Many fruits and vegetables that are available year round see decent price drops when they’re in season. This is due to lower shipping costs (among other things), as the produce is more likely to be grown stateside. There’s almost no downside to shopping in season. It’s cheaper, tastes better, and allows you to craft seasonal menus that appeal to your back end and your customer’s tastes buds.
Watch The Meat
In some cases, you can swap out portions of meat in dishes for comparably hefty vegetables. For example, cremini and portobello mushrooms typically cost less by weight than beef or chicken. This isn’t to say you need to go full vegetarian, however. Substituting produce can be an easy way to open up your overall budget.
- Pro Tip: Check out “Mushrooms And Meatless Cuisine” for an in-depth discussion on the subject!
Items that can be used beyond the fruit are perfect for balancing cost and waste. Cooking with the entirety of a fruit or vegetable is often referred to as “root-to-stem.” By bringing this technique into your kitchen, you can minimize your environmental footprint while crafting unique, high-quality dishes. Look to our root to stem articles on carrots, broccoli, and turnips for some tasty ideas!
Versatility in fruits and vegetables can be a huge game changer in your budget. Balancing high-yield and low cost is equally important, but produce that achieves all three of these criteria is ideal. Items such as potatoes, cauliflower, and onions are great “secret weapons” that meet these standards.
- Pro Tip: Expand your produce knowledge with “An Onion For All Seasonings” and “Potato Tips Worth Rooting for” or get inspired with “Cauliflower Me Maybe.”
Even if you don’t use the entirety of the item, look to fruits and vegetables that have more than one use. For example, pumpkins offer both seeds and meat, while coconuts contain coconut water and meat. While some of these items can be more expensive, you should be able to save money by getting multiple uses out’ve a singular item.
- Pro Tip: Pumpkin seeds can be flavored a variety of ways! After roasting your seeds, get creative with your seasonings.