If you’re reading this in North America, you’ll probably be dead from envy after this article.
Fresh fruit and vegetable is everywhere here in Valpo. And it’s good and cheap…..
There are 3 types of places that you can get produce here.
1. Walmart! That’s right there are Walmart’s here. Real ones. It’s called Lider, but it’s the same chain, colors, etc. The produce here is the most expensive, and least fresh. The only reason you buy produce at Walmart or other big grocery stores, is because you want to only stop one place to go shopping. So if you’re a cheap ass, this is NOT the place to go for produce.
2. The local farmers market! (Mercado Cardanal) This is where you’re going to get the best deals for both quality, and price. Coming from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, it’s kind of counter intuitive for me. I’m used to seeing farmer’s markets having fresh produce, but expensive. The mercado is dozens of little stalls, all with prices clearly labeled, hawkers yelling out what they got, and yes all in Spanish.
3.The third place to buy produce little sidewalk stands. These are again everywhere. They are inside liquor stores, outside of churches, in front of Walmart, on the way to the farmers market. These places buy their product from the large market and sell them to people who don’t want to go to the market. Think of it as 7-11 for veggies.
For example tomatoes at the farmer’s market was 500 pesos ($1 CAN) for 2 kilos. At Walmart it was 1000 pesos for 1 kilo, and at the local street stands 750 pesos for 1 kilo.
Here’s the breakdown of what 9000 pesos worth of various product at the farmer’s market is.
- Red peppers are 100 pesos each. They charge the same price for any of the colored peppers, like green, orange, yellow.
- Onions are 10 for 1000 pesos
- Banana peppers 10 for 1000
- Lemons are various prices…but super cheap like they sell them by the 2 kilo
- Scallions, 2 huge bunches 500 pesos (I put my kindle beside scallions for size)
- Broccoli 2 huge heads for 1000.
- Mushrooms are expensive at 1000 for half of what you’d pay for at Save On at home
- Apples are 1000 kilo
- Banana are 500 a bunch
- Eggs 1600 for 15 eggs (see how they are right in front of a giant grocery store)
A couple things, to remember before you go to the market here.
- Bring small bills. 1000 peso bills ($2 CAN) are the best
- There is no haggling
- They don’t try to rip you off as a tourist
- They do, let you try the produce before you buy it
- They will give you the stink eye if you examine the produce for too long. As a farmer market type of shopper, I’m used to examining each piece of fruit carefully. Here they think I’m insane.
I’m loving it here in Valpo, and if you love tasty fruit and fresh vegetables, it’s a great place to add to your destinations for best places to retire cheap.
If you’re in Lima, Peru and thinking about coming here, here’s a link on how to get here