Now is an excellent time to dust off your food preservation skills. There are plenty of early season fruits and vegetables being harvested now that with a little work, will be around next fall to tide you through the winter. Case in point, strawberries are flooding market which means lower prices for larger quantities. What can you do with strawberries? Clean then freeze them whole, make fruit leather out of them, and make jams and jellies out of them.
About six months ago I was at the store with a friend and I saw a box of old bananas for 50 cents. I thought the prices was 50 cents a pound but when I got to the register, the cashier said it was 50 cents for the whole box--about 20 pounds (!) of bananas. Before the cashier could finish with her spiel, my friend had ran back and scooped up the box. We brought them home and the half dozen friends who were staying for the weekend had a banana peeling party. We are still using up those frozen bananas which even though they are brown, are great in smoothies and banana bread.
Next time you are in the store, look for the cheapest fruit and vegies you can find then figure out how to preserve them. There are two benefits here, first, you will be able to experiment on cheap items instead of more expensive items, and two, when you open the pantry next fall, you will be able to pull out the preserved items you had the forethought to purchase and preserve back when they were cheap and in season--an excellent way to weather the current economic crisis.