Of course potatoes are widely available and generally inexpensive in all regions. How to use them: These tiny potatoes are best kept whole, and healthiest with the skin on. They can be roasted, grilled or sautéed as a side dish. Photo Credit: foooooey
    Brussels Sprouts
  • Brussels Sprouts

    Where they grow: California and the Northwest. How to use them: Sautéed or roasted as a side dish. You can find single brussels sprouts at stores and in farmers markets, as well as on stalks in stores around the country. The stalked sprouts are harvested in California, according to Melissa’s.  But even if they travel to you from across the country, their freshness may still stand out. “[You can] most definitely taste the difference. … Unlike the typical cut brussels sprouts, they can be refrigerated for over a month,” notes Robert Schueller, spokesman for Melissa’s. Photo Credit: parksdh2
  • Leeks

    Where they grow: Midwest. How to use them: This relative of onions and garlic soups can be boiled, sautéed and eaten raw, but both their green and white parts are flavorful ingredients in soups. Photo Credit: Muffet
  • Mushrooms

    Where they grow: Northeast. How to use them: Mushrooms are versatile.  They can be eaten as a main course, in a portabella burger for example; as a side, in stews and sauces or as a steak or burger topper.  If you're looking for cheap mushrooms, however, you may want to forego the the $16 per pound morels and buy the much cheaper button mushrooms and portabellas. Photo Credit: cogdogblog
    Asian Pears
  • Asian Pears

    Where they grow: Northeast. How to use them: These crispy pears may have a texture closer to crunchy apples, but they taste milder than the average pear.  They’re great eaten right out of hand, sliced or in fruit salads. Photo Credit: See-ming Lee
  • Pomegranates

    Where they grow: Northwest and in California. How to use them: Pomegranates have gained popularity for their anti-oxidant rich, cranberry-colored juice, but the whole fruit can be eaten right out of your hand as well. Just cut or break one in half and pull out the segments.  If you eat the seeds as well, you can get a nice dose of fiber.  If you’d prefer not, then using a juicer would be your best bet. Photo Credit: JOEM500
  • Yuzu

    Where they grow: California. How to use them: Yuzu are citrus fruits popular in Japanese cuisine. They’re about the size of a golf ball, and they’re used in marmalades and cakes, and its zested rind adds a fruity and fragrant flavor to sauces, according to Melissa’s. Do you have any creative uses for these seasonal fruits and vegetables?  Share with us in the comments below. Photo Credit: benketaro
Show Comments