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  • Where to Buy the Cheapest Fish and Meat in Quezon City

    We tell you where's the most affordable place to buy everyday ingredients, seafood, and frozen meat!
    by Dedet Reyes Panabi .
Where to Buy the Cheapest Fish and Meat in Quezon City
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • How much do you spend on groceries and food? If your answer is “too much” (and isn’t it always?), check out this list of affordable markets in Quezon City. I’ve tried them all and found them to be a lot cheaper than the rest. (I’m the type who’ll save receipts and my suki’s handwritten list just to compare the cost of canned goods and galunggong, so trust me on this.)

    127 Ermin Garcia Ave, Quezon City

    It is one of the cheapest places to buy fresh fish and meat. Prices are comparable to Balintawak market, which is generally seen as the “bagsakan” but has a lot of sneaky vendors (as my friend says, go to Balintawak only if you’re market-savvy and buying in bulk, otherwise it’s just not worth the hassle). 

    Nepa Q Mart is where I’ll get my usual everyday ingredients: tilapia, bangus, pork, and the typical Filipino vegetables like kalabasa or sayote. Don’t bother looking for sosyal ingredients like romaine lettuce or fresh herbs. You’ll be lucky to find lemons and limes. It sells Filipino staples at prices everyone can afford. However, it’s not a huge market, so go there early in the morning. By lunch time, most of the fish stalls have been cleared out.

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    L1, Farmers Plaza, 59 General Araneta, Cubao, Quezon City

    It’s not the cheapest palengke in Quezon City, but its size and variety make it my “everyday weekend market.” It has aisles and aisles of meat, poultry, and seafood — including sashimi-grade tuna and salmon! The vendors, who are used to requests by the caterers and restaurant folks who shop here, can expertly debone, fillet, or slice meats for steaks or sukiyaki. Some vegetable stalls sell fresh herbs and hard-to-find vegetables like beets and kale.

    At this Cubao palengke, you can make a gourmet meal for half the price at restaurants. I’ve saved big bucks by substituting tilapia fillets for more expensive cut and buying cheaper cuts of meat and then tenderizing them with a mallet or in the slow cooker. I always check the “bagsakan” at the back for sweet deals on the day’s catch. At the dry goods section, you can get garbage bags and pasta at wholesale prices.

    Farmer’s also has a “timbangan ng bayan” where you can double check the weight of your purchases. You can also leave your ID to borrow a grocery cart to use inside the market.

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    91-95 Panay Avenue, Quezon City

    You will find it to be one of the cheapest places to buy frozen meat! Each time I go here, I see someone from the food industry filling his cart with steaks or huge slabs of ribs, but home cooks are welcome. There’s no membership fee or minimum order, and items are perfectly packaged into vacuum-sealed portions.

    I love their sukiyaki cut, barbecue (no marinade yet, but already skewered on bamboo sticks), hamburger patties, and shrimp (peeled, heads and tails already removed). There’s an entire freezer dedicated to lamb. They carry every chicken cut imaginable, but my husband finds they taste old.

    If you’re into juicing and smoothies, they have frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. You can also get frozen whole peeled garlic, pearl onions, chopped onions, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and beans.

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    1650-52 Quezon Avenue Cor. Sgt. Esguerra St, Diliman, Quezon City

    You know a supermarket’s cheap when you see sari-sari store owners shopping there. I save about P2 to P5 bucks PER ITEM, especially on basic goods like toiletries and household cleansers. They always have items on sale at the front. You’ll get great bargains like imported mayonnaise or cereals at 50% off. They always have deals on canned mushrooms and corn, or some kind of cookies that are great for baon. After Christmas, their frozen hams go on 50% off, and I hoard enough for half of the year.

    Love Asian food? Since Hi-Top has a large Chinese and Korean clientele, you can find a lot of hard-to-find ingredients, sauces, cup noodles — even industrial-sized packs of salted duck egg powder. The meat section is meh (too expensive, not always that fresh), but it has Monterey, which carries sausages your family may like. 

    The lines are crazy-long on weekends so either go early or shop on a weekday. Stop by the kakanin stall at the side — it sells amazing biko and turon.  

    Where's your favorite palengke? Tell us why you love it in the comments below!

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