Happiness for sale $0.68 a kilo

Are you a morning person? Bounding out of bed at sparrow’s fart to achieve 12 things before tea and toast? 

I am most definitely not. 

When I’m working I am prone to calculate the precise number of minutes I need to hit snooze twice, then shower, dress, make coffee and get myself from home to the office, with no more than 10 minutes up my sleeve. 

At the moment, with nowhere specific I need to be every day, I’ve reverted to my naturally night-owlish ways. I’m writing this blog post at 11pm, and will probably be up for a few hours yet.  

On the downside of staying up late and rising later than most, there are some days where I don’t really “get going” until lunchtime. I may get some housework done, put the laundry on, or spend some time online, but these are kind of automatic pilot activities – which I can do in my pjs! 

This morning I decided to look over my budget. It’s not a bad fortnight, for someone getting by on less than half of the prescribed minimum wage. I worked out what’s left after I put the rent aside, split that into covering bills, groceries and such, and decided I was in need of a few bargain finds.  

After thinking I’d hit the jackpot with a Neighbourhood House farmers’ market (which I had to make three calls to find out wasn’t actually on) I decided to meander over to the local wholesale fruit and veg place. 

And here’s what I saw as I pulled up at the end of the dirt driveway.  


I packed my shopping bag with cauliflower and celery, ginger and garlic and carrots, all at great prices. The ginger was almost TEN DOLLARS a kilo cheaper than the price at Coles. TEN DOLLARS!! Buh-bye Coles produce department. 

The lovely gent at the door said he would be happy to slice the pumpkin for me (as I am not much of a 3.4 kg pumpkin wrestler) and it was waiting at the counter when I’d finished my awed lap of this mecca of fresh, local food. 

As I was paying for my veggie haul, I realised I also needed bread. Hey presto – they sell that too. So my total spend went from an astonishingly low $9.28 to just $11.08 – the large loaf of grainy bread set me back $1.80. I know, right?! 

The 3.4 kilo pumpkin I toted home cost me just $2.36!! For a whole pumpkin!! 

Money can’t buy happiness, or so they say. Well, it sure bought me plenty today!! The happiness of buying from a local producer, then coming home to make delicious pumpkin soup, from half of that beautiful pumpkin, which still had dirt on it (I wiped it off, don’t worry). 


And that my friends is how I found happiness for sale, at just 68 cents a kilo!! 

Where do you get your fruit and veg? Perhaps you grow beautiful food in your backyard or know a great local farmers’ market? It’s definitely worth looking beyond the neon lights of the big players like Coles and Woolworths, and checking out your local area for better quality and bargains, not to mention excellent service! 

There’s plenty of pumpkin still to cook. Got a recipe suggestion for me? 





24 thoughts on “Happiness for sale $0.68 a kilo

  1. We must have been channeling! I shopped (at Coles, boo!) and over the last week I have purchased carrots, pumpkin and corn, all for $1kg/cob. Today I made Pumpkin, carrot and corn soup with cumin, coriander and ginger (Coles price, boo!) and it is super yum. I have kept some out for lunch and put four more serves in the freezer and labeled them ‘$1 soup’. Which makes my frugal heart very happy 🙂
    I’d love to move away from shopping at Coles, but it is the only place within walking/riding distance of my house. Going to a market would involve a taxi, negating any savings, so it’s the big, evil, retailer for me I’m afraid.


    • Those prices sound very un-Coles! Any neighbours or friends who you could go halves with in some market bulk buys or getting a veg box home delivered? I’ll have to work on breaking the Coles convenience coma, but I’ll definitely be visiting that wholesaler again! There was heaps I didn’t really see today.


  2. I love it when I get bargain veg and super fresh too!
    Those pumpkins look delish, I love pumpkins in the Autumn/Winter. Soup is always a winner and you can freeze it in handy dandy little bags so you can defrost a bowl at a time. Pumpkin risotto, pumpkin curry, roast pumpkin and quinoa or couscous, all sorts of pumpkin yum yums!
    I think I am a little bit jealous of your bounty! I love winter veg.


    • A pumpkin curry sounds good – I got a little bit of ginger today, and I have chick peas and beans… Hmm I might be googling recipes tomorrow Clare!


  3. Gotta love bargain. I was lucky enough to be given 2 pumpkins recently. I’ve already made one into soup and put it in the freezer. The other might go to Melbourne, to my daughters. I was wondering where this vegie wholesaler is as they would interested. They are always on the look out for quality veg at good prices.


  4. Pumpkin is one of my favourite ingredients because it’s so versatile. I love it so much, I wrote a blog post on my 7 favourite things to do with pumpkin. How about a lovely Thai Pumpkin and Pineapple curry with a pumpkin passion cupcake for dessert? Nom! I usually buy my produce from the big boys but buying local is on my list of things to do!


  5. I shop at our local green grocer, Gilberts, not necessarily cheaper but fresh and WA sourced. Woolies say their greens are WA sourced but I’m not very trusting. When Gilberts doesn’t have WA sourced goods, such as one day they had Californian oranges, I went to the supermarket. Am struggling with my conscience to boycott Woolworth’s as their latest promotion (Jamie Oliver Cards) I read was being forcefully sponsored by the growers?


    • I think the big boys use LOTS of effective tricks to keep us shopping there. I love Jamie Oliver – there would be loads of people and negotiating between his yes and the out working of the partnership. Le sigh.


  6. Hi Annette – yet another great post. I promise myself every other weekend that I will get to our local farmers market and sometimes I do, but most times I don’t! I would love a veggie garden (I do actually have one, just very neglected!). I am also a fan of the roadside stall, although your $2.68 pumpkin beats the Moonbi $5 ones! Roasted pumpkin (must leave skin on), slightly burnt around the edges, and preferably cooked by my mother is almost my favourite thing in the whole world!


  7. Ha! I’m eating pumpkin soup as we speak! Snap!
    Bargain veg is the best. And it can be so affordable to eat healthy, just buy fresh and in season and you’re set.
    I grow some of my own, swap with other growers, and then but from loc markets in bacchus marsh (a big food growing town) or go to the QVM.
    I NEVER buy produce from Coles or Woolies. I hate them 🙂


  8. Love this! Since moving offices into the city, I’m at the Adelaide Central Market 4 lunchbreaks a week buying fresh produce for dinner. I love knowing I’m supporting local growers plus they are always so friendly and helpful and I’ve scored more than few great dinner ideas from them. Plus it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the supermarkets. In fact, just the other day I bought 3 avos, 5 tomatoes, 3 lemons, 5 mandarins and 5 bananas for the princely sum of $9.20. Brilliant!


    • That’s fab! Three avos could set you back $6 at Coles, or cost even more than that. I’m going to try really hard to keep going back to the wholesaler, it may be less ‘convenient’ but it is so much better for everyone in the chain from grower to cook. Hooray for access to fresh food. Seriously, we are so blessed.


  9. Ah delicious – wholesome, tasty food at budget prices, and with an I’m-supporting-local-farmers feel-good warm-fuzzy that money can’t buy! Actually you’ve inspired me – I’m going to make a delicious roast pumpkin (or squash, but it’s adaptable) meal that I used to cook every winter. I don’t know why I stopped making it!


  10. Oh I love winter for the plentiful of yummy fruit it has to offer, we got a jap pumpkin on Sunday, had it all week, even made soup with some yesterday and still have 1/3 pumpkin still left!
    Why I don’t understand when people say they can’t afford food, hear a lady on radio said her friend has $6 to live off for the week and resulted in eating her toothpaste! What serious on ur prices she could have brought 3 pumpkins with that! Lol 🙂


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