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Shelly Barnes: Fresh produce picks are abundant this time of year

Shelly Barnes • Sep 5, 2017 at 10:46 PM

Juicy ripe peaches, sweet corn and crunchy cucumbers…nothing tastes better this time of year than fresh produce. Right now, you will find fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest.  

Because they are at the peak of harvest, these fruits and vegetables are typically less expensive and are some of the freshest and tastiest you can find. 

As you get ready to load up on fresh produce, consider these tips and money-saving strategies to help you make the most of your fruit and vegetable purchases:

• Keep in mind, pre-cut or pre-washed fruits and vegetables are more costly and can even spoil more quickly.

• Check the weekly supermarket and grocery store ads for sales on fruits and vegetables. Be sure to purchase only the fruits and vegetables you can use before they lose their quality or spoil.

• Make friends with a gardener. At times, gardeners may have excess fruits and vegetables for sharing.

• Create a meal plan for the week that allows you to use the same or similar fruits and vegetables throughout the week. A meal plan also helps you in planning your produce use so your fruits and vegetables do not go bad.

• Pick your own at local farms. Summer and early fall are great times to pick your own fruits and vegetables.  This can be a fun and less expensive way to buy in bulk and freeze, can or dry for later.

• When trying new fruits and vegetables, buy in small amounts. The small amounts will allow you to taste test the new fruits and vegetables with your family making certain they will eat them.

Armed with these money-saving strategies, you will be ready to enjoy all the delicious produce the season has to offer. 

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state and provides equal opportunities in all programming and employment. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.  Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu.

For more information on this or other family and consumer sciences-related topics, contact Shelly Barnes, family and consumer sciences Extension agent for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes may be reached at sbarnes@utk.edu or 615-444-9584.

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