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How to Save Money at the Fishmonger

…and other penny-pinching secrets from an anonymous seafood purveyor. 

By an anonymous seafood purveyor, as told to Kaija Helmetag
Illustration of a woman at a fish

“Halibut, salmon, and tuna are often more expensive than other varieties of seafood because they are among the most popular types and their availability fluctuates throughout the year. Consider trying something new: Fans of white, flaky fish can save up to 50 percent by opting for whiting or pollock; those who prefer oily fish can try mackerel. And don’t pass up frozen shrimp, salmon, or even squid packed in vacuum-sealed packages. Frozen seafood is frequently as much as 40 percent cheaper than fresh, and its flavor is comparable. That’s because ‘fresh’ seafood is often frozen on boats or stored on ice during transport. You’ll also save if you buy seafood steaks or premade fish burgers—they cost about 15 percent less than fillets.

“If you eat seafood a few times a week, warehouse clubs are probably the best place for you to shop. You could find catfish, tilapia, mahimahi, and other varieties sold in bulk for about 30 percent less than other food stores, which should more than compensate for the annual membership fee [typically about $50]. But if you eat it only once a week at most, consider skipping the local fish market in favor of a chain grocery store, where you could find seafood 20 to 25 percent less expensive on average.”

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