I shop for my produce primarily at the flea market on the weekends. They have a good variety, local produce, some organics and a lower price than the grocery stores. They also usually have samples, give deals and allow for bulk purchases.
If you want to eat a lot of raw produce, a situation like this or something similar is very important. Going to the grocery store is daunting. The fruit there is rarely ripe and the goal is to get you to buy packaged foods anyway. The prices and quality reflect this goal. My eating goals do not coincide with grocery store shopping.
When I go to the regular supermarket for the bulk of my grocery purchases I always leave disappointed with too much stuff that I don’t need. If I do my shopping on the weekends, I usually supplement my week by getting a case of bananas from the organic co-op or Trader Joe’s. I might also get a box of dates, ordered online or from WinCo, and I might check out the 99 cents store or another discount grocery store or ethnic grocery store for organic deals.
Foraging or picking up fruit from home owners is another possibility. I would go to a regular farmer’s market or fruit stand if there was one close by but the flea market is in walking distance for me.
This week, I’m going to let you in on my grocery list and how I picked what I got, as well as the costs.
- Pears are in season and a good source of calories so I got a bunch of them @ $1/lb.
- I got grapes at $1.50/lb, not a great price but they’re local and a good source of carbs and calories.
- The papayas were ripe, a bursting at the seams so I got one at 60 cents a pound.
- I got the remainder of the organic plums, which I’d gotten a bunch of last week at $1/lb.
- I got a bunch of white nectarines, since they were close to ripe, we love them here and I’ve gotten them consistently throughout the summer.
- I got 8 limes for a dollar. I use these for seasoning and for deodorant.
- I got green plums at $1/lb.
- I got a bunch of apples at 75 cents a pound. My kids love apples, they’re in season, they were un-waxed and they go good in so many recipes.
- I got about 8 oranges at 50 cents a pound. They had them on display and they looked good, smelled good and were soft. Mostly for salad dressing.
- I got okra, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, a red bell pepper and jicama. For cooking, salad and chopped veggies for dipping.
- I got 3 very ripe avocados. I’ll make them into a guacamole, pronto.
- I got 22 squash. For spiralized noodles, hummus and whatever else I can think of doing with them.
I would normally get melons but they only had personal sized watermelons and none of them seemed ripe, and they’re cantaloupes were $2 each, whereas they are 2 for $3 at the grocery store, and 99 cents at the 99 cents store.
Normally there are also mangoes and bananas, but I came pretty late so it was a no go this time. I spent less than $45 at the flea market.
I will need to get some bananas, melons, and probably dates this week, and water. I’m also open to getting more grapes or berries. I already have organic greens, dates and some leftover fruit from last week, including a huge watermelon, bananas and raisens. I also have rice, polenta, oatmeal, sunflower seeds and almonds. I have a lot of sweet fruit, I have a little bit of raw fat(avocados, almonds, sunflower seeds) and I have enough greens for a salad everyday.
If we add up what I spend weekly for produce, it ends up being about or less than $150. My goal is actually to spend about $50 more on food until the flea market opens again on Saturday, that would equal to less than $100. I can easily feed my family a high carb vegan diet this way, cooked and/or raw. The important thing is to have a variety of locally ripe fruits and some high calorie fruits to base meals on. Now that I know what I have I can plan my meals for the week.