Buy vegetables in their season. Many vegetables are in the market the year round, and modern agriculture has greatly extended the season for many others but some, when out of season, lack flavor and freshness.

Vegetables should be fresh, firm (not hard), and ripe. Do not buy vegetables that are old, withered, moldy or bruised, underripe or overripe; there is no saving in cost from purchasing such vegetables. Head vegetables should be solid, with few waste leaves. Cauliflower should be white and firm, with no blemishes. Leafy vegetables should not be wilted. Peas and beans should have crisp pods. Buy vegetables of medium size and regular shape.

Buy only the amount of summer vegetables you can use immediately, because they deteriorate in quality very quickly and are best when cooked soon after gathering.

Winter vegetables may be bought in larger amounts if there is a suitable dry, cool place for storage.

Get acquainted with vegetables that you or your family have never eaten. For the first time buy only enough for your own lunch and cook them after your favorite method. If that is successful, try them on the family. If not, try again with another recipe, until you find one you think they will like.