Tomatoes for cheap

I'm tired of buying overpriced tomatoes here in ACT. Both Woolworths and Coles have it at high priced, been to ALDI up until now but recent months price is on par with the big 2. Fresh Food Market at Fyshwick or Mawson is even pricier! It never fails to shock me to see tomatoes @6-8$ per kilo!!!

I give up on tomatoes and ask to humble OZB members in ACT region (Canberra+Queanbeyan), where do you buy tomatoes at cheaper price? Is there any cheap local producer/grocer?


  • Grow your own this spring and summer.

      • Get a foam box from the fruit market, fill it with dirt, plant seeds. Done.
        I think the issue with tomato prices is due to some unseasonal weather in QLD a few months ago, which harmed the growing season for a lot of vegetables. You might have seen $8 broccoli too.
        Witht he warmer weather coming they will be cheap soon. But still not as tasty as a super ripe home grown one!

        • @bargainaus: That would make it cheaper but then everyone would complain its imported and not local produce. Also some of the health standards in Asia are very questionable, particularly China. Its the reason many people hate the garlic coles sometimes import from china

        • +4 votes

          @Heizenberg: Even most of the crushed garlic in jars over here are product of China. So. Freaking. Annoying.

        • @bargainaus: They do not import things like this to support the local growers. If they just started importing, local growers could not compete and would quickly be unable to keep farming in years to come (ie. go out of business), and the loss to our economy is too great.

          It's better to just suck it up for the few months that prices sky-rocket (remember $20/kg bananas?) and let the growers get back on their feet, rather than kick them out for some foreign produce just because it's cheaper in the short-term.

        • @Heizenberg: i have some chinese garlic in the cupboard, almost 2 months old and still look new. Chinese are well known for dipping perishable products in chemicals to achieve what they want (so it ripen slower, last longer, look nicer.. Etc). It is evil.

        • @brezzo: it is true, when foreign produce gets in, Australia will get poisoned, there is no way they can inspect everything that can come in. Already in Australia, it is standard practice for many asian wholesaler to change 'use by' dates of their imports..

          Recently they have discovered cooking oil company in Taiwan, China, Vietnam selling recycled cooking oil they obtain from the sewage, yes I repeat the sewage. Some of those even get to the supermarkets, looking shiny and new in their oil bottles.

        • @Azn310: Yeah i was just about to mention that. So called 'gutter oil' is being produced which is truly scary. For anyone interested heres a youtube link showing about it. It is interesting but disgusting.

        • @Heizenberg:


          Also, you DO NOT want to eat Chinese tomatos. Was in Beijing earlier in the year and at the fresh produce markets. Their tomatoes are a deep cherry red, very unnaturally coloured. Sign of either genetic mutation or wierd chemicals.

      • I rent and I grow. Our balcony has a good array of pots - herbs are an easy one, and tomatos do surprisingly well in pots.

        I've actually had a tomato plant survive winter - spawned from the last of the tomatos last season thrown in the pot as it was partially rotten, and the balcony shielded it enough from the cold. Going to see if it will bear fruit this year!


    We tend to buy the truss tomatoes. They are a little more expensive but consistently priced and consistently nice. They are grown indoors so seasonal changes don't smack them around.

    I tried growing tomatoes a few times but the fruit fly up where we are is a right PITA!

    Maybe see what else you can grow to offset the cost of tomatoes. Silverbeet/kale etc are incredibly easy, so is lettuce. Both suitable for pots.

    Also have you thought about finding a local community garden?

    • Not enough time for gardening and stuffs. I heard that it is cheaper to buy from local producers directly, so asking here if anybody has any info for ACT.

    • Truss tomatoes make the best of a bad situation. I do the same, buy truss tomatos in winter and let them ripen right up (can take a couple of weeks), but that way they have the maximum flavour.

      But store bought farmed tomatoes have nothing on a home grown tomato. Juicy, tasty, much more flesh, not watery… omnomnom! Worth the hassle of growing IMO!

    • Cover them with fine netting next time you try. One that fine enough to block flys but not too thick to block out the sun.

  • uni student answer: 60c canned tomatoes.

  • No way you could grow tomatoes in the ACT in winter(outdoors) too freeking cold.

    • During winter it is harder, but Canberra has a pretty good climate for growing tomatoes. We grow heaps each year (way too many to eat - have to make chutneys, give some away, etc), although harvest is later and during winter it's easier to just buy from QLD growers.

  • Diced tomatoes from Aldi, something like 79 cents per 400 ml can.
    If you have costco, youcanbydiced tomatoes for $2.5 per 2.5 kg. You will need costco membership card.

    Went to the market last weekend. Tomatoes and cucumber are rediculously expensive..

  • In Sydney, it's $10 / kg. Ouch!

  • You can't expect to get reasonably priced tomatoes all year round. They are seasonal.
    Many good restaurants will use the canned type when they are not in season (expensive tomatoes out of season aren't very sweet) - but generally not the really cheap kind you get in the supermarket.

  • We buy canned tomatoes at the moment. They're about 70c or $1 something depending on whole or diced tomatoes. Strangely they're made in Italy and apparently it's cheaper to ship them across the globe than to get locally grown tomatoes… We're planning to grow some, but we live in a flat so I think like someone above suggested a polystyrene box on the balcony might just do the trick.

    • Above comments say it's either diced or crushed. So whole tomatoes mean intact ones?


        Yeah they sell whole canned tomatoes. Don't expect them to be anything like fresh tomatoes though - they're the same as diced/crushed in flavour and mushy texture, only they're intact. Really depends on what you're cooking as to which you'd use.

  • Try the markets in belco sunday afternoon, they usually clear them out at cheap, not sure if they have tomatos.. We were surprise our grocery shopping was cheaper than sydney.

    • +1 about the Belco markets. I won't guarantee that they have cheaper tomatoes, but its a great fresh food market with good value pricing.

    • Edit: not sure if they clear tomatoes for cheap. Be careful when the fish place discount their products, some have gone bad.

      • It may come as a surprise but tomato price is higher at fresh food markets (Fyshwick, Woden) than supermarkets in Canberra.

        Yes they clear out stock at Sunday afternoon but its a hit & miss chance, often the stock run out at Sunday morning.


          Fresh food market prices are almost always dearer than supermarkets. Gotta consider the fact they're usually sold directly from the farmers/growers in presumably smaller amounts (supermarkets would buy in mass bulk, have deals with the growers, have huge storage abilities, bigger sales overall etc, all which would most likely allow them to bring prices down slightly more than fresh markets…)

          Sucks if you're on a tight budget but want to support the local growers by shopping either directly from them, or from markets like that.

        • Try Paddies in China town or at Flemington for cheaper produce in Sydney, rather than "growers markets".
          Apples always under $2kg. Whatever is in season is always very cheap. We used to take turns with another family to go to Flemington each fortnight and split a box of apples, cheap bulk potatoes, carrots etc.
          Now I work near China town so cheap produce in normal retail quantities. Just wish they were open Monday and Tuesday too.

        • @mskeggs: i used to work at a local veggie shop near Hurstville, even they buy from flemington in bulk and mark up the prices lol

          Flemington market is good if you have a big family to feed, or share with 1-2 other families.

  • Try your local markets. I buy mine at the markets and they're usually around $3/kg compared to the ridiculous $7/kg at Woolworths/Coles…

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