Citrus fruits “in season” now!

December 14, 2009 | Peggy Martin

Citrus fruits “in season” now!

Have you noticed that oranges are frequently on sale at this time of the year? That’s because oranges are “in season,” meaning this is the harvest time for citrus fruits. Right now they taste the best, and cost the least, compared to other times of the year. Other fruits that are “in season” now are grapefruits, apples, bananas, and grapes. Knowing this schedule and planning ahead a bit can be a big boon to your food budget.

But when you get to the store, you still have lots of choices. You need to use unit pricing to figure cost. To do this, you divide the cost by the unit. The unit for the oranges is either pounds, or the number or count. Here are some prices I found.


10 for $2.00

.20 each  ($2.00/10= $.20)


4# bag for $1.99

.17 each or .50 a pound. There are 3+ oranges in a pound. You really need to count the oranges, but at 3 oranges in 1 pound there would be 12 oranges in 4#, so the cost per orange is 17 cents.


3 oranges for $2

.66 each. These oranges were the same size as all the others. I couldn’t find any reason to pay 3 times more than the oranges in #1 that were 10 for $2.00.


10# bag for $4.99

.25 each or .50 cents a pound. These were bigger oranges and there were 20 oranges so this added to the cost per orange.


4 pounds for $2.49

12 oranges in 4 pounds, so .21 each or .62 a pound.


5# Clementines for $5.98

Clementines are about half the size of oranges. There are about 6 clementines in a pound. A 5# box would have around 30 which cost $1 a pound or .20 each.

Clementines are mandarin oranges. The exterior is a deep orange color with a smooth, glossy appearance. They separate easily into seven to fourteen segments and are very easy to peel, like a tangerine, but are almost always seedless. Clementines are also known as seedless tangerines. Cuties are a trademark of California mandarin oranges.

Unit pricing only reflects the cost, not the quality or taste. You might like the flavor of Clementines better than oranges, or your kids might be willing to peel and eat them for a snack. In my book, this would make them a good buy.

A publication from Texas A and M has details on Safe Handling of Fresh Oranges.

-pointers by Peggy

Peggy Martin

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