4 Tips to Eat With the Seasons (Without Breaking the Bank)

4 Tips to Eat With the Seasons (Without Breaking the Bank)
Presented by Spartan Training®

Eating with the seasons without spending tons of money seems challenging at first glance. But contrary to what many believe, eating healthy doesn't always have to be more expensive than loading up on processed junk. If you're interested in eating fresh, whole foods through every season, follow these recommendations to help you eat healthy without breaking the bank.

Eating With the Seasons: How to Do It Right

1. Know What's In-Season, and Plan Accordingly

Fruits and veggies are freshest and at their lowest price point when you’re eating with the seasons. This is because they’re more available and have fewer miles to travel to get to your store.

Related: 5 Spartan-Friendly Snacks You Can Buy at the Supermarket (+ 5 to Avoid)

During summer, in-season fruits and veggies include (but are certainly not limited to) apricots, blackberries, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, peaches and plums, watermelon, zucchini, and much more. To check what's in season at any point during the year, visit the United States Department of Agriculture's full Seasonal Produce Guide

2. Go Organic When You Can, but Don’t Feel Like You Have to

The Environmental Working Group identifies a yearly group of produce with the greatest and least pesticide use. The following list, dubbed the “Clean 15,” are the least affected by pesticide use, so save your money and skip the organic option with these 15 fruits and veggies.

  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Papaya
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Mushroom

What do most of these have in common? They have a thicker outer layer that you won’t be eating (pineapple, avocado, onion, corn). Just remember to rinse them well before cutting in to them to keep any outer layer contaminants from being cut into the fruit or vegetable.

3. Shop in Bulk and Freeze the Extras

Eating with the seasons is a great way to save money, but how can you keep those savings going all year? Take advantage of a sale by buying extra and freezing whatever you don't use immediately. If your local supermarket has a sweet deal on blueberries, buy some to enjoy now, and freeze the rest so you can enjoy these antioxidant-rich berries mid-winter. Certain items such as berries and peppers freeze easily, and will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Related: How to Prep Our 5 Favorite Training-Approved Snacks and Save Time

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Frozen and Canned

Fresh may be best, but the healthiest foods are the ones you can eat. If the cost of always buying fresh means you end up buying, and eating, less vegetables and fruits, is that really better? Frozen and canned varieties are processed at the peak of freshness and go through either a flash freeze or flash cooking process to make them sustainable in their packaging, while maintaining nutritional properties.

Related: The 5 Most Water-Dense Fruits and Veggies to Help You Stay Hydrated

Perhaps you’re trying to buy more organic but can’t afford fresh peaches. But if the price point on a can of organic peaches fits in your budget, that's a win-win! When you’re shopping for canned foods, just make sure to opt for versions with no added salt, and drain the liquids and rinse well before preparing to avoid extra sodium and syrups.

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