The verduleria in Villa Crespo. Photo via Infobae.

Just when it seemed like the perfect excuse to give up on trying to eat healthy after it was reported that the price of fruits and vegetables had skyrocketed in the first few months of this year, the owner of a verdulería (fruits and vegetable market) in the capital’s neighborhood of Villa Crespo has come to the rescue of both our pockets and cholesterol levels.

Sergio, the owner of a Villa Crespo verdulería on the corner of Padilla and Malabia will now allow customers to pay for their produce in three installments. “It is a way of giving people a helping hand,” explained the vendor, speaking to TN earlier today. Vegetarians, rejoice! Horticultural justice has been done.

Even better, at Sergio’s shop, there is no minimum if you use your credit card and discounts are already available for people who pay with plastic: on Saturdays there is a 25 percent reduction on debit cards and 20 percent on credit cards. “People use this alternative a lot,” explained the owner. “At the end of the week, 90 percent of people take advantage of the discounts. Cash is practically not used; instead people use credit and debit cards most days.”

Photo via Infobae.
Photo via Infobae.

The prices offered by the verdulería are also much lower than those in other fruit and vegetable shops, which have seen their prices shoot up since December to keep up with rising inflation and due to ravaging floods in the northeast of the country. Last week, Clarín reported that in some establishments, oranges for example, have jumped from AR $10.30 per kilogram to AR $28.90 in recent months. Meanwhile, Sergio’s oranges cost AR $10 per kilogram, according to Infobae.

“Here, at any moment, you are going to see people. We try to offer fair prices rather than abusing the prices simply because it is for food. People have to eat. Nor is it a pair of shoes, a television or a fridge: it is food. Therefore we cannot be asking for high prices,” Sergio said.

While the system sounds like a great way to help out customers struggling to make ends meet, it is worth remembering that there also distinct disadvantages to paying in installments. Although, in this case we are not talking about a shiny brand new Lexus or even a 52-inch Sony, in general the installment system tempts the buyer to buy goods which are beyond their means. Meanwhile, if buyers default in payment, goods sold in installments are repossessed by the vendor. Again, admittedly, it will be difficult for Sergio to repossess a kilo of kiwi fruit, but the point is that installments tempt buyers who originally would have been unable to afford the goods into buying them, therefore putting more strain on the system and their own pockets.