Whether you enjoy a trendy slide of avocado toast for breakfast or prefer to slather guac on a burrito, avocados have become a go-to food for many due to their creamy texture, health benefits, and delicious taste.
This has led many consumers to look for the cheapest places and ways to buy avocados. Native to Central and South America, they can now be found in grocery stores around the U.S.
Enjoying this delicious food does come with a high price tag, with avocados costing as much as $4 each or more. Why are avocados expensive and where can we find them for less?
The cheapest places to buy avocados are discount food stores, ethnic food stores, and online marketplaces.
You can also use store coupons or rewards programs to save. Look for avocados during their peak growing season or when they tend to be offered in stores (January through March) or try to grow your own at home to enjoy the most savings.
- Finding the Best Deal on Avocados
- When are Avocados Cheapest?
- Cheapest Deals on Avocados in Stores
- Cheapest Deals on Avocados Online
- Grow Your Own Avocados for Free
- Final Thoughts
Finding the Best Deal on Avocados
Searching for the cheapest places to buy avocados doesn’t need to be time-consuming or confusing, although it can be when you first start. Start by looking at the circulars for your local stores. You can find these at the checkout or near the entrance.
Some also come in the mail. You can even search for them on the computer at home. Grocery delivery and pickup make it even easier to find out how much avocados cost. By searching for specific products, you can find the prices of different sizes or bags.
For example, Hass avocados cost:
- Aldi: $0.79 for one
- Walmart: $0.78 for one
- Target: $0.85 for one
- Harris Teeter: $2.49 for a bag of two
- Whole Foods: $1.99 for one
Luxury and specialty food stores tend to have higher prices than discount or general food stores. They can offer more sales, however, so it’s always a good idea to check their ads or websites for the most up-to-date pricing.
Should I buy Avocados in Bulk?
Warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club carry avocados most of the time and they can be cheaper than purchasing individual avocados from a local supermarket. They typically come in bags of five or more and cost around $7.
The price is comparable to some of the cheaper grocery chains, but the quality and size are far better (for Costco in particular). If you love avocados and eat them frequently, opt for buying them in bulk to save money on a superior product.
If you won’t eat them before they spoil, it’s better to just buy the amount that you need from a grocery store. Keep in mind that warehouse stores almost always charge an annual membership fee as well.
If you plan to shop there for more than just the occasional avocado, the cost can be worth it. If not, stick with the stores that you will frequent.
When are Avocados Cheapest?
Like any fruit or vegetable, avocados are cheapest when they are in season and more available. Avocados do grow year-round, but the spring is the most productive time and when they have the best flavor.
The peak time to buy avocados is January, February, and March. This may seem surprising, given that the climate in most regions of the U.S. during this time is far from tropical.
But it may reflect the demand for guacamole and other snack dishes that use the popular avocado during get-togethers and professional sporting events. Avocados do require a lot of rain and a tropical climate to flourish, which is why they grow so well in Central and South America.
In drought years, avocado crops are smaller, which makes the ones that do reach stores more expensive. California grows a lot of avocados within the United States.
Because of the lower shipping costs to get avocados to consumers within the same country, it can be cheaper to buy California avocados. California producers do need to use more water and meet wage requirements, which can add to the overall cost, however.
Cheapest Deals on Avocados in Stores
Prices of avocados are often related more to the overall growing conditions and availability rather than certain deals or periodic sales. Even the cheapest places to buy avocados will have price hikes when the supply is low.
However, you can find cheap deals on avocados by joining a store rewards program or using coupons. You can also take advantage of avocados that stores do not think will sell well (too ripe or not ripe enough) to get them cheaper.
Food stores that cater to Central and South American cooking can also be a source of cheaper avocados.
Store Loyalty Programs
Store loyalty programs reward frequent customers by providing them a scannable card to take advantage of lower prices. The cards are almost always free and do not require a special way to sign up. Simply ask your store if they have a loyalty card when checking out.
The Harris Teeter VIC program, which rewards Very-Important-Customers, is one of the best ways to get lower prices on a variety of items at the store. Kroger’s Shoppers Card does the same thing. Savings vary but usually bring prices down by $0.25 to $0.50 per avocado.
Recipes for Avocados to Eat Today
When avocados start to ripen, stores often want to sell them quickly. Depending on what you need to use avocado for, you can save money by purchasing softer avocados that are in an older produce sale bin. These avocados can be ideal for certain recipes.
- Avocado toast: Mash up an avocado and spread on toast. Top with your favorite foods, like a fried egg, smoked salmon, tomato and mozzarella, or salt and pepper.
