Opinion | The Forbes Street Market buyer’s guide


Kaycee Orwig | Staff Photographer

Produce at Forbes Street Market.

By Allison Dantinne, Senior Staff Columnist

As young people, we all understand what it’s like to look at your bank balance, shudder at your irresponsibility, curse the economy, hate yourself for majoring in English and decide to embark on a “beans week.” This generally entails eating anything ridiculously cheap and sustaining — in my case, beans, tortillas, sometimes tomato soup.

When Forbes Street Market opened, I was immediately excited to not have to embark on the 71C just to purchase food that wouldn’t make my body scream at me. On a tepid Saturday night, I went to Forbes Street Market in search of a reasonably priced carton of eggs and a bag of spinach, but left without finding either. Upon entering, I was shocked by the amount of specialty items and the price of necessities. I stared at the shelf of kombucha (really, a whole shelf?) and thought of all the ways I could better spend my money.

So here’s a guide to avoiding Forbes Street Market markups, while still buying the food you want.

  1. Oranges

A singular orange costs 99 cents. That’s one cent away from a whole dollar. Instead of buying an orange, consider using one of your three hundred swipes to grab an orange from Market Central or The Perch. If you don’t have your own swipes, just wait for a very nice first-year to walk by and ask them to swipe you in. While you’re at it, grab some other food. Take four oranges. No one can stop you, no one would even dare. Leave Market Central or The Perch feeling unstoppable because you and your four oranges are a mighty force.

Savings: 99 cents

  1. Spinach

A bag of spinach is $3.59 at Forbes Street Market. For only 41 cents more, you could have two bags of organic spinach from Trader Joes. But that’s not the point. You only wanted one bag of spinach, and that’ll cost $2.29 at Trader Joes, a $1.30 savings. Yes, it’s less convenient to travel for a bag of spinach. Yes, the spinach will wilt and leak its sad, brown spinach juice, days after opening the bag no matter where the spinach is from. But dedicating yourself to being healthy and eating your five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is inconvenient. And at least you’ll be inconvenienced around the happy, Hawaiian-shirted employees of the Trader Joe’s and free samples of black bean and corn meatballs instead of in Forbes Street Market, staring at a bag of spinach, trying to understand why you’re even on this earth.

Savings: $1.30

  1. Yellow Mustard

It’s the condiment for people who don’t like themselves enough to prefer ranch dressing. We’ve all been there. At Forbes Street Market, you can purchase a bottle of French’s yellow mustard for $2.49. However, with a little bit of planning, you can order your French’s yellow mustard from Amazon. What’s more convenient than Jeff Bezos shipping America’s most yellow and OK condiment directly to your house for only $1.60 with Amazon Prime.

Savings: 89 cents

  1. Lemonade

It’s the only reasonable thing to mix with whatever terrible alcohol you have. It may possibly be the only thing that can save an unsavory bottle of Vlad. But at Forbes Street Market, lemonade is only carried in the “Organic Santa Cruz” variety and costs $3.69 for 32 ounces. I assure you, organic lemonade is not an inherently better mixer than regular lemonade. Instead, travel literally two blocks to the Rite Aid or Rite Aid’s late night cousin, Side Rite Aid (“Side Aid”), and buy the same amount of Turner lemonade for $1.59. I assure you, it’ll make that mixed drink taste the exact same amount of regretful and sad.

Savings: $2.10

  1. Eggs

The humble egg. A staple breakfast food. One of the only pure things left in this world. At Forbes Street Market, you can buy a dozen medium eggs for $1.89. Why medium eggs?

I have no clue. I have literally never seen a recipe call for medium eggs. But let’s say you want the medium eggs because they’re the only eggs in Forbes Street Market that aren’t organic and cage free. You can find those exact same medium eggs at Market To-Go for $1.69. Now, I have written many absurd sentence in my life, but very little has reflected the idea of absurdity as walking 100 feet to another University-owned food store to save money on eggs. And Market To-Go isn’t even marketed as a grocery store — it’s a convenience store. Pitt is gentrifying its own stores. Pitt is writing satire for me.

Savings: 20 cents

Using these methods, you can save $5.48. That’s enough money for an extravagant coffee from Starbucks, two normal iced coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts or a super cool shopping spree at your local Dollar Tree or Target Dollar Spot. Bathe in your riches — you’ve earned it!


Allison Dantinne primarily writes satire and humor for The Pitt News. Write to Allison at [email protected]