I have a few tips on how to save money at the apple orchard, that include:
- Pick You Own: PYO prices are always cheaper than buying them already picked (although many places are not offering this this year due to low production.)
- Buy Seconds: These are the apples that they picked that may not have a perfect apple shape or have some other flaw but are still good apples. In the above picture, the seconds are in the paper bag. I paid $1/pound for seconds they picked compared to $1.80/pound of preferred apples they picked (which is what is in the plastic bag.)
- Buy a Tarter Apple: People prefer sweeter apples when they are tasting them and people are willing to pay more for a sweeter apple (which is usually about 10-30cents/pound price difference), but if you are baking with the apples or making applesauce or making apple butter you will be adding sugar and tart apples work great, so save yourself some dimes.
- Ask about buying them in bulk if you are planning on doing quite a bit of preserving or if you have a friend(s) who want to split a bulk buy with you.
- Ask a Friend Who Has Trees To Come Pick: This year we didn't really have any apples due to the late frost in the spring, but we normally encourage friends to come get apples from the trees because then we don't have to pick them from the ground before mowing. So, it can be a win-win situation.