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Produce prices – How much is too much to pay?


With summer just round the corner it’s time to start visiting Farmer’s Markets for fresh local produce. I can’t wait!

If you’re like me and cringe when you see the “out of season” produce prices at the grocery store you, too, can’t wait for “decent” produce prices. Right?

What is your “limit” for buying grapes, oranges, bananas? For me, I created this artificial upper limit on grapes. I decided that paying more than $2.00 a pound for grapes was crazy. I’m not talking organic, I’m talking just plain red or green grapes. I wouldn’t look at watermelon if it was over 40 cents a pound.

How much is an average candy bar?

“Whoa, Stef, candy bar? What brought a candy bar up?”, you ask.

Bear with me…

So, how much is an average candy bar? About a $1.00, right? OK, at the movie theatre it may cost more than the movie ticket. 😉

Well, last week I read a post that really put things in perspective (sorry, I can’t remember where – if it was yours, please let me know). As soon as I read it, my view on produce prices changed a bit.

How many people won’t think twice about spending $1.00 for a candy bar or half-full small bag of chips, but those same people won’t spend $1.00 for an piece of fruit and then there’s me who balked at over $2.00 a pound for grapes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t buy a lot of candy bars… actually I rarely buy a candy bar, but I do cringe at produce prices.

I’m not saying that the markets and stores should raise their prices because let’s be realistic… prices do matter, but let’s put things into perspective.

Hubby had bought pre-cutup watermelon for The Offspring last week. Ohhhhhh… it tasted so good. It was $6.00 for about 3.25 pounds. Last night I bought a seedless watermelon for 59 cents a pound… I spend almost $10.00 for a watermelon! I was in shock… Then I went home and cut it up and had a TON of it. FAR more than 3.25 pounds. You know what… it was YUMMY! I also bought grapes… they, too, are yummy.

You know what? This new perspective is going to make going to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday expensive, but you know what? The greens and rhubarb I plan on picking up is going to be WAY WAY WAY more fresher than anything I pickup at the grocery store… and it’s far better than buying a candy bar.

Has your perspective changed? What are your thoughts on this?
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7 comments to Produce prices – How much is too much to pay?

  • Kate

    I love the fresh produce from the farmers markets, and I can’t wait until our garden starts producing this year! I used to think the same thing about the produce prices, then I made the same comparison, only with soda, and since then I am willing to pay more for quality produce than before, and it is worth it! 🙂

    ~K8

    • Stef

      When I worked at Intel we had fresh food (sandwiches, fruit, milk, etc). I loved it If the cafeteria was closed I could get more than candy bar and chips. The vending machine at my company doesn’t even have pretzels. 🙁

      I eat a lot of veggies during the day. I was telling a reader (Hi, Dawn!) that just the other day. I can’t wait for the Farmer’s Market! We didn’t have the CSA this year at work :(, but they said I could still get in and I’m waiting to hear back from the on the cost. I need to plan on going twice a week to the Farmer’s Markets this summer… it’ll be soooo worth it!

    • Stef

      I soooo wish my garden was in the ground! 🙁

      • Stef

        Then again… this stupid Oregon weather still thinks it is WINTER! We got the 80s teaser last weekend, but now we’re back into the upper 50s-lower 60s! 🙁

  • mjbw

    If shelf prices don’t increase, the product size shrinks. As empty nesters, we are now buying for two most of the time and that’s okay. Sizes are even reported in different units of measure to add to the price confusion. There are always new ways to inflate the coffer. If a “half-gallon” of ice cream gets much smaller they will need to call it a quart, or maybe 1000 ml.

    • Stef

      No kidding on the ice cream “half-gallons”. What a joke! I think I want to make my own frozen yogurt or sorbets this year. I’ll get the fruit from the Farmer’s Market and make it! Way better for you… none of that awful additives!

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