Do Your Own Melon Slicing And Save Some Serious Money

My kids love to eat melons, specifically watermelons and cantaloupes. When I go grocery shopping, I always buy one or both for the kids. Most grocery stores sell both whole melons – that you can take home and slice yourself – and pre-sliced melons – that come in handy little plastic containers. Since melons are heavy, I wanted to find out just how much more the pre-sliced melons cost than the whole melons. Also, I wanted to see if the cost differential warranted lugging those whole melons around – Or would I be better off purchasing the pre-sliced melons?

I picked up a medium-sized seedless watermelon. It cost $6.00. I brought it home and separated the edible fruit from the rind. The medium-sized watermelon, which weighed about 15 pounds before I sliced it open, produced 6.25 pounds of edible fruit. (40 % of the melon was edible, the rest was rind). For $6.00, I was able to purchase 6.25 pounds of edible watermelon.

The pre-sliced watermelon at the store was selling for $3.50 per pound. 6.25 pounds of pre-sliced watermelon would cost $21.00! Yikes. That’s more than 3 times as much money. (3.36 times, to be a bit more exact!)

When it comes to watermelon, I’ll be sticking with the whole melons, even though they are heavy and bulky. I can’t see paying 3 times as much – for the same end product.

I also purchased a whole cantaloupe. It weighed 4.25 pounds before I sliced into it and it contained 2 pounds of edible fruit. The cantaloupe cost $2.50.

At the same store, pre-sliced cantaloupe was selling for $2.50 per pound. So, buy purchasing the whole cantaloupe and slicing it myself, I paid half as much as I would have, had I gone with the pre-sliced melon.

For me, the verdict is in. When it comes to buying melons, it’s better to go with the whole melons, instead of the pre-sliced versions. The added convenience simply cannot justify the markedly higher prices.

As a side note: If you need to make a quick in-store calculation for how much edible fruit is in a whole melon, simply weigh the whole melon and estimate that between 40% and 50% of the melon will be edible. Then, you can use this information to compare the cost of the whole melon with that of the pre-sliced melon.

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NCN

http://www.ncnblog.com

No Credit Needed is a personal finance blog about debt reduction, saving money, and simple living. Thank you for visiting the site and please consider subscribing to No Credit Needed by Email. Have a blessed day!

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8 thoughts on “Do Your Own Melon Slicing And Save Some Serious Money
  1. Frugal Dad

    My wife and I have had this same conversation related to apples vs. apple slices. We compared the per pound price of whole apples vs. the little packs of pre-sliced apples and it was unreal how much more expensive the packaged ones were (I don’t remember the exact numbers now). It does seem you can’t go wrong buying whole fruits and slicing them up yourself.

     
  2. Clean Simple

    Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? In the early summer, I’ve found they have the best prices for watermelon–$3.99 for a nice sized seedless one.

    Also, if you slice your watermelon into wedges rather than scooping, you can get more of the tastiness. I cut mine in half, then quarter each half, then make thin slices. The kids can grab one (or four) and go outside to eat ‘em.

    Love melons! Thanks for doing the math for us.

     
  3. K

    In the last few years I recall several instances where the packaged cut fruit had to be recalled because it was tainted with salmonella/e coli/or whatever cootie-of-the-day. (It’s getting harder to keep up with those.) It was only the cut fruit, not the whole. The more hands that handle your food the higher the risk I guess. Another reason not to buy pre-cut.

     
  4. Michael Blackburn

    K-June: Pre-sliced fruit leading to food-bourne illness (e coli, not salmonella usually), is ABSOLUTELY TRUE, and is very easy to verify.

    NEVER buy or eat fruit salad that has canteloupe in it. The canteloupe skin, with its rough texture, is often contaminated with “dirt” (aka fecal matter), and as such, is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. YOU MUST WASH the exterior of canteloupe thoroughly before cutting it, or your knife runs through the poo and into the fruit, spreading contamination.

    I learned this from my mother, who is a nationally-certified food-safety instructor. This is one of her big items that she says VERY FEW restaurants, hotels, etc. follow. For what it’s worth, she says Marriot properties have all taken her classes and even she will eat the fruit salad there.

     
  5. Maria @ Frugal Homesteading

    Buying whole fruit in all cases is MUCH better financially and health-wise. For one thing, sliced fruit can be contaminated at any point during processing. With whole melons, simply wash the outsides thoroughly before chilling or slicing.

    Secondly, oxidation begins a soon as the fruit comes in contact with air You preserve the quality of your fruit and its nutritional value by slicing and dicing jut prior to eating. Who knows how long the fruit in the store has been sitting there?

     
  6. aunt mommy

    Very nice side by side comparison. I picked up a melon last week instead of a plateful (I usually get a pre-cut plate because our kid’s school requires only commercially-prepared food be provided for group food) and I got a ton of melon out of it.

    One point, though, is on the rind. The previous posters noted how to get more melon by changing your slicing or chopping method, however, the rind is still pretty usable. Chop up and dig it into your garden, or start a worm farm. Makes a great home fertilizer, as does most of the green ‘waste’ we’ll create this summer.

     
  7. Value For Your Life

    Interesting post! It’s just the two of us at home so we don’t each that much watermelon unless the mini ones go on sale, but it is an inexpensive and refreshing favourite of mine for any summer get-togethers and barbecues we host. During the summer here in Canada, it usually goes on sale at at least one of the stores often for $3-4 for the whole giant melon! Whole fruit is definitely the way to go, and also buying big heavy fruits like melons when on for a fixed price rather than by the pound is a good way to make sure you don’t blow though your grocery budget.

     
  8. Value For Your Life

    Interesting post! It’s just the two of us at home, so we don’t each that much watermelon unless the mini ones go on sale, but it is an inexpensive and refreshing favourite of mine for any summer get-togethers and barbecues we host. During the summer here in Canada, it usually goes on sale at at least one of the stores often for $3-4 for the whole giant melon! Whole fruit is definitely the way to go, and also buying big heavy fruits like melons when on for a fixed price rather than by the pound is a good way to make sure you don’t blow though your grocery budget.
    Amanda