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Budget Saver: Buy In-season Foods This Winter

It’s no secret to most people that certain foods are cheaper during certain times of year. Obviously, the best time to buy a watermelon is in the summer – unless you enjoy eating watermelon that tastes like old water, which is what you’ll get in December. Similarly, the best time to eat and enjoy pumpkin and squash is in the winter.

Pumpkin Apple Scones

You’ll save a lot of money on your grocery budget by sticking to those foods that are in season – stocking up during certain months and making sure to enjoy fresh produce at its height of freshness. Who doesn’t enjoy a piping hot sweet potato, slathered in butter, on a cold winter night? And if you don’t, dude – I feel sorry for you. 

But, what most people don’t realize is that other foods are often seasonal as well – things like canned items and other grocery store finds. Knowing what is best to buy during certain seasons will save you a pretty penny – because you can buy them cheaper and enjoy them while they’re at their lowest price. Not only is this good for your budget, but for your palate as well…you’ll be able to savor and enjoy foods when they were meant to be eaten.

Below I will provide a list of the most common on-sale seasonal items for the cold winter months. If it’s possible, you should consider stocking up and preserving these items to have when they are no longer on sale. I store a lot of food in the freezer, but you could also can certain items and even dehydrate them if you so desire. There are multitudes of tutorials for food preservation online!

Then, when you have all these nice, tasty foods at your disposal, you can easily use the search option here at Plan to Eat and have tons of recipes at your fingertips using those ingredients! How about:

Pumpkin Breakfast Porridge,


Greens and Sweet Potatoes,


or Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies?



In Season Winter Foods:


  • Cranberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Kiwi
  • Dates
  • Citrus fruit
  • Papaya
  • Broccoli, cauliflower
  • Leafy greens
  • Avocado
  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Turnips and rutabagas

Food Items:

  • Canned pumpkin
  • Canned vegetables
  • Baking supplies
  • Oatmeal (January is national oatmeal month)
  • Breakfast items (February is national breakfast month)
  • Chocolate and candies (Valentine’s Day)
  • Asian foods like soy sauce, noodles (Chinese New Year)
  • Marshmallows
  • Make sure to grab holiday clearance items!!! Think candied fruit, seasonal baking chips, etc.
  • Super Bowl snack foods
  • “Diet foods” (think New Years Resolutions)
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Wine and champagne
  • Hot cocoa, coffee, and tea
  • Butter


  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Tuna
  • Salmon


  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Aluminum foil
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Ziploc items
  • Disposable baking pans (for gift giving)
  • Small appliances and cookware

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