I am a produce-lover to the core. I’ll never turned down a garden tomato or a raw lemon, no matter how many weird looks I get. In fact, the hardest part about graduating college for me was walking away from a regular 15-meal per week meal plan with an ever-abundant salad bar and fruit basket. (I was a Resident Assistant and an Assistant Resident Director during my last two years, so I was paid in meals.)
Now officially an “adult,” I’ve had to create my own salad bar without the Res Life perks. And let me tell you, these Nashville prices aren’t kind to the little red wallet. I’ve been bypassing the grapes, the tomatoes, and almost everything else that isn’t a carrot, banana, or head of cabbage for the sake of not having to cringe at the cash register when the price rings to $$$. I just can’t justify spending money on extra veggies when, back in Nebraska, I’d be paying my mom with hugs (garden love!) or $2.o0 less than the Tennessee price for some basic vegetables.
Last weekend, on a hunt to refill the kitchen spices, I stumbled into an International Food Market called “Patel Brothers” and was immediately greeted with the smell of lavender incense and the price of avocados on a cardboard sign: $.79/avocado. The price of avocados at my usual Kroger haunt has been –at best — 4 avocados/$5. (Roughly equates to $1.25/avocado. Math, I know. Blech.) I was in produce heaven. Cheap. Produce. Grains. Spices. Heaven.
Please take note of the following price comparison:
(*I would also like to dole out special high fives for the 120 incense sticks I bought for $3.25 versus the 10 sticks I purchased two months ago at [BIG BRAND STORE] for $7.99. QUAAA?)
If you love the vegetables and fruits and are shopping on a budget, I highly suggest stepping out of your brand-loyalty comfort zone and try a new grocery store that emphasizes quality over marketing. (Is it bad that the two subsequent International grocery stores I drove to felt like more of a ‘world’ experience than Whole Foods? It’s all marketing, people. I’m just now realizing it myself.) One thing you’ll learn about me is this — I never grocery shop without my partner. So Tim was right there with me– agog at the vegetables, variety, and price (6 lemons for $1!). I think his words were, “This could literally change the way we eat.” More veggies for less money? Well, duh. Couldn’t agree more.