Knowing how to select the freshest produce is essential to getting the most out of your grocery budget. Produce that is out of season or unripe can potentially spoil faster and carry less nutrients. Here are some tips to help you select the best produce.

Blueberries – (May to October)

Look for plump and uniform berries in a deep blue that is almost purple and avoid wrinkles. Store your berries unwashed in the fridge and only wet them right before you plan to eat them, as washing them in advanced can spoil the berries.

Grapes – (May to October)

Wrinkle-free grapes that look plump and are firmly attached to the stems are best, as grapes tend to fall from the stem when they are not fresh. Store your unwashed grapes in the fridge and wash only in cold water right before you eat them.

Red Bell Peppers – (Year Round)

Look for wrinkle-free skin with a good density and vivid green stems.

Strawberries – (April to September)

These berries should be without blemishes and have a bright red color that extends all the way to the stem. The key to keeping strawberries fresh longer in your fridge is to only wash them right before you are about to eat them; all that extra water leads to mold.

Tomatoes – (June to September)

Feel the tomato – they should be heavy for their size and have red skin without wrinkles, bruises or cracks. They shouldn’t be rock hard (slightly soft is best). Store them at room temperature as the cold can destroy their flavor.

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