We're reader-supported and only partner with brands we trust. When you buy through links on our site we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date and time indicated and are subject to change.
Watermelon is the undisputed official fruit of summertime. And since the average American eats 14 pounds of it every year, chances are, you’re in the market for one yourself.
It might be hard to tell if you’re getting a good price on watermelon, though, especially with the bonkers inflation pricing at the grocery store the past couple of years. I did the research for you, rounding up the best stores and watermelon price points.
The most popular kind of watermelon bought these days are the seedless, roughly six-pounders you’ll find just about everywhere. Most grocers charge you per watermelon rather than by the pound.
Keep in mind with everything you read today that prices and sizes vary by store and region. That said, we’re using data we found from around the Pittsburgh, PA metro area.
1. Your target price for watermelon should be $1.20 per pound or under.
Seedless watermelons can range in size, but the median is somewhere around 6 – 7 pounds. Some stores price by the watermelon, others price by the pound.
The best deals around are at two regional grocery store chains. WinCo has seedless watermelons for just $0.58/lb. They’re way below second place (H-E-B stores have them at $0.83/lb). If you’re not fortunate enough to have a WinCo or H-E-B in your area, head to Trader Joe’s to get a seedless 6-pounder for $1/lb.
Otherwise, keep an eye out for sales. At the beginning of summer 2023, Walmart marked down their seedless watermelons from $8.98 to $4.97 for several weeks. They sell by the melon rather than the pound, but it’s about $0.82/lb. Harris Teeter knocked a whole $2 off their seedless watermelons around the same time, pricing them at $6.99 – also for a few weeks. But even at $6.99, the cost per pound is high at $1.16/lb.
RELATED: Best Watermelon Recipes of All Time
2. Find the lowest prices at the peak of the growing season (July/August) and during low-demand times (fall/winter).
The reason we think of watermelon as a summer treat is because that’s when it’s in season. While it’s true that in some warmer climate markets, you can find ripe watermelon from May through September (or even year-round). But supply tends to outpace demand in July and August.
With increased supplies come sales and potentially lower watermelon prices. Keep a particular eye out for sales around the 4th of July, when we see a national average price decrease of 14%. (For example, last year Albertsons, who has one of the higher prices on seedless watermelons, brought prices down from $8.26 to $5, or 5.2 cents/ounce.)
We’ve also seen sales on watermelons hit as late as October, when Target sold mini watermelons (also known as “personal watermelons”) for 40% off. So even when you’re looking for the cheapest pumpkin prices, there could still be cheap watermelon out there. Live in a climate where you actually can buy watermelon year-round? The cheapest time to buy will be when there’s less demand. You can get watermelon for 25% less in January.
3. While not a member of the ‘clean 15’, conventional watermelons (versus organic) are generally regarded as safe.
Maybe it’s not entirely surprising that when it comes to produce, it’s nearly impossible to save money at Whole Foods. But it’s true nonetheless. The organic watermelons you’ll find at Whole Foods are an entire dollar more expensive than the generically-grown ones. And they’re kind of a sham.
A big reason people buy organic products is to avoid any pesticides. But watermelon rinds are so thick that any pesticides they’re exposed to don’t get into the meat of the fruit — making them 100% safe for even the most organic eaters to consume. Even if they’re not certified organic. And if you’re super concerned you can wash the outside of the rind before cutting the watermelon.
Overall, Whole Foods ties Harris Teeter for the most expensive seedless watermelons when you buy whole at $8.99/melon or $1.50/lb.
4. Seeded watermelons are up to $1.12 per pound cheaper than seedless watermelons — but they’re hard to find.
It might be surprising to hear that seeded watermelons are the best deal because they tend to come with the highest price tags per melon. They’re also harder to find in recent years because everyone wants the smaller, seedless versions, so that’s what stores keep in stock.
But seeded watermelons are the biggest watermelons you can buy, typically weighing somewhere between 20 – 25 pounds. So when you calculate the watermelon price per ounce, seeded watermelons are the cheapest option. I did the math, and Walmart does have a slightly lower price per ounce than the competition (two-tenths of a penny) — although it may not be worth the savings. Walmart’s watermelons tend to get an average online rating of 2/5 stars.
RELATED: Cheapest Grocery Store in 2023
5. Try to spend no more than $0.96 per pound on personal watermelons — and the best prices are at WinCo.
Personal watermelons are sometimes called ‘mini’ watermelons or ‘baby’ watermelons. They’re almost always seedless, and typically range in weight between 3 – 5 pounds. Anything over 5 pounds is just a regular old seedless watermelon. We’ll use the median weight of 4 pounds in our calculations.
Once again, Winco comes out on top — but just barely! They only beat out Harris Teeter by a penny, resulting in a nearly identical per-ounce price. Surprisingly, Whole Foods isn’t the most expensive. Albertsons takes that title.
But that doesn’t mean Whole Foods’ price is “good.” You should try to spend no more than $0.06/oz when it comes to personal watermelons. You might set the bar even lower if you live in a market with a more affordable store, like WinCo or Harris Teeter.
6. Like those pre-cut watermelon chunks? Prepare to pay up to 6 times more for convenience.
If you want to avoid the mess and time involved in cutting up a whole watermelon, there are always pre-cut chunks available. If you go this route, just know that you’ll be paying a huge markup per ounce.
The larger pack you buy, the lower the price per ounce is going to be. Harris Teeter sells mega sizes of pre-cut watermelon, so it’s not entirely surprising that they come in with the lowest price per pound ($2.40).
But even at the “cheapest” price, watermelon chunks are still more than 3 times more expensive than the cheapest seedless watermelon, and almost double the priciest seedless watermelon.
Generally speaking, if you MUST get pre-cut chunks, don’t pay more than $4 per pound.