My Latest Super Frugal Visits to the Open Air Market

Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while will probably remember many posts of mine in which I talk about my shopping at the open air market, and the amazing deals I've gotten there. Depending on the time of day you go, you can get such stupendous prices unlike anywhere else. However, in the last nearly year since I've been working full time to be self supporting as a single mom, I haven't really had so much time to go to the open air market, and quite frankly, I missed it, and the great prices there. 
However, two weeks ago I managed to make it to the open air market, and I was in heaven. 

I went there initially because I wanted to start making smoothies at home again, and I knew I needed bananas as the base for those smoothies. Bananas can be found super cheaply at the open air market especially if you're willing to go for the past prime stuff, which I especially prefer for smoothies because they're overripe and sweeter. But while I was there, I wanted to see what else I could find, and I wasn't disappointed.

First I found brown bananas for 32 cents a pound, and I bought all they all, which worked out to be 3.25 lbs and cost $1.05.

Then I found zucchini that was being sold for 13 cents a pound, and I would have bought all they had, but I already had zucchinis in my fridge and there was a limit to how much I'd be able to use up before it went bad, so I bought only 17.5 lbs for a total of $1.43.

Lee is telling me how he vastly prefers pitas for his school sandwiches, and the open air market at the end of the day sells these cheaper than anywhere else, so I paid $2.85 for 20 pitas, or 14 cents a pita.

Another stall was selling peaches and nectarines for 49 cents a pound, and since I hadn't managed to find any yet this season cheaply, and so hadn't purchased them, I jumped at the opportunity. I ended up with 7.2 lbs of those for a total of $3.54.

Since the first store that I saw had very overripe bananas only had a little bit and I bought all they had, it wasn't enough, so I found another store selling past prime bananas for 52 cents a pound, which wasn't as cheap as I would have liked for bananas, but decent enough. I bought 9.85 lbs of bananas there for a total of $5.11....
But it wasn't long after that that I immediate regretted my purchase, but unfortunately in the open air market there are no returns. Because there was a stall selling absolutely pristine bananas for 39 cents a pound... Since I already bought bananas in two places, and there was a limit to how many bananas I could buy, I only bought 8.8 lbs of bananas there for $3.43.

Total amount of bananas I bought at the open air market? 21.9 lbs. Quite a lot, but they go fast around here.

At the market, I also got a bunch of chicken scraps from a butcher, completely for free, and with that I made rendered chicken fat and cracklings, and divided up the rest into individual portions for our dog, Snickers, to eat.

Total at the open air market? $17.41.

While I was at the open air market, I paid a visit to the scratch and dent store that is right nearby, and scored some stuff there as well.

They had packages of olives being sold for 95 cents each, so I bought 3.
Rice pasta sold for 71 cents a package, so I bought 4.
Canned pineapple with no added sugar, for 95 cents each, I bought 6. (Such a great price, would have bought more, but as it is I didn't know how I'd carry it all home and those stuff are heavy.)
This mojito type drink (it doesn't taste like mojitos, is grape based, and is interesting, but 18% alcohol) being sold for $2.85 a bottle if you bought 3, so I bought 3.
Gluten free chocolate chip cookies were being sold for $1.14 a package, so I bought three.
There was coconut water with flavorings, totally a splurge, but they were either $1.14 or 95 cents a bottle, so I bought three.

Total at this shop? 26 dollars.

Not bad, if I may say so myself!

After my wonderful trip to the farmer's market, and since I saw how I was able to find time to do it after a certain cleaning job I have, I decided to try to go there every week at that time.

So I went again this past week.

That time I didn't have a wagon, and I only needed cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.

Lucky me, I found cucumbers at 13 cents a pound! I got 5.5 lbs for 71 cents.

Across the aisle from the cucumber place I heard them shouting out that bags of rolls were 29 cents each. I couldn't believe it. I checked to see if they were actually fresh and good, and most were, so I bought 4 packages of gluten bread, which went straight to the freezer, to be used for Lee's school sandwiches once his pitas are finished.

I walked through the market some more and saw peppers, green, red, and hot peppers, being sold for 13 cents a pound. These were wrinkly, but that was ok with me, because I decided I'd be making salsa with them and then canning it. I bought 5 lbs for 65 cents.

I ended up back at the same stall that sold the cucumbers at 13 cents a pound, and saw perfect tomatoes were now down to 26 cents a pound, so I bought 11 lbs for $1.43.

I didn't see onions very cheaply anywhere, but needed them anyhow, so when I saw them for 32 cents a pound, I bought 3.5 lbs for $1.13.

This wasn't the hugest shop, but probably was the shop in which I got the most bang for my buck in a long time, if not ever. $5.08 for all that.

Yes, I'm quite busy lately, but these shops reminded me that there's a reason I love shopping at the open air market, and it's definitely worth the bargains!

Have you gotten any good deals for groceries lately? What were they and where did you find them?

Penniless Parenting

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


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