- Guacamole: Mash up an avocado in a bowl. Add chopped onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, tomato, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
- Chocolate avocado “pudding:” Blend a soft avocado, cocoa powder, honey, coconut milk, and vanilla. Chill and serve with fresh fruit on top.
How to Ripen an Avocado
Unripe avocados are not usually cheaper. But if you do happen to see them for less, don’t let their hard consistency scare you away. Just put them in a brown paper bag and roll the top down. Let them sit on the counter until they ripen (usually one or two days), then enjoy.
Finding Cheap Avocados at Ethnic Food Stores
Because avocados are native to Central and South America, cuisine from those areas often has them as a main ingredient. Customers at these stores often have a good eye when it comes to both quality and price for avocados.
You can often enjoy cheaper prices, with avocados available for as low as $0.50. Local farmers can also be a good source of avocados for around $0.50 each, but only if you live in an area where they grow.
Cheapest Deals on Avocados Online
Buying avocados online can be tricky since most consumers want to know the consistency of the avocado is right for their dish and tastes. Even if you prefer to pick out your own produce, you can still use online sites to get more savings on the purchases you make.
Even if you are shopping at a grocery store, you can still save beyond the cheaper prices that you have found. Savings apps allow you to scan your receipt to get cashback on items, as long as they are in that app’s database. You can combine these deals with any store rewards or coupons that you have.
Popular savings apps include:
- Checkout 51
You can also get additional rewards by referring additional users or entering periodic drawings for things like gift cards and credits.
Buying “Unwanted” Produce
Companies like Misfits Market sell unsightly produce for cheaper prices than most stores. Their produce still tastes great and is of the same quality, but it may have a cosmetic defect like a weird shape or blemish that doesn’t impact it beyond how it looks.
Misfits Market ships produce directly to customers, but you do not always get to choose which items come in your box. Additionally, you must commit to a full box (around $30), which includes more than just avocados. Savings from Misfits Market can be up to 40%, which brings avocados down to around $0.50 each.
Grow Your Own Avocados for Free
If you have a green thumb, you can try growing your own avocado tree. Buy a starter seedling for around $20 or let the pit from your last lunch sprout in some water. You will also need a pot for growing, which can cost anywhere from $2 – $3 up to $50 for a specialty item.
To grow an avocado tree, follow these steps:
- Remove and clean the pit of an avocado. Let it dry completely.
- Stick three toothpicks around the widest part of the avocado.
- Place the pit in a small cup of water with the narrow part on top so that it sits around 1-inch deep in the water.
- Put the cup and pit in a sunny place, such as a windowsill.
- The pit should sprout in just two or three weeks.
- Once the roots are strong and sturdy, transplant it to a pot with soil. Leave the top half of the seed exposed.
It can take a long time to see the actual fruits of your labor– up to 15 years if you start from a seed. During that time, you will need to water the plant, ensure it has enough sunlight, and likely transplant it to a larger pot as it grows.
While this isn’t always expensive, it does mean that you need to invest a lot of time and care before getting any fruit. It can be fun and rewarding to watch the plant grow but may not be the most cost-effective or efficient if you are just looking to enjoy some delicious avocados.
Remember that avocados need moist, tropical climates to grow. If you do not live in an area that is naturally hospitable to avocados, you may need to supplement with water or protection from the elements.
While you will save on the cost of avocados, adding in the additional water, soil, and materials costs (if you have to set up a greenhouse), it can quickly become more expensive to grow than buy.
Building a greenhouse can cost from $750 for a pre-made kit to $15,000 or more for a custom build. If you plan to do a lot of gardening and utilize the space for growing other food as well, you might recoup these costs in a few years.
It is more likely that buying produce from the store or farmer’s market is a better use of money. Greenhouse gardening can be rewarding and enjoyable, but doesn’t often provide big time savings.
Finding the cheapest places to buy avocados can result in big-time savings, especially if you eat this fruit often and live in an area where they aren’t able to grow. Look for deals using store loyalty programs, discount stores, or savings apps to get them for the lowest cost.
If you really want to make it a long-term project, you can plant an avocado seed and get them for free (in 15 years). Once you find a great deal on avocados, take advantage of them to make delicious recipes that are both healthy and delicious. Good for your body- good for your wallet!
Katie is an experienced writer, who wrote for big magazines like The Spruce. She is also a mom of three (Sebastian, Lincoln, and Hannah). In her spare time, she likes to read, day hike, and explore hidden gems around her home in North Carolina. You can connect with Katie on Instagram @katiebwriter or her website, www.katiemelynnbegley.com.