As I was reviewing prices and items for this week’s recap of fruit price comparisons, I thought it was important to note that prices and products change on a regular basis. Items that we purchased a few months ago, in some instances, simply aren’t available locally now. And prices on organic produce seems to have increased by 50 cents-$2/item. Part of this might be due to items being out of season. Regardless, it reminds me to regularly do price checking as things change!
I’ll share price ranges, as well as staple organic items and items I will purchase conventional.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Our three favorite varieties are: green apples (Granny Smith), Pink Lady, Honeycrisp. Apples are one fruit I choose to only buy organic. Because apples don’t spoil easily, the best price is to buy the bags of organic apples. These range from $2.99-$4.99/lb. As I tracked prices at locations, they varied so much …. between varieties and between weeks/months … that I don’t feel it’s accurate to give you prices at each store. I just bought a bulk bag (3 lbs) at Hy-Vee last week for $4.99. (Then factor in 10% off if you shop Hy-Vee Health Market on Wednesdays).
Grapes are another organic “must-have” due to pesticides and sprays. Months ago Hy-Vee offered organic grapes for $3.99/lb, Trader Joe’s for $2.99/lb and Whole Foods for $4.99/lb. The conventional grapes now at TJ’s are $3.99/lb. and I haven’t seen organic grapes at any store for quite sometime.
Conventional strawberries contain very high levels of pesticides, so this is another fruit I only buy organic. At Hy-Vee, these tend to run $5,99/lb. Whole Foods range $3.99-$4.99/lb. Trader Joe’s run $3.49. That said, I haven’t seen organic strawberries in WEEKS and have seen the conventional price hovering around the typical organic price. They are out of season so unfortunately we might be waiting awhile in our house!
At both Hy-Vee and Whole Foods, bananas were 59 cents/lb. (Of course, this seems to vary slightly each week.) Trader Joe’s is always 19 cents/banana. I normally buy conventional bananas. There isn’t a great difference in cost between the stores.
Because we use lemons in our daily juice, I’ve found Trader Joe’s has the best deal on lemons, but in the last few months prices have increased. For $1.49-1.99, I can buy a bag of organic lemons with plenty to get us through the week, usually 6 in a bag. The conventional lemons are bigger and (at TJ’s) are usually $1.49 for a bag of 4. Hy-vee usually sells lemons 2/$1. Lemons aren’t on my must-have-organic list, so if the conventional variety is only available or is a much better deal, I’ll go conventional here.
Between BLT’s, Wise Weekenders, and Evie’s devouring of avocados, this is a regular purchase in our house. Trader Joe’s has the best deal here with a 4-count organic bag for $2.99. Avocados aren’t one that I MUST have organic, so I’m good with the conventional variety if that’s what is available, if it’s a much better price, or the ripeness is what I need at the time.
These seems to be our standard 6. We typically buy frozen organic berries for smoothies in the winter, but have cut back on that due to drinking juice more often. Do you have other staple fresh fruits?