With the Orange County Marketplace at our doorstep, students can save money on fruits, vegetables, and many other products, simply by following some local tips.
Each weekend, the Orange County Fairgrounds come to life as the OC Marketplace fills the lot. From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, students can pay two dollars to walk around, enjoy the sunshine, checkout the displays and save some money on produce.
But if students really want to save, the best time to go is Sundays, between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. At this time, entrance is free and vendors start dropping prices on produce and other perishable food items.
Popcorn vendors drop prepackaged bags to 50 percent off. Produce sellers start bagging and boxing up large quantities of fruits and vegetables to sell for single digits. A bag of eight peaches can sell for as low as a dollar some days, and a box of oranges can be as low as two dollars.
These sales provide large quantities of products for surprisingly low prices. One thing that students should watch out for is buying these fruits or vegetables for a great price and finding out once they return to their rooms that their recently purchased food is spoiled. Using the internet to study the characteristics of what constitutes a good fruit or vegetable is a great pre-swap meet tip.
These are just a few examples of sales that have happened. Each weekend is a little bit different.
Produce vendors give a wide variety of choices and competitive pricing for their with a long list of fruit and vegetable options. These vendors usually line up in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds.
On one occasion, a specialty bread maker, ready to get home for the day, started selling his bread in a “buy one, get one free” deal before the 3 p.m. “special sales” time.
These examples are all from the far west strip of vendors. On the east side of the fairgrounds there are rows of other vendors with many more products, including food and material goods. Some have special sales during the typical Sunday 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. window, while others just start to pack up and head home.
Vendors set up booths with a wide variety of items, food, and entertainment. From pet kennels to bell peppers, reggae singers to dishwasher balancing acts, the swap meet promises two days of savings and fun.