Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Price of Produce

My husband called me today and said that there was a gentleman selling Texas grapefruit on the side of the road. (Long-term readers may recall that we live in Idaho.) Our conversation (s)--there were at least two-- went something like this:

Me: Really? Does he have a license plate from Texas?
Him: I don't know. I can't see it from here.
Me: How much does it cost?
Him: I don't know--he's selling it by the box, though. What would be a good price?
Me: I don't know. I really just don't know. I probably wouldn't be willing to pay more than, oh, say, $15.00. But I really don't know. Remember the e-mail from Florida where it said that the price of tomatoes was $3.00/lb, and peppers were the same? So...I really don't know. Maybe $20 for the box? Maybe I should call someone who would know. (Long-term readers may surmise that in all likelihood that would be my best source, aka Mom. Those long-term readers would be correct.)

Yeah, so I basically wasn't that much help. And then, I couldn't reach my best source. My husband was on his own. And it turns out that he didn't really need my help anyway... Our third conversation went something like this:

Him: Well, I bought a box. 40 lbs. for $25.
Me: That's not too bad. Less than $1.00/lb, and oranges I know are like $0.99/lb right now, so that's really good. (One calculation later on a calculator indicated that it was between $0.62 and $0.63 /lb for the grapefruit) So did he have a Texas license plate?
Him: No, somewhere in Idaho.
Me: So did you ask him how he got ahold of Texas grapefruit?
Him: No.
Me: (Disappointed) Ahhhh...... I would have asked....
Him: He did open one up for me, and they were really juicy...

Did I mention that I love as in looooovvvve grapefruit? Somewhere up there by curry in terms of favorite flavors. So I am happy that we now have some in the house...and at a good price. It's best to grow your own produce if you can, but Idaho isn't really suited in terms of climate to grow that much grapefruit. Love the deals we can get on potatoes regularly here, though...

So here is my question to anyone who is willing to answer: How are the produce prices where you live? We know people in Florida, hence the e-mail information cited above. It must have been on my other blog that I mentioned not too long ago that peppers (as in green and other assorted varieties) were on sale for $1.50 each. My children are not big fans of green and other varieties of peppers, so I don't pay that much attention to the prices because they are not a frequent purchase, but to me that seemed really high.

Due to the wonder that is caller id, my mother called me back and we talked about the logistics of having Texas grapefruit in Idaho. Came to the conclusion that growers in Texas most likely sent a truck up and local people sell it at a bigger profit for them and a nicer price for us....got to love the free market...

As an aside, I had a sample taste at one of the grocery chainstores not too long ago of what was called a "Cara Cara " orange. They were also $0.99/lb. I got some because to me they tasted like a cross between orange and grapefruit, (did I mention that I love grapefruit? ) and they were delicious. I even went back for more because one of my children liked them particularly. Haven't seen them since, but they are one of the reasons that I could remember the price of oranges today, and I would highly recommend them if you can find them near you...

So I would appreciate any input on produce costs in different areas. And if you are still here after this somewhat rambling post, thanks for reading! :)


Anonymous said...

in Arizona you can get your produce (oranges, grapefruit, etc) for free. Tons of it are wasted every year! Wish I could trade you some grapefruit for your nummy potatoes! Here prices are very good: Arizona is extremely competitive as far as grocery prices go, which is good since our economy is in such a slump. I got lettuce for 19 cents a head, tomatoes 3#/1.00, apples for 69 cents and radishes 3 bunches/1.00. That was this morning. We garden most of the year because our winters are mild.

Laura in AZ

Asphyxiated Emancipation said...

I haven't purchased produce from a store in over six months, since I found a good produce stand nearby.
Apples, between $.59 and $.99/lb
Peppers $.79-$.99 each
Navel Oranges $69/lb
Grapefruit, IIRC $.59/lb
Blood Oranges $1.99/lb
Mandarins $.50/lb
Tomatoes $.99-$1.99lb, depending on variety and season
Red cabbage $.79/head
Green cabbage $.49/head
Various lettuces $.59- $1.79/head

2 Tramps said...

I was at our favorite outlet store tonight. A 3 pound bag of red onions that was $1.50 last month is now $2.99. I hope everything isn't going up that much!

pelenaka said...

Banannas are .39 lbs. @ Aldis. No clue as to citrus as come Winter it's not on the menu (unless it's home canned) due to cost.
I have never canned grapefruit (not my fav) but have canned up oranges. Gotta love those fell off the back of the truck deals.
With the recent cold snap in FloridaI'm really glad that I dehydrated over a bushel of green bell peppers.

Marie said...

Laura--Wow, it sounds like prices are ok in your area. An example of the potato prices around here is last week at one store you could get them at $0.10 a pound for the first twenty pounds. It is too bad that so much of the produce there goes to waste--thanks so much for your comment!

Asphyxiated Emancipation--It's always great if you can buy locally--we have a farmer's market not far from here that's open certain months, but not always. I just saw some peppers at the local national chainstore that were $1.25 each, so you are getting better prices on those and the oranges at least, than around here. Thanks so much for the info!

2 Tramps--The way some things are going up quickly in price is downright scary. I hope, with you, that not everything is going up like that. I have noticed that some mac and cheese are $1.00 now, but you can get some for $.50 if you like the brand--that's a big difference in price. Thanks very much for your comment!

Pelenaka--I'm impressed that you have canned oranges--I saw some canned grapefruit today that was close to $3.50 I think, and it was a little jar. Also good idea for dehydrating green peppers--I have some corn, but hadn't thought about peppers--I bet they're good for soups. Thanks very much for your comment!