What Time of Year are Strawberries Prices the Cheapest?

Whittaker's Berry Farm (2)

There are a lot of things available to us year round that never were in the past. Now there are a lot of things year round that I wish we in remained in our past. One of those things is strawberries. There was a time when spring time hit and it was time to get your strawberries before they were gone. Nowadays whether it’s the Fourth of July or a cold winter’s day, strawberries will be there, at any grocery store in any state. Flavor has long been compromised in the name of cost, transport-ability, and constant supply. Most strawberries consumed nowadays are not done so at their best.

Just because they are around all the time, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still plan on strawberry purchases. Even thought they are available year round, it doesn’t mean the prices are the same year round. In fact, strawberries are sort of like the stock market. There are highs and lows. You need to know when to hoard them and when to pass them by.

When Is the Best Time of Year to Buy Strawberries?
It’s all about supply. There are times of year where they are way more strawberries available. This leads to smaller prices and best of all sales! Mid to late winter (February-March) is when the supply is usually the highest. This is because the supply of strawberries from California is on the rise and Florida strawberry season is also at peak and Mexico is in the mix as well. Florida doesn’t provide strawberries year round like California just about does. It’s too hot there. When they are available I find them to in general be better than California’s. At this time you can often find strawberries going for as low as $1 for a 1 lb container. The later the Florida season lasts and the earlier the California season begins the better situation for consumers. As I write this in mid January, I see the prices of strawberries coming down and sales prices starting to appear. Over the next couple weeks I expect to see that kind of rock bottom prices that will send me into hoarder mode.

There will also be period during the late spring and summer were prices will be good. They are a little bit harder to predict. That time of year it’s all about where in California they are harvesting and how much is being produced. Deals can be found around holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day) to help entice customers into the stores.

Michigan Strawberries 2013

Your Local Season
If we are talking most flavorful time of the year, then it’s all about when are they are in season in your local area (that would be June here in Michigan). Strawberries are among the most grown fruit available at local farmer’s markets. You have to go directly to the farmer to get them as few stores carrying them and when they do they are pricey. To really save money on them you must pick them yourself. Most u-pick strawberry places here in Michigan charge under $2 a pound to pick yourself. A quick Google search should help you locate the nearest u-pick strawberry patch in your area. Let me know if you need any help.

Worst Time of Year to Buy Strawberries
Right before strawberries are their best prices, they are at their worst. Don’t buy them to be apart of your Christmas celebration. At that time strawberries are hard to come by out of California, so they are coming from Mexico and the supply is low and flavor is usually not good either. I have a hard time paying $4 to $5 per pound for something I was buying for under $2 a pound earlier in the year. Your better off buying frozen or if you were smart you froze some earlier when prices were cheaper.

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