My Latest Super Frugal Grocery Shopping Trip

As I mentioned in my recent post on saving money without time or energy, because I've been very busy, I haven't had a chance to make it to the market to buy super frugal produce. However, produce prices have been a little crazy even at my cheaper local shops, so when I went to the city anyhow today for a meeting, I decided to maximize my time and hit up the farmer's market while there and bring home my frugal produce, even if it means making me very tired for the next day or two (less now than usually happens, since none of this produce needed immediate processing, it all went in my fridge).
Before I went to the market, I made a little detour to a shop that was only slightly out of my way, but sells the cheapest honey I know, and it's raw honey- $13.71 for 3.3 lbs of honey, or $4.15 a pound, when regular non raw honey locally costs $5.19 (and raw closer to $9 a pound). While I was there, since I don't get to that store often, I bought 4 jars of honey, for a total of $54.84 for my 13.2 lbs of honey, which should last us quite a while. This was especially important to me to get because the winter is starting and with colds and everything, I like to give my family tea with raw honey, as well as making some other natural medicines to deal with coughs (honey and lemon with peppermint extract) and elderberry infused honey, etc...

After that, I went to the market. (OK, honesty. After that I went clothing shopping, and bought myself 2 gorgeous sweaters and a gorgeous skirt and a gorgeous winter coat from a discount clothing store right opposite the market and I'm in love and they weren't too expensive at all... And then I went to the market.)

I saw that my favorite vendor, Gideon, wasn't there, so had to hit up other shops for my discounted produce.

At one stall I was shocked to see gorgeous grapes being sold for 39 cents a pound! I bought those grapes, and all the bananas they had and all the fennel--all for the same 39 cents a pound, for a total of $2.74 for 7 lbs of produce.

At another stall I bought perfect looking cucumbers for 32 cents a pound- $1.86 for 5.8 lbs.

Another stall was selling apples and sweet potatoes for 39 cents a pound. I bought 7.77 lbs for $3.02.

At another stall, I paid $4.57 for beets being sold at 39 cents a pound, bananas at 52 cents a pound, and onions at 23 cents a pound.

After that, because I still didn't have everything I needed, I paid a visit to the vendor of grade B produce that I really hate to shop at, since he doesn't have any prices listed, gets annoyed if you ask prices, and then ends up seeming to throw random prices at you for the lot, depending on how much he thinks you can pay. When I got to his stall I told him straight out that I have $8.50 to spend at his shop, no more (the way that seems to work best to stop him from price gouging you), and asked him to tell me when I reach that amount.
I picked out a bunch of eggplants that were gorgeous and in perfect condition, if oddly shaped, because I'm just itching to make more of that amazing eggplant salad (I finished my last batch off this morning with a bit of warm gluten free bread- heavenly!!!!!). I picked out some sweet potatoes, zucchini, and fennel that all looked pretty decent. Also 2 leeks.
The vendor then asked me if I wanted some apples, potatoes, bananas, and persimmons, which I accepted... after which he wanted to charge me $14.25... I told him straight out that I said from the start that I was planning on only spending $8.50 there, so he should take out of my groceries enough so that I can just pay $8.50.... My stubbornness paid off and I got the lot for $8.50, without him taking any out.
I don't know how many pounds it was, but you can probably see from the picture- it was quite a lot. 2 sacks of potatoes... in each sack there were two disgusting rotten potatoes, but the rest were totally fine (if a little covered with eyes), a big bunch of greenish/yellow bananas- not past prime at all, a shopping bag full of apples that seem to be in perfect condition, a container of persimmons, and a small bag each of fennel, sweet potatoes, eggplant, and zucchini.

My entire shop, I don't know how many pounds it was, but you can see from the picture approximately the amount... cost me $20.69 for all that produce, plus another $54.84 for that honey. Quite a frugal shop indeed!

And I don't even feel exhausted now after all that, somehow. Miracle of miracles, and my fridge is full and I'm happy with what I have available!

(Soon as I got home and finished taking this picture, I made a big pot of soup with much of the produce- some onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots (that I had already), fennel, and zucchini, and served it for supper with melted cheese. Delicious!)

Have you done any frugal or very frugal shopping lately? At what type of store? Any great deals you're especially proud of?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. We have a shop here called Sprouts that has amazing prices but it's so far out of my way that I don't bother. I deal with local sales at Kroger & Aldi. Wish I could find farmers market deals like you do but the farmers markets price gouge now. Sigh. Glad you had a successful shopping day.

  2. You did very well! Yes, last week I stopped at a thrift store and bought two pair of shoes. One is a very nice pair of hiking boots, that I needed badly, and the others are a Joseph Seibel European Comfort pair, just in my size, not new, of course, but lovely and so comfortable. Each pair was $3.88. I suspect that new, those would all have cost at least $150. :)

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