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Thursday, May 11, 2017

My Latest Super Frugal Shopping Trips

I love a good bargain. My husband frequently sees what I buy cheaply and laments that I "brought the entire market home with me". But yes, I do have a hard time passing up a great bargain, and yesterday's shopping trips were no exception.

Here's my total shop from yesterday. Guess how much it cost?




The entire shop cost me $76.15!

If you break up the shop into produce and meat, all that produce (the vast majority of what is pictured) cost me only $30.70, and the meat cost me $45.


Here's what I got where, and why.

My first stop was the open air market, where I know which stores to hit up to get the best deals. I nearly exclusively buy "grade B" type produce, the equivalent of what you'd buy in the reduced rack in the grocery store. Often these are veggies and fruit a little past their prime, but work perfectly well for the recipes I want.

Strawberry season is coming to a close- you no longer can find strawberries in the grocery stores, but at the market, they're just about as low as they are going to come. At the start of the season, they were selling them for about $2.50 a pound, then they got lower to about $2 a pound. Now most stalls were selling them for $1.29 a pound, but I found a stall selling them for $0.85 a pound, as long as you bought more than 3 lbs. I bought 6.6 lbs of strawberries (some to eat now, and some to freezer for future use) for $5.70 (and I have a really awesome recipe to share with you using them).

Another stall usually has a small selection of grade B produce for a decent price, and I spotted some nectarines and peaches there. I hadn't had any nectarines or peaches yet this season since their price has been too high (I usually set an upper price limit for fruit that I'm willing to spend, usually no more than $0.65-$0.80 per pound, and peaches and nectarines have been twice that or more in most stores. But this stall had them for $0.50 a pound. I told the guy I'd buy all of them, and he told me he had much more than what was displayed. So I ended up buying over 14 lbs, for $7.45.

I then went to my favorite stall at the market, run by this guy named Gideon, who not only has great deals for produce, but he gives even better deals to his regulars.
He had artichoke cheaply as well as cucumbers and kohlrabi that looked great. He ended up encouraging me to take an entire case of artichoke, one of my absolute favorite veggies, 30 lbs for $0.25 per pound for a total of $7.42, 13.2 lbs of cucumbers and kohlrabi for $0.13 per pound, for a total of $1.70... and then he threw in three watermelon halves for free, along with a hot pepper and a small cabbage!

I found a stall selling grade B zucchini and carrots for $0.25 per pound, so bought 17 lbs for a total of $4.42.

Lastly, since I really wanted smoothies and saw grade B bananas for under my maximum price limit for fruit, at $0.60 per pound, I bought some of those, and onions for $0.25 per pound for a total of $4.

Then, right as I was about to leave, I found another free watermelon (in perfect condition other than a tiny nick at the side) that was going to go into the trash, so brought that home as well.

Total? Over 120 lbs of produce for just around 30 dollars, averaging 25 cents a pound, despite getting seasonal produce that tends to be on the more expensive side!

After dropping them off at home (there's a limit to how much I can fit in my shopping cart!) I popped in to a local sale hoping to buy chicken wings for $0.63 per pound, but they were out. I did manage to get chicken breast and ground chicken for a decent price- chicken breast for $2.85 per pound, and ground chicken for $2.59 per pound, for a total of $31 for that shop.

Then I popped into my local mom and pop's store and bought wings which were decently priced (just not as cheap as the sale) at $0.75 per pound, $14.30 for 19 lbs.

Now that I have all this produce and meat in my house, I have a lot of cooking and prep work to do with them to take as much advantage of them as possible. But that's for another post.

What would you do with 30 lbs of artichoke? I've got some ideas but would gladly take more ideas of what to do with them. What would you do with a lot of watermelon? Let's hear your ideas!

Got any great sales lately? What have you gotten?
What is the average price per pound you tend to pay for produce locally? 

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