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Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Shopping Trip at the Farmer's Market

I haven't really been going to the farmer's market lately. Mike has been working longer hours many days, and then many things have come up in the evening, so I don't have time to go to the farmer's market in the evening, leaving all the kids but Rose with Mike. So I've been shopping at the local grocery store.
Which, to be honest... I used to consider the "cheap" store, but lately, no so much.
I mean, the vegetables- some of them are decent prices- a few will occasionally be between 17 and 45 cents a pound, but nothing amazing. And the fruit? Really not good prices- the lowest I see is 60 cents a pound, but often more than $1.20 a pound. Though these were their standard prices for a while already, I was usually able to get a lot from their reduced rack, but for the past 5 or 6 weeks when I went there, there was absolutely nothing in the reduced rack, or if there was, it wasn't something we eat.
So my grocery bills have been much higher than I want them to be, especially since I'm trying to do a little more produce heavy now, and less grain heavy...

I decided to go to the farmer's market today- and yes, with all the kids.
I'll admit it- it was exhausting. However, I got so much stuff, at such great prices, that it was worth every drop of the exhaustion. And if I can't time it so that Mike is home with the older ones while I go the the farmer's market... well then, I'll just have to go with them all again.

Anyhow, I am so glad I went to the farmer's market, because I got so much there for so little money!

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All this, plus a little more not shown- for $62.


That is 213.5 lbs of stuff, mostly produce, but also some nuts, which means that the total average of all that was 29 cents a pound!!!

And that wasn't just cheap items either!

When I first got to the market, I did a quick runaround to see what prices were, and found out that one store A, where I used to buy a lot of cheap past prime things but lately hasn't had anything there, had a huge selection this time, and store B, where I've been buying cheap past prime stuff lately, didn't really have much of a selection... I found a few other stalls with cheap items and tried stocking up there.

I found a stall that sold cream of tartar- something I've been trying to get my hands on for a while for some recipes, that isn't easy to find here. It was $6.80 for a small little amount, so I will certainly be using it sparingly.

I found some cashews and almonds at a decent price- not amazing, but not bad- $8.57 and $7.79 per pound respectively, so I bought a total of 1.11 lbs altogether for $9.13.
And since.... kids... I bought some dried pineapple for the kids to snack on while we were there, for $1.71.

Those were the "expensive" parts of my shop.

The rest was pretty cheap.

I found fresh green beans- something my family loves- at $1.02 per pound, so I got 4.2 lbs for $4.28.
I saw pears at 65 cents a pound, I bought 3.52 lbs for $2.29, and zucchinis at the terrific price of 33 cents per pound, so I got 7.92 lbs for $2.57.

I haven't even seen bananas lately, let alone at a good price, but I really wanted some to use as a base for smoothies, so when I saw past prime bananas for 88 cents a pound- still a lot cheaper than the non past prime bananas I saw- I got 4.5 lbs for $4.

I then went back to store A, where the owner was literally throwing more and more and more food my way, trying to offload as much of his goods on to me as he could. I told him to stop, I wasn't sure how I'd get it all home- but somehow I managed! The prices there were terrific- cucumbers, watermelon, beets, kohlrabi, and some other stuff for only 13 cents a pound- I don't remember what else, and apples for 25 cents a pound.
He was trying to convince me to take a huge amount of avocado, and melon, and kiwi- promised he'd give me a good price for them... He threw in some hot peppers and even two watermelons free- but only one of the free watermelons actually made it home, since someone who shall not be named dropped one on the floor where it smashed to smithereens.
So from store A I ended up getting:
20.5 lbs of cantaloupe
14.1 lbs of avocado
12.5 lbs of beets
7.7 lbs of kiwi
13.9 lbs of apples
6.9 lbs of cucumbers
17.6 lbs of watermelon
and .5 lb of hot peppers!
93.6 lbs in total, for $28.57, which worked out to 31 cents a pound on average!

And since I needed a few carrots and tomatoes, I picked those up from store B, $1.09 for 2.2 lbs of carrots at 49 cents a pound, and $1.49 for 2.86 lbs of tomatoes at 52 cents a pound.

Somehow, somehow I managed to get that all home in one piece, in my stroller and on the bus...

And I'm wiped out!

Because not only did I bring it all home, the avocado got mushed somewhat on the way home (which I knew would happen), so I processed it, mashed it, and froze it, for use in smoothies and guacamole, etc... and also did the same with bananas... and of course had to clean my fridge to be able to stick everything in there.
I'm going to bed now.

And yes, this exhaustion was from my trip.

But it was still worth it.

Hopefully this produce will last us two weeks, so I won't need to go shopping for another 2 weeks...  But when I do, tired or not, it'll be to the farmer's market.

Have you gotten any good shopping deals lately? What did you get?
Do you shop with your kids, or no way, never!

4 comments:

  1. I am fortunate these days as my hubby is now working in the produce department at a local market. He brings home a variety of goodies almost daily which were bound for the bin but he rescues them. It is so sad. Recently avocado has been in abundance in his travels, I see you have so many and like the idea of freezing them. I am wondering if you have ever made chocolate pudding with avocado? I have a great recipe and there is no hint of avocado in the flavour should you ever need to "fool"someone. My 4 year old despises them and loved the pudding though I made the mistake of telling her there was avocado in it and she did not want it. Silly me !

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  2. I don't tend a farmers market but I did good on meats today at Walmart. Got boneless chicken for $1.25 lb. I stocked up. Got enough meat now along with my veggies to have 20 meals for under $30. Can we say chicken fajitas?

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  3. My best deal was finding pork roast for $1.39 per lb and stocking up. I also picked a lot of wild dock and plantain (greens). Blackberries are close to being ready around here which will make for many trips foraging!

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  4. How awesome!
    I also would love to make a big frugal shopping trip to the farmers market but I don't because I often cannot fit everything in my little granny grocery cart and have no idea how to bring everything back home . The market is 2 bus rides away. I'm guessing you also need to take a bus - how do you carry/bring everything back home?

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