I needed some produce pronto!
While teaching about wild edibles I foraged a bundle of Asiatic dayflower and purslane but needed much more produce than that.
So, of course, that meant a visit to the market, because that's where I can buy so many reduced rack type produce (and often even high quality produce) for rock bottom prices.
Because I didn't have the kids with me, I was able to do my rounds and check out all the best prices before buying anything so that allowed me to keep down the cost of my shop.
I set myself a goal to only spend 28 dollars on my produce and guess what? I did! I came in exactly 3 cents under my goal!
The first thing I bought were two punnets with pears, apples, and mangoes for 33 cents a pound for a total of $2.22 for 6.7 lbs.
At another stall I saw bell peppers and beets being sold for 26 cents a pound so I bought 5.2 lbs and fennel for 52 cents a pound so I bought 3.1 lbs for a total of $2.86 for that shop.
A stall that generally has a large variety of cheap reduced rack produce had prices that seemed too high for what they had, so I only bought onions at 23 cents a pound and garlic heads for $1.70 per package and pumpkin (not reduced rack) at 62 cents a pound for a total of $5.20.
Then I went to another stall that usually has a large variety of grade b produce cheaply but I tend to avoid since the owner can be grouchy, doesn't label prices, and gets difficult if you ask prices... But since I was looking for good prices and wasn't finding the ones I wanted, I headed over there to get some staples- zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, but only found a few tomatoes that I liked so that's all I took. He threw in a few bananas, so the total for that stall was $7.14.
I then discovered a stall selling cucumbers for 19 cents a pound, and at that price and since my kids love cucumbers, I bought 7.6 more pounds of cucumbers, plus a package of radishes for $1, for a total of $2.49.
Even though I already bought some zucchini, I wasn't in love with how they look, and since zucchini is a staple in my diet I decided to buy some more better looking zucchini- 7.2 lbs at 45 cents per pound, for a total of $3.25.
At this point I realized I only had $5.70 until I reached my limit of how much I wanted to spend on produce but I still wanted to buy some apples and more tomatoes, so I walked up to the stand where I planned to buy apples. I was going to spend $4.29 on apples and then $ 1.41 on tomatoes. I picked out the apples that I liked and asked the vendor if it was more, less, or equal to $4.29. It was $3.65. More money to spend on tomatoes then!
I asked the vendor with the cheap tomatoes, at 39 cents a pound, if he could give me $1.41 worth of tomatoes, but he said he was only selling them by the punnet. I asked him how much the punnet would cost, and... $2!
Bringing my grand total of the shop to $27.97 and 3 cents short of my goal. (P.S. If you're doing the math with me and seeing that it doesn't add up exactly to what I wrote... it's because I'm converting it all to dollars per pound, so rounding up and down here and there.)
Oh- and after I bought my last produce, I ended up getting some free- a few cucumbers, a few tomatoes, a few kohlrabi, and a few hot peppers.
In addition to going to the market for produce, I hit up another grocery store for things that I can't get at the market as cheaply.
Total shop there: $41.60.
I went for the gluten free bread- $1.40 per package, cheaper than I can make my (admittedly, healthier) gluten free homemade bread, and a lot less work, so a convenience food I rely on. I bought 6 packages of bread.
I bought Mike 3 bottles of beer for $1.11 each- beer usually is twice that for a small bottle, and these were big bottles for that price. No, the beers weren't a need, but since we drink alcohol together, I figured at this price, beer is much cheaper than any of the other alcohol options (until we make some more homemade alcohol).
I bought a package of gouda cheese- 2.2 lbs for $8.54, which is a decent price for cheese locally.
I bought 2 mayo jars, which, I know, I can make at home. But, did I mention I'm feeling a bit lazy lately? I don't feel like making my own mayo and then needing to wash out the food processor, so just bought 2 jars. I didn't even price compare these- they were $2.57 per jar. My husband said that's more or less what he generally buys them for. So at least I didn't overpay, even if it wasn't frugal.
Last but not least, I also bought 3 large cans of tuna. I calculated price per pound strained of these cans of tuna, which works out to be $5,08 a pound vs the $6.62 per pound I generally buy tuna at, so it was worth it, in my opinion, to buy these cans for $4.25 each. When I open them, since they're enough for two meals for us (we generally just use 2 cans per meal, and this is the equivalent of 4), I plan on freezing half for a later date.
Total cost for today's shop? $69.60! I think I did very well!
What have you bought lately? Any deals you're especially proud of?