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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Figuring Out the True Price of Fruit- Exotic Fruit Edition

Pitaya, also known as a dragon fruit.
I like being able to price compare to find the best deals on things, whether its clothing, electronics, or food, but the thing is, all too often, when people are price comparing foods, they're not making an accurate comparison, because they're comparing apples and oranges. 
Seriously. 
Apples and oranges, each are a dollar a pound- which is more worthwhile to get, assuming you liked both equally, and just needed some fruit? Can you say that they're equally worthwhile, or do you have to take into consideration that once you peel the orange you're not exactly paying one dollar per pound, nor are you paying a dollar per pound once you core that apple. 
The way to figure out how much you're actually paying per pound for the fruit itself is to weigh the fruit before and after peeling/coring/removing the inedible parts, figuring out the percent change, and using that number to help figure out the true cost of what you're paying for fruit. (In other words, multiplying the listed price by the inverse (one divided by the number) of the decimal of the percent change.)


Using this technique, I've made already handy charts to help you figure out what cut of chicken is most worthwhile to buy, whether its more worthwhile to buy dried beans or canned, what starches are most cost effective to buy, what the true price of vegetables are, and what the true price of fruit are. Only I had so many fruit on that list that I decided to divide it up into two- the standard fruit, and the more "exotic" fruit. Sorry, I couldn't put every exotic fruit on this list- I couldn't get my hands on cherimoya and rambutan and papaya and a whole bunch of other fruit- if I want to buy any of those and figure out the numbers, I'm happy to edit this chart to include those.

I find this chart to be useful in some senses, because yes, sometimes I just want a special fruit as a treat, but sometimes I actually want to first see if it is a decent price before I buy it. Pomelas, for example, I sometimes see for a "low price" , but after peeling, I discover that they're mostly peel, and in order to figure out the true price, I have to multiply the store price by 1.92, making it not such a low price after all.
I also found the info about dates to be useful- we use a decent amount of dates in our house for deserts, and I can buy pitted, mashed dates, and I always was curious whether it was cheaper to buy those or to buy regular dried dates and pit them myself, and now I know.
Coconut too was something I was curious about- is it cheaper to use dried coconut, or to buy a whole coconut and make flakes yourself? While I haven't made the flakes yet, this is the first part of the experiment.
Pineapple too- I always wondered if it is cheaper to buy a fresh pineapple or buy canned....

So, now you know.

Fruit
Original Wt
Final Wt
% Change
To figure out true price, multiply by
Sweetie
511
279
0.55
1.83
Pomela
684
357
0.55
1.83
Coconut
535
289
0.52
1.92
Dates
77
71
0.54
1.85
Pomegranate
694
356
0.92
1.08
Mango
218
165
0.51
1.95
Cherries
91
84
0.76
1.32
Kiwi
189
151
0.92
1.08
Lychee
55
40
0.80
1.25
Pineapple
825
452
0.73
1.38
Passionfruit
34
14
0.55
1.83
Prickly pear
168
88
0.41
2.43
Dragon fruit/pitaya
281
169
0.52
1.91

Sweeties, pomelas, coconut, pomegranate, pango, kiwi, lychee, pineapple, passionfruit, prickly pear, and dragon fruit had their peels removed. Dates, mangos, cherries, and lychees had their seeds removed, and the pineapple was cored as well.

To make it easier for people with a smartphone to price compare while they are in the store, I made a downloadable spreadsheet where you can plug in the numbers and it'll give you the real price. Just keep in mind that you'll need to download and save the file before you can edit it/plug in the numbers. Downloadable Spreadsheet

Which of these fruit have you eaten before? Any you eat on a regular basis? Any you'd like to eat on a regular basis but can't justify because of the price? When you buy these fruit, do you buy them because you want to, or because they look cheap? 
What fruit would you have included on this chart that I didn't?

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