I often read that going to the market can save you money when you buy fruit and vegetables so I decided to do a bit of an experiment yesterday with the aim of purchasing a pound of apples as cheaply as possible.
The cheapest option would be if you had managed to store some apples from last Autumn from your own trees or from a neighbour's surplus. Then your apples would be free, apart from the cost of newspapers to wrap them in and a big cardboard box to put them in.
After that you might have stored apples from purchasing a job lot from an orchard last year. We have done this in the past, but have never had prices under a pound a pound, as we always purchased from an organic orchard and the prices were understandably a little higher.
Next I checked out the local market. This is in a posh Home Counties town so is a bit more like a Farmer's Market and that means prices can be high. The cheapest I found there was 98p a pound.
The next stage was to check out prices at local supermarkets using the mysupermarket website. This is very comprehensive now as it includes Lidl and Aldi as well as all the major stores and Ocado and Amazon. There was a bit of difficulty in translating number of fruits to price per pound but in the end Lidl won out with a cost per pound of under 70p. This could be beaten if you manage to get stock which is going out of date and has had the price lowered. For instance, last week I got a pound and a half of apples for 59p at the local Tescos.
Final stop was at the local greengrocers where a pound of Cox's Pippins was 85p.
So for the very cheapest apples I would have to drive to Lidl, which is 6 miles away. Including the cost of petrol in my calculations made it cheaper to purchase the apples locally and helped me realise that my monthly shop at Aldi or Lidl should also involve picking up some fruit and vegetables which will keep !