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Are In-Season Vegetables Cheaper?

Are In-Season Vegetables Cheaper?

If you want to save money on your grocery bill, buying in-season produce might save you money. It is also a great way to incorporate more veggies into your lifestyle and reap the benefits. In-season vegetables are often cheaper than out-of-season ones because they are easily available.

First, let’s define what we mean by “in-season.” In-season vegetables are harvested locally and are at their peak freshness and flavour. This can vary depending on where you live and the time of year. Generally, vegetables are in-season during the months when they can be grown locally and outdoors.

Now, let’s talk about whether in-season vegetables are cheaper. The short answer is yes, they often are. When a vegetable is in season, it is usually abundant so that prices can be lower. In addition, in-season vegetables don’t need to be transported from far, saving transportation costs and reducing the price. Finally, local farmers often sell in-season vegetables, which can keep prices low.

How Can It Work For Me?

So, how can you take advantage of in-season vegetables to save money on your grocery bill? Here are a few tips:

  • Know what’s in season. Research or check with your local grocery store to find out which vegetables are in season in your area. This can help you plan your meals and shopping list around in-season produce. Local markets are great places to find in-season vegetables at lower prices. Not only are you supporting local farmers, but you can often find varieties you might not see at the grocery store.
  • Buy in bulk and freeze. If you find a great deal on in-season vegetables, consider buying in bulk and freezing them for later. This can help you save money in the long run, as you’ll have vegetables on hand when they’re out of season and more expensive.
  • Consider canned or frozen options. While fresh in-season vegetables are usually the cheapest option, canned or frozen versions can also be a good choice when out-of-season. Just read the labels and choose options without added sugars or salt.

SA Seasonal Veggies List

Here are some examples of vegetables that are in season in South Africa during each season:

Summer:

  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beetroot

Autumn:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Turnips
  • Radishes

Winter:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Leeks
  • Parsnips
  • Winter squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Spring:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale

It’s important to note that availability may vary depending on the specific region and climate within South Africa. Additionally, certain vegetables may be available year-round due to modern farming practices and importation from other countries.

Thanks to their abundance, reduced transportation costs, and local availability, in-season vegetables are often cheaper than out-of-season ones. 

By knowing what’s in season, shopping at farmers’ markets, buying in bulk and freezing, and considering canned or frozen options, you can take advantage of in-season vegetables to save money on your grocery bill while still enjoying delicious, nutritious produce.

Eat More Vegetables For A Healthier You

Eating more vegetables is one of the most effective ways to improve overall health and well-being. Vegetables are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to function correctly. Here are some of the key benefits of eating more vegetables:

  • Improved Digestion: Vegetables are high in fibre, which helps to keep your digestive system healthy and regular. Eating various vegetables can also help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which can further improve digestion.
  • Lower Risk of Chronic Disease: Vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, which help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can help to lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
  • Increased Energy: Vegetables are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which provide your body with the energy it needs to function throughout the day. Eating more vegetables can also help stabilise your blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes and fatigue.
  • Weight Management: Vegetables are low in calories but high in fibre, which can help you feel full and satisfied after meals. This can help to prevent overeating and aid in weight management.
  • Improved Skin Health: Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin. Eating more vegetables can help to improve skin texture, reduce inflammation, and promote a youthful, glowing complexion.

It’s important to eat a variety of colours and types of vegetables to get the most benefits. Fill half of your plate with vegetables at each meal, and choose a mix of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, root vegetables, and more. Making vegetables a key part of your diet can improve your overall health and make you feel your best. Speak to your healthcare provider about the best meal plan for you and your health goals.

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