Where to find cheap produce?

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Topic: Where to find cheap produce?

Food and Dining January 17, 2012 at 9:10 am

Where to find cheap produce?

Hi, all–the last few weeks have really stuck it to my wallet in terms of produce. A head of cauliflower was $4 yesterday, romaine is $3 a head, and I spent EIGHT BUCKS on two small bunches of beets. BEETS! Oranges are $1-1.29 each. And everything else seems equally outrageous. I’m talking non-organic produce from Safeway, not organics/exotics from Yes or Whole Foods.
So my question is, does anyone know of cheap(er) sources for decent produce? I haven’t found farmers’ markets to be any less expensive than regular grocery stores.

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Asian supermarkets are the way to go; the produce at these stores is typically 1/3rd of what it would cost elsewhere. My favorite is El Grand/Fresh World off Backlick Road in Springfield (they’re all out in the suburbs unfortunately).

Hmm, good to know but that’s really a shame. Seems any cost savings would be negated by the time/gas spent to get out to Springfield.


The Bestworld in MtP is inexpensive.  Not the greatest produce nor the greatest selection, but cheaper than what you are paying.  I shop at the coop in Takoma Park, and I think I pay less even there, and I get top quality produce.


DC produce is really expensive and invariably poor quality. I go to Bestworld on Mt Pleasant/Lamont. Last week a punnet of strawberries at Harris Teeter was $4.99 at Bestworld $1.59 (yes, one fifty nine). Unlike a punnet from Giant, this lasted 5 days. You can walk out of Bestworld with 2 bags of produce for $16. Some say to avoid the meat, but I’ve not had a problem with their beef mince. Others say their non-fresh produce items (tins, pasta, etc) is more expensive than in other stores…? Sadly, no one supermarket has it all, so I have to combine Target, Giant and Bestworld for best buys. p.s. Don’t be put off by the fact that Bestworld looks like its defending itself against weekly attacks from heavily armed gangs (lot of shutters!)

That’s two votes for Bestworld–thanks, will have to check them out! Shutters don’t skeer me. 🙂
Interesting about the co-op, mj. They must have made some changes in the 10 months since I last shopped there, and that’s a good thing. Since we joined in 05 or so, they have dependably stocked some of the most expensive and worst quality/selection produce I have ever found.

the florida avenue markets have cheap produce. 

Also good to shift your ideas a bit – don’t go looking necessarily for cauliflower or beets, but for whatever is on sale.  Organic avocados have been $1.00 each at Whole Foods this week.  A box of Clemintine oranges were $3.99 at Harris Teeter.  Target sells Romaine hearts in a big pack – share with a friend.   All grocery stores have online sale postings.  Also – don’t dismiss frozen vegetables.  In many ways they are more nutritious and can have a smaller “footprint” than local.  They are picked at peak, trimmed of all waste – which is composted – frozen quickly to preserve freshness.  A shipper can fit 4 times the trimmed, cubed frozen organic butternut squash in a truck than fresh.  Just cook them for about 1/4 of the time they say on the package until you get a feel for how you like them.    You can add a handful of frozen chopped spinach to just about anything – for soups or stews, just throw it in at the end and it cooks as the dish cools.

Check out Capitol Supermarket at 11th and N Streets NW.  Also, I second hennessey’s recommendation of the Florida Ave. markets in the area often referred to as the DC farmers market, despite the absence of farmers vending there.

Last weekend I went to both Wegman’s and Super H-Mart, and was very surprised to notice that the produce was cheaper at Wegman’s (and still very good quality). Now if we could only get one that’s closer than a half hour drive from DC. 

Thanks for the info on the Florida markets! Always “meant” to go just haven’t gotten around to it. More incentive now. I’ve been to Capitol once, but just ran in for one item. Will have to check it out.
Great tips for everyone, Victoria! We already do a lot of frozen, just feeling robbed by the price of fresh lately. Seems like the price of everything has increased so much! But produce is the staple of our diet so really feeling it there.
I realize this is probably some type of super secret confession–but I have never ever been to a Wegmans. A while back they were rumored to be looking at the Walter Reed site, I believe?

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