I’ve started buying all my veggies in Chinatown. I’ve long known that produce was cheapest in Chinatown, but I didn’t know exactly how much cheaper and/or why. The biggest price disparity I saw was snow peas. For a dollar I could get a pound, at my deli they come in a small plastic wrapped container for $2.xx and the price per pound listed is something like $6.99/lb!! Also a package of bean sprouts is probably $1.50 whereas TWO POUNDS cost only a dollar in chinatown!!

NPR had a little segment that explored this. The key points are that Chinatown produce customers buy every day instead of buying one day and keeping veggies around the house. That means that the Chinatown vendors can go to the produce market and buy up the veggies that are riper because they know they’ll be sold and probably used in the exact same day. Also lots of street vendors don’t have rent to pay so by sheer volume they’re able to turn a profit. Mostly it’s the volume that lets them operate at such rock bottom prices.