Buy your produce in season. It tastes better & it is cheaper. Oh, it is "greener", too.
Buying produce can be tricky. Some stuff is priced per item. Some per pound. And, that varies from store to store. And, the prices can fluctuate by several dollars from place to place, month to month, week to week. You don't ever know if the price is good, just by looking at the weekly sale ad, if you don't know what a good price is. The apples are on "sale" for $1.99. Hmmm... in season they should only be around $1. So, that is a bad sale.
We aren't totally strict on localism & such. We still eat bananas. But, eating according to seasons can really aid your grocery budget.
Years ago, I was shopping with my mom at a nice produce stand in the county. I was living at home & did some of the cooking & shopping for the family. I think it must have been the dead of winter. But, I desired to make a peach pie. My mom didn't say much, but I think she let me know she didn't think the idea was that great. But I was stubborn & ignorant. When my mom saw that the price of peaches was $4.99 per lb. (!!!), I think she gasped. I still bought them anyway. Enough for a few pies. I was confident that they would be tasty. And, they were. But, I am not sure they tasted like $50. I learned something from that.
But, not everything. A few years later, as a young wife, I decided to make fresh spring pea soup as a starter for dinner. But, it wasn't spring. That little pot of soup was worth about $60. No joke.
Lesson - if you have very little concept of what something should cost, per lb., maybe you should weigh it. They have scales right there. For your convenience. Even though it looks like no one else is using them - go ahead - just do it. Weigh it. If you kids are tall enough, I bet they would love the job. It's kinda fun.
I think learning good produce prices mostly just takes experience. And I still have a lot to learn. Someone like my mom, who has been paying attention to produce prices on a weekly basis, for about 35 years, knows her stuff much better than I do.
Pay attention to prices & you will start learning what is a good deal. Pretty soon you'll have the "appropriate" prices memorized for all your regular purchases. I am fairly confident that the produce stand in Moss Landing, that I have been going to, has some of the best prices in my area. But, I don't have any hard core data on that. I should try to work on that.
I found this Oregonian's comparison chart* that may be helpful to you, or not. It is a few years old. I can't really find much of specifics on this subject on the web. But then, I am not a very good web surfer.
* a note to those who follow this link & read about the woody California strawberries. Those are NOT Well-Pict berries. And, it is not a problem of where they were grown. It is a breeding problem. Buy Well-Pict & you won't have the problem.