So maybe this doesn't beat dumpster diving--I still plan on trying that--but I've discovered that my local grocery Meijer (Midwest chain, for those unfamiliar) rolls out huge racks of produce between 12:00-12:15 lunchtime. After a little experimenting, I realized that some week days are only tons of broccoli/unpopular vegetables, but SATURDAY is the jackpot! A few weeks ago I got about 20 bunches of ripe (and some unripe!) for, let's see, 18 cents a pound? Today was amazing: just as I arrived, they rolled out a rack with level upon level of variety: minneola and caracara oranges, grapefruits/lemons/clementines, red bananas, plantains, organic pears, starfruit, nectarines, apples, red/yellow bell peppers. I filled my cart (next time I'll do one of the bigger carts) and even left some citrus fruits for the poor people who looked like they might have been interested in grabbing some fruit for a snack but were scared away by my cart. Next time I might be less relenting (the cashier told me that I should take all I want because they often end up throwing so much out).
Anyway, I encourage you to experiment with your local grocery. Try asking one of the produce members what they know about mark down times.
This is going to save me money now, during Michigan winter, to spend on local, organic produce from farmers markets/CSA during the summer!
Let me know if you've figured out your own similar niche!
Yes, I am currently looking into wholesalers in a nearby city so that I know how to work with them when I move in a few years. Thanks, Sean!
Wow, the fruits to your grocery are so cheap, great!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But sad about that big quantityes of fruit are wasted while poor peaple eat like a few pieces per year. Like so much the grocery. I live in a city where we dont have groceryes the only source of fruits is from small magazines, where are not more then 20lbs of fruits for the entire village!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have to go to the city to but fruits, it a little bit difficult for me.
There's a store near me with a discount corner. Yesterday they had tons of boxes of bananas for only $1. The weird thing is they weren't even spotty yet! So I'll be eating lots of bananas this week :)
Yeah, a lot of the fruit I find isn't even at my preference for ripeness--and some of it, I can find nothing wrong with! But usually there's some stuff that's right ready for eating, and I feast when I get home :-)
I'll have to look this Saturday! I usually only see veggies, but I also usually go on weekdays. :)
A store in my neighborhood regularly marks down bananas that are "ready to eat" but arn't really ready yet because they are still green on the ends and need more ripening time.
Another store in my neighborhood is an Asian store and has a marked down section with numerous items like papaya etc.