Welcome to this week's Frugal Follies Frugal Tip!
The modern grocery store produce section is full of conveniences. Prewashed lettuce in bags. Precut vegetable sticks in trays. Shredded cabbage, ready for cole slaw.
Recently I saw a photo of the most ridiculous version of this trend:
Yes, those are prepeeled bananas.
Now, most stores won't go to that extent, but let's look at an example that I faced today at Publix.
I needed to purchase some fresh pineapple to send into school - my middle daughter's special needs class does cooking on Fridays, and the teacher asks the parents to send in ingredients. Until today the ingredients were already in my stockpile, but I didn't happen to have any fresh pineapple around. So I picked some up on my weekly Publix trip.
When I got into the produce section, I found three choices: a whole Del Monte pineapple, a peeled, cored pineapple (pictured above), and cut-up pineapple chunks.
The Del Monte pineapple was $3.49. The peeled, cored pineapple was also $3.49. Since Publix will peel and core a pineapple for you free of charge, this makes sense. And unless you need the leaves or the skin, say for an interesting fruit salad presentation, it makes sense to let them peel and core it for you. That's an example of a service that is helpful - feel free to take advantage of these.
The cut-up pineapple chunks were $4.99 per pound. To compare, the peeled, cored pineapple weighed 1.25 pounds, which would be $2.79/lb. If there were 1.25 pounds of cut-up pineapple chunks, it would cost $6.24.
So you would be paying $2.75 extra just to have someone remove the pineapple's core and cut it into chunks. That's crazy!
How much are you really paying them to cut up your pineapple? When I went to cut up the pineapple, I timed myself. It took 90 seconds for me to remove the core, cut the pineapple into chunks, put the pineapple back in the container, and wash the knife and cutting board.
So you could say that I earned $2.75 for 90 seconds of work. If I could do nothing but cut pineapple, I would "earn" $5.50 every three minutes, or $110 per hour, or $880 per eight-hour day, or $4,400 for a 40-hour week, or $228,800 for a year.
That's a lot of money just to not have to do a little cutting!
For more frugal tips, please go to my Linkup Parties page and check out the bloggers listed under Frugal Tips Linkups. There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips!