Pumpkins are good for more than just jack-o-lanterns: you can simply decorate with them, you can eat them, you can shoot them, you can use their seeds to plant more pumpkins so you have free pumpkins next year…
Below you’ll find some uses for pumpkins that you might not have thought of, so you get the most out of your purchases. But most importantly, we show where to buy pumpkins and how much they cost (and how to get a good price).
In This Article
The Various Uses for Pumpkins (Get Your Money’s Worth)
Everyone knows about jack-o-lanterns, but there are so many other uses for pumpkins. If you’ve bought your pumpkin for carving, you might be able to make use of the insides too — that’s a two in one pumpkin. To get the most out of your pumpkin purchases, we’ve listed below some uses for pumpkins that you might not have crossed your mind.
There are pumpkin recipes for every meal, even snack time. There’s a lot more than just pumpkin pie:
- Breakfast: Pumpkin pancakes are a sweet, light, and popular pumpkin breakfast item.
- Lunch: Everyone loves a good sandwich during lunchtime! You can shake things up a bit by following this recipe for a savory cheddar pumpkin grilled cheese.
- Dinner: Turkey pumpkin chili is high in protein and vitamin A.
- Snacks: Pumpkin seeds are simple to make and healthy for you, too! They contain a range of nutrients like copper and magnesium. If you’re using your pumpkin for something else, keep the seeds for later. Let them dry, and then have them for a snack.
In addition to being used for food, pumpkins can also be used for these unique recreational purposes:
- Crafts: Pumpkins have traditionally been used for crafts and decorations. Freeze or dry out your pumpkins for extended use in a variety of crafts for decoration.
- Replanting: Before you carve your pumpkin, take the time to save the seeds. You’ll be able to plant those seeds and grow your own pumpkins. This will definitely save you some money next time!
- Skin Care: You can use the insides of your pumpkins to create face masks and body scrubs that will rejuvenate your skin.
- Target Practice: When your pumpkins get old and start to rot, you can use them as shooting targets. It can be fun watching them explode. Pro tip: Do this in a spot where you want pumpkins to grow for next year as when the pumpkins explode, you’ll be planting seeds all around.
Local Places That Sell Pumpkins
The best local places to buy pumpkins are farmers markets and pumpkin patches. These places tend to have the widest variety of pumpkins which means you’ll be able to find all different kinds, like Cinderella pumpkins, white pumpkins, and bottle gourds.
- Farmers markets often sell pumpkins, whether locally grown or not. This makes for a quick and easy stop. Check your local paper or community bulletin board for locations and times.
- Pumpkin patches are popular spots for family outings. Families are often able to make a day of it at pumpkin patches because these often have additional activities like apple slinging, corn mazes, and hay rides. Keep an eye out as well for special events, like food festivals, at your local pumpkins patch. Look at the Pumpkin Patches and More website to find a pumpkin patch near you.
National Retailers That Sell Pumpkins
If you would rather avoid driving to the pumpkin patch or skip the added costs of the extras at the farm, there are several national retail chains that you can rely on to stock pumpkins. The stores can also be advantageous compared to farmers markets because they have longer hours and more locations. We’ve included in-store retailers who carry pumpkins and online retailers where you can buy pumpkins seeds to grow your own.
These large retail stores carry mostly medium and large sized pumpkins, which are good for carving and baking. Click the store name to navigate to their store locator page and find a store near you.
- Giant Food Stores
- Home Depot
- Sam’s Club
- Southeastern Grocers
- Whole Foods Market
If you’re looking to buy seeds to grow your own pumpkins, check out these sites!
- American Meadows
- Eden Brothers
- Harris Seeds
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds
- Jung Seed
- Park Seed
- Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
- Plant World Seeds
- Sustainable Seed Company
- Territorial Seed Company
How Much Do Pumpkins Cost?
Typically, pumpkins are sold by the pound. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average price per pound of pumpkin is $1.35 cents for consumers. A standard pumpkin weighs 10 to 14 pounds, which means you could pay $13-$19 per pumpkin. This price varies depending on which state you’re in, how well pumpkin crops are doing, and where you buy pumpkins from. There’s also a big difference between pumpkin prices at local places and big-box retailers, which you can find out more about below.
Local Sellers Prices
Local sellers prices are often higher than big-box retailers because they charge for pumpkins by the pound. Small, decorative pumpkins may go for $4-$6, while larger pumpkins, like those used for carving, may go for $16-$24. Smaller pumpkins, however, are often sold in bundles and may end up cheaper. For example,
An advantage of buying from farmers markets and pumpkin patches is that they will have a greater size variety than a big-box retailer. Pumpkins come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. This pumpkin patch in Virginia, for example, boasts 24 varieties of pumpkin and gourd. Buying local is also beneficial because you’ll be supporting small, locally owned businesses.
Big-Box Retailers Prices
Big-box retailers prices are often lower than local sellers. For example, this Walmart carries standard, large pumpkins useful for carving or baking for $4-$10, which is a lot lower than what you’ll pay at a local place. The variety a store carries will be based on what pumpkin products they order, but will usually be larger, standard pumpkins suitable for carving or decoration. It can be harder to find smaller, decorative pumpkins at these retailers. The benefit of purchasing from a larger retailer is that they are often easier to locate than small farmers markets, especially if you live in a more urban area.
Whether they’re being used for cooking, decorating, or celebrating, shooting, etc., pumpkins are recognizable icons in the Western world. Pumpkins are easy to find for low prices at big-box retailers. For a slightly higher price, visit a local pumpkin patch, and even make a day trip enjoying other farm activities. Whether you’ll be plucking your pumpkins from the dirt or buying them in a store, you’ve got all the information you need to make well-informed decisions about your pumpkin purchases!