COOL TIP: Predicting the Price of Produce

Produce prices fluctuate.  Sometimes dramatically.  Take celery.  Normally, you can buy a stalk of this ubiquitous vegetable for about $1.   Yet, currently, its price is 400X higher — closer to $5 in some states.  The culprit: rains in California washed out much of the nation’s celery crop.   The same fate befell strawberries.    Throughout the year, it is not uncommon for produce (including meat) prices to vary wildly.   That’s why savvy shoppers track prices of some of their favorite vegetables.   They use this information to design their menus for the week.   And it results in some big savings.

Before you head to your supermarket  (in San Diego, we rely upon Specialty Produce for most of our vegetables), try checking out some of the websites that describe trends in produce prices.  Central Illinois Produce has a weekly market update that gives you advance notice of what produce will cost you on your next supermarket run.   Similar price prognostications can be found at US Foods and The Packer.   But we are pretty impressed with the specificity and accessibility of the Central Illinois Produce webpage.

Next time, before heading out for your shopping chores, take a few minutes and peruse the prices.  It’ll help you meal plan for the coming week with, perhaps, some produce whose price has dropped, rather than skyrocketed.

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