A few years ago, we took our daughter to a pumpkin patch for the first time. She toddled her way along the paths around the pumpkins, jumped in the inflatable bouncers, played carnival games and took photos amongst the bails of hay and pumpkins.

My husband and I hadn’t been to a pumpkin patch since we were kids so we ended the visit with what we assumed everyone does at the pumpkin patch: We bought a large pumpkin. The cost: $26. WHAT?!  We were a bit taken aback at the price, but we had no frame of reference for what a pumpkin should cost.

Then, we drove to our local Home Depot only to find bins full of similar pumpkins for under $6. “Is this a good deal?” a woman picking through a bin asked us when she heard us remarking on the difference in pumpkin price tags.  Further discovery of pumpkin sellers led us to Walmart and local grocers for even lower prices.

That’s why today’s hint is to consider buying your pumpkin at a local grocery store or superstore, especially if you’re watching your spending, like we are.

Here’s a list of stores in the Basin that will be carrying pumpkins this season:

Morongo Fruit Market – from $3.99
Grocery Outlet – from $4.99
Home Depot – from $3.38
Stater Brothers – from $4.99
Vons – from $6.99
Walmart – from $2.98
MCX Commissary – from $5.49

Don’t completely forego the pumpkin patch experience though! Going to a patch is fun for kids and adults, and it’s always nice to support local businesses.  Unfortunately our most “local” patch is nearly an hour away at Live Oak Canyon in Yucaipa, Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch.  It features an endless selection of pumpkins, games, hay rides, a petting zoo, corn maze, and a ton of photo opportunities.  A closer option is the Pumpkin Patch at Farm 123 in Beaumont, however they are only open the weekends of October 18 to 20 and 25 to 27.

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