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Edmonton grocery shoppers seek out produce bargains as vegetable prices skyrocket

Edmonton grocery shoppers seek out produce bargains as vegetable prices skyrocket

Youngsters everywhere are celebrating news that grandma's cauliflower casserole may not make the holiday menu this year.

The price of vegetables has skyrocketed in recent months. That has many heading for discount grocers such as H & W Produce in Edmonton.

"It's terrible," said retired senior Genady Feldman as he lugged a big bag of peppers through the aisles, evidence of at least one good deal, "I came in today and an orange pepper is a $1.98 and everywhere it's like $3.49 or more."

Feldman fears he may have burned more gas than it was worth going from store to store. But he's happy with his purchase.

According to H & W managing partner Darren Hollman, bargain hunters like Feldman mean business is growing, along with the prices, something he attributes to a couple of reasons, and one in particular.

"Obviously our dollar is the huge one; we're talking 35 per cent right off the top, just for exchange rates, which is a killer for all commodities," said Hollman. "Once we don't factor in the U.S. dollar anymore, there's the drought in California that really hurt pricing and really drove things up, especially in the leaf vegetables."

To save kids the research: Yes, brussel sprouts are considered a leafy vegetable, and Hollman predicts they'll still be pricey come Easter. "Things will stay pretty much the same over the next little while; there's not going to be too much relief."

Still, people like Feldman aren't going to let asparagus play the Grinch this Christmas, despite the similarities.

"(They) cost a little bit more, but what can you do, you know?"

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