Some vegetables remain affordable throughout the year – regardless of the growing season


No matter what time of year it is, or which growing season, there are some vegetables that are always affordable.  During the summer and fall months, grocery stores have produce bins that are overflowing with locally-grown, in-season produce.  During the winter months, many of these same bins are empty or filled with packaged or canned foods rather than fresh produce.  This is when I put the old standby vegetables at the top of my list – carrots, greens and potatoes.  All of these are reasonably priced; and, the prices remain consistent throughout the year.  Here are the prices I found while shopping at Walmart (January 2012):

  • Carrots – $0.88 per pound
  • Greens (collard greens, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens) – all $1.18 per bunch
  • Russet potatoes – $0.94 per pound ($3.47 for a 5-pound bag; or, $4.97 for a 10-pound bag)

So, although I enjoy the various growing seasons in North Carolina, I still want to eat fresh year around.  If you had $16 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, here are vegetables you could add to your grocery basket for the month:

$ 3.52   Carrots – 4 pounds (1 pound each week)

$ 4.72   Greens – 4 kinds (1 different kind each week)

$ 4.97   Russet potatoes – 10-pound bag

$13.21   TOTAL

And, you’d have $2.79 remaining on your benefit card!  Can you imagine carrots as part of a hearty lentil or split pea soup?  Or, cooked greens and a baked potato served along with your favorite baked chicken?   What types of fresh vegetables do you find affordable in the winter months?

Thanks to Lexmccall (Flickr) for the turnip & mustard greens photo on the home page