Friday, September 9, 2011

My First Produce Auction Part 2 - Bidding

So if you missed it I am blogging about my first ever produce auction. You can read the beginning of my story here.

First off I want to put out there where you can find produce auctions in Iowa. I have had a lot of people email me and leave comments wanting to know where to find them. Here is a list of the Iowa produce auctions that I could find. Thanks to Frugal Family Examiner for helping me compile this list. If you are not from Iowa, I would suggest doing an online search of produce auctions in your state.

Cedar Valley Produce Auction
Farmsong Produce Auction
Southern Iowa Produce Auction
Frytown Produce Auction
Wapsie Valley Produce Auction in Hazelton, Iowa

I really should have taken a picture of the back of my van with all the produce winnings shoved in there. However I took advantage of eager kids wanting to carry things in and check things over when I got home and never got a photo taken of the whole lot.

Here are the good and not so good deals of the day.

The first thing I bid on was green beans. These went up for sale early in the auction. There was people crowding around the cart when the auction started, so not only was I nervous about bidding in general, I also knew I had a lot of possible competition. The auction was for 2 10lb boxes of fresh green beans. Sweet! I wanted them. I figured at the store I could purchase them at a good price of $.99 lb (non organic) so that is what I was willing to spend on these bad boys. My thought process was I could go up to $20 for the 20 lbs of beans.

Bidding started and I jumped right in. My heart was pounding a bit since this was the first bid I had ever made. It ended up being me and another person bidding against each other at the end. The bidding ended and I won with a price of $19. Great! I stayed under my goal bid! I was so excited I won.

Then as bidding went on for other items I started to think about the beans I had just bought. Was the $19 for each box? I forget or better yet, wasn't experiencecd enough to realize that they bid off "x" item and then take the winning bid times how ever many of that item there are. I would find out later when I went to pay that yes, it was $19 per 10 lb box of beans. Ouch! So that 20 lbs of beans cost me $38 or $1.90 lb. Not such a great deal.

Once I got that first bid out of the way things went alot smoother and I was a bit more relaxed. The next thing I won was a box of jalapeno peppers. I spent $3 on the box and the minimum I could take was 2 boxes. I didn't realize at the time that those boxes weighed 16 lbs. So I had won 32 lbs of jalapeno peppers and paid just $6 or roughly $.19 lb. That's a whole lot of jalapenos!

The winning bids on peppers didn't stop there. I won this beautiful crate of Hungarian hot peppers for a whopping $2. There was 9lbs of peppers in here plus a cool crate!Here is a look at the tags they used. The yellow tags were on each item at the beginning of the auction telling you what it was and the size or weight of the items. Once the item is sold a white sticker is placed somewhere on the box or item with the winning bidders number and then the quantity is written on there so you know how many you won.

My next purchase was red Anaheim peppers. These went so cheap I kinda just jumped in at the last minute. I bought 4 pecks of peppers for $1 each. Here is what one peck looks like.Yes, I admit I went a little crazy with the pepper bidding. It was just so cheap I couldn't believe no one was bidding. So I would and I would win.

My favorite purchase was peaches. Missouri peaches. I bought 4 lugs for, are you ready for this? $11 a lug. That is 120lbs of peaches for $44. I was so psyched. It ends up being $.37 per pound. And they were awesome peaches.

After purchasing all the peppers I decided I had better get in gear and get some tomatoes bought if I could get them cheap enough. The only thing I could think of to do with all those peppers was make a whole lot of salsa.

I was shocked at how high the tomatoes were being sold. 20 lbs was going anywhere from $22-$28. I wasn't willing to pay that much. I had almost given up when some how nearing the end of the auction I was able to win a box of 20lbs of canner tomatoes for $12. Not too shabby.That concludes my winnings. I had filled up the entire back end of my van. By the time I reached home my eyes were starting to water a bit from all the peppers!

Stay tuned for part 3 of my first produce auction.


  1. That price on the green beans isn't too bad. Here, both times I went this summer, green beans were going for $30-$40 for a 10 lb box. needless to say I got outbid on everything except for a very small lot at the end of the day. I would have no idea what to do with all those peppers!

    I am headed back down to the auction on Friday and can't wait!

  2. Wow!! I can't believe how little you paid for the peaches! That's awesome. I went to the Frytown Produce Auction yesterday. They didn't seem to have nearly the variety as the one your went to, but I got some good deals nonetheless. You can read about it here and see some cool pictures:

    By the way, here's a shameless plug for a giveaway on my blog right now! Enter to win an Ionizing Bona Hardwood Floor Mop! :-)

  3. Thanks Jennifer now I don't feel as bad spending that much on the beans. Can't wait to hear what you got!

    Michelle I am heading over now to see what you got!!

  4. I'll pack some garbage bags for the next time you get hot peppers -- we'll seal the vapors up!