How the Weather Impacts Produce Costs and What You Can Do to Save

Have you noticed the price of produce going up as much as we have? It’s sure making an impact on our grocery budget.

When we started investigating, we learned the undeniable correlation between weather and harvest. Here’s what we learned and how we’re combating the rising cost of fruits and vegetables:

The Impact of Weather on Crops

Plants need a certain amount sunshine, water, and minerals to grow. When they have too much or too little of any of these necessities, growth is impacted.

As we think back over the past couple years, we noticed some definite problems with the weather in California. Since so much produce grows there, a hit in California affects us all.

Let’s think back a bit, shall we?

Drought.

For many years in recent history, California was plagued with a drought. There wasn’t enough rainfall, and even farmers who irrigated, had to cut back on water use. Plants withered and died, and much of the crops that did survive were smaller than normal.

Excess Rainfall

This year, California hasn’t been suffering from too little water. In fact, they’re getting too much.

We know that plants need water, but when they get too much, the plants suffer. We’re noticing delayed harvests and damage to several types of crops.

It’s Not Just California

Droughts, excess rain, and prolonged freezing weather aren’t just limited to California. All farmers occasionally deal with unexpected weather patterns.

This unpredictable weather often wipes out crops. With fewer farms seeing a harvest, we’ll notice a drop in the supply. Basic economics tells us a rise in price is expected.

What Kinds of Plants Are Damaged?

The weather has impacted many kinds of plants recently. Here’s a few:

•Strawberries

•Cauliflower

•Spinach

•Almonds

•Celery

•Apples

•Cherries

How to Spend Less on Produce

We can’t control the weather. That means we don’t have any control over how crops grow around the world. But, we can do a few things to help save money on produce.

Plant a Garden

Planting just a few crops will reduce what we have to purchase. If you’re looking for some fast-growing produce, check out this post. It’s easy to grow our own greens, onions, peas, and more.

If you’ve never gardened before, you’ll want to start small. We’ve learned it’s much less overwhelming to take care of a few plants the first year. We can always grow more in the future.

Buy Local

Our local weather is different than the weather halfway around the country, or the world. Buying local helps us support local farmers and avoid paying for high-cost shipping.

Check for local produce at:

•Farmer’s Market

•Co-ops

•Grocery stores

•Pick your own stores

•Roadside stands

Try Different Crops

If the rain flooded strawberry crops, strawberries are going to be expensive. Instead of shelling out money for strawberries, we look for other crops.

The rain may not have affected crops that grow differently from strawberries. We may find a better deal on other fruits.

Always be on the lookout for inexpensive produce. Being willing to substitute while we’re shopping means we’ll pay less.

Use Gift Cards

We love buying produce with a gift card! We can exchange our iRazoo points for a Walmart gift card and pick up some fruits or vegetables. It definitely helps our budget!

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