Do you love cooking with fresh produce but feel limited because of their high prices? Do you ever wonder if there are better deals to be had than the weekly specials at your typical grocery stores?

If you have wondered these things, then ethnic food markets may be your answer!

For a long time, I've been unimpressed with sale prices on fresh fruits and veggies in my area. Sometimes prices are so bad that buying ingredients for salads alone will blow my grocery budget for the entire week. There have been many instances where I've looked to the frozen food aisle for veggie sides! Finally fed up with these high prices, I decided to try a local Korean-based grocery store that also carries Hispanic and Indian foods. I had heard that their produce prices were fairly low, but I had to see it for myself. Lo and behold, even before I stepped foot in the store, I spotted some great deals through the big, double glass doors! Check out some of these prices:

  • American cucumbers for $0.10 each
  • Hass avocados for $0.50 each
  • Garlic bag (6 heads of garlic) for $0.79 each
  • Broccoli crowns for $0.69/lb.
  • Indian eggplants (these are cute, little purple ones about the size of a tennis ball) for $0.99/lb.
  • Green Bell peppers for $0.89/lb.

If you need more convincing, read on:

  • You might be able to find large packages of spices and dried herbs for a fraction of the price you would pay for a regular size bottle at your typical grocery store. With the weather getting cooler and Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to find some cinnamon sticks for hot apple cider. At this store, I was able to find a 7 oz bag of cinnamon sticks for $2.79! There have got to be about 40 sticks of cinnamon in the bag, so I thought it was a great deal.
  • If you have special diet needs, ethnic food markets might be the place to shop. For those of you who need a gluten-free diet, I found 3 lb. bags of fine rice flour for $4.99. If you’ve ever cooked gluten-free cakes and cookies, I'm sure you know how expensive this special flour can be, so $4.99 is a KRAZY deal! If you are a vegan or vegetarian, these types of markets have several yummy soy-based foods.
  • If you are open-minded and like to try new things, ethic food markets are the place for you. These places are teeming with different fruits, veggies, snack foods, and household products. I guarantee you will enjoy exploring the aisles and discovering new things!

Of course, keep in mind these prices are specific to this store.  In the D.C. Metropolitan area, where the cost of living is ridiculous, these prices are considered excellent.  So, next time you get the chance, try to find a local ethnic food market and see how much you can save.  You might be pleasantly surprised!!

This has been a guest post by Noe from Burke, VA
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