Thursday, April 12, 2018

My Astonishingly Cheap Recent Grocery Shop

I love getting cheap groceries; I get this extreme excitement when I feel like I'm beating the system, getting groceries for so much cheaper than the standard price. I usually manage to get great prices, but sometimes the price I pay for what I get astonishes even me. This last grocery shopping trip actually was about 2 weeks ago, but I was so busy and didn't have a change to write up about it since then, but it was so amazing that I couldn't skip it and just had to share with you.
I feel like what happened on my shopping trip highlights not just that knowing certain skills about how to shop frugally, and knowing where to shop, are only part of the picture, but another useful part is becoming a regular at these cheap places, building up a relationship with the shopkeepers, which in turn allows you to get extra special deals for their steady clients.

I started off my shop by stopping at a store that sells disposable aluminum pans in bulk- you can buy 20 pans for $2.85, so I bought 40 for $5.71. While I know that disposables aren't great for the environment and aluminum isn't amazing for your health, I also value my sanity and acknowledge that I have limited time and resources and do use disposable pans when I bake. (To keep it healthier, I line my pans with baking paper.) This is the best price I can find anywhere for these, so it was worth stocking up while I was there.

After that is when the fun started- I hit up all my favorite reduced rack stalls at the open air market- either ones dedicated exclusively to the reduced rack items, or ones that have a reduced rack section.

I went to Gideon, my favorite shop keeper, and he was selling leek, and gave me a huge bag of leek for $2.85. And then he told me to gather up everything in one part of his stall, and offered it to me for a measly $1.42!!!! There were bags and bags of stuff- kohlrabi, onion, tomatoes, peppers, turnips, an orange and an apple and a few carrots, all for that amount! When I got home I weighed it. 1 pound of turnips, 1.32 pounds potatoes, 11.22 pounds of green peppers, 16.7 lbs tomatoes, as well as kohlrabi, onion, orange, apple, and carrot, that I didn't weigh. That was 30+ lbs of produce for only $1.42- approximately 4 cents a pound! As I said, it really is worth it to have a relationship with a seller!!! I told him I didn't know what to do with all those peppers and tomatoes, and he told me to make salsa and can it. I started, still have more left, and maybe will do that with the rest, before they get even softer.

After that, I stopped at a shop selling zucchini and fennel for 26 cents a pound, I bought a total of 20.1 lbs for a $5.23.
Another stall had apples for 39 cents a pound, I got 4.18 lbs for $1.62. I would have bought more, but that was all they had!

I stopped at another favorite store and bought 21.26 lbs of potatoes at 19 cents a pound! I would have bought more but that was all they had. I paid a total of $4.14 for those potatoes. At the same stall they were selling apples and bananas for 49 cents a pound. I bought a combined 14.3 lbs of them for a total of $7.05, making that shop be $11.17 total.

But unfortunately I didn't have everything I needed- I still needed more fruit and potatoes, and I wasn't finding them cheaply at another stalls (or at least not as cheap as I wanted to pay), so I went to my least favorite shopkeeper of all, the one that is grumpy and won't tell you how much things are per pound, where you just have to hope that you're getting a good deal (and usually you are, but no guarantees). So at this shop, I got 16.9 lbs of potatoes and 6.8 lbs of papaya (!!!)- something I usually wouldn't buy but he didn't have any apples and he said the papayas were cheap... for a total of $8.57, which averages out to 36 cents a pound, and honestly, considering that papayas are a high end fruit here and one a lone usually costs a fortune, I'd say that was a good deal. Before I went, this shop keeper convinced me to buy bananas- he had green ones, so they would last a while and could be eaten fresh and didn't need to be frozen like the overripe ones I usually buy cheaply. I ended up with 7.4 lbs of green bananas, paid $2.85 for that, making it work out to be 39 cents a pound, so that was decent.

Somehow, somehow, I managed to get that all home. And then piled it all up on the table for you to see! A tremendous amount of food- at least 125 lbs, probably more, for $33.71, averaging out at 27 cents a pound!!!!!!!!!!

As I said earlier, it's been about 2 weeks and I still haven't managed to finish up all that produce, so for that price, it was definitely a real steal. That's not to say that I haven't needed any more produce- I have bought some other produce since then (especially since we went through those apples super quickly) but if you know how and where to shop, you also can get amazing steals like this.

Have you gotten any great deals grocery shopping lately? What were they? Do you have any relationships with shopkeepers, and how does it help you be more frugal?

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