FRUGALITY TIP: Shopping and canning or freezing local produce in season will help reduce your grocery bill.
It's strawberry festival time in these parts. What a pleasure it is to pick fresh strawberries. Growing up in the Los Angeles area as a kid was not fun living in such a big city although that was nothing compared to today. But one thing that was plentiful was fresh fruit and veggies. We also lived in Ventura County where the pumpkin patches and strawberry fields and orange groves were plentiful all around us. There were fruit stands all over the place. I guess the closest thing we have in the Northwest akin to the plentiful fruit stands is a coffee hut on every few blocks which we really appreciate in the winter time!
After the first batch of fresh stawberries have been eaten which is a must after a long winter, I like to make batches of strawberry freezer jam. The taste is so much closer to fresh strawberries then canning the jam. I can also control the amount and type of sweetner in the jam when I make it at home.
Once made the jams and canned items in this home are set aside to be used only after the first snow fall! This practice brings back a taste of summer in the cold dreary months of winter. So take the kids out on field trip and have some fun and have them help pick some berries or whatever happens to be in season in your area.