How Much Does a Pumpkin Cost?

Last Updated on June 5, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Come autumn, pumpkins become an important part of the seasonal landscape – from festive porch decorations to Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes. But with such wide variability in pumpkin sizes, quality, and sources, what exactly is the true price range for this iconic fall fruit?

This guide breaks down pumpkin pricing for all the popular decorative, carving, baking, and miniature varieties. We’ll provide price comparisons by size, weight, source, region, and more. Read on to learn insider tips for finding both great pumpkins and great deals this autumn.

How Much Does a Pumpkin Cost?

The cost of a pumpkin can range wildly – anywhere from $1 for miniature decorative varieties up to $20 or more for massive 25-pound carving pumpkins. Specific pricing depends on numerous factors like the type of pumpkin, size and weight, geographic growing region, whether it’s organic or not, and where it’s purchased – from local farms, grocery stores, supermarkets, or online retailers.

Pumpkin Size

  • Small pumpkins under 8 inches diameter: $1 – $5
  • Medium pumpkins around 8-12 inches diameter: $5 – $10
  • Large pumpkins over 12 inches diameter: $10 – $20

Pumpkin Weight

  • Mini pumpkins: $0.50 – $1.50 per pound
  • Medium pumpkins: $0.75 – $1.75 per pound
  • Giant pumpkins: $1.00 – $2.00 per pound

Pumpkin Variety

  • Carving favorites like Howden, Connecticut Field, Ghost, Jarrahdale
  • Baking varieties such as New England Sugar Pie, Baby Bear, Long Island Cheese

Source – Farm vs. Store

  • Pick-Your-Own Farms: $0.30 – $1.50 per pound
  • Farm Stands: $0.50 – $1.25 per pound
  • Grocery Stores: $0.75 – $2.00 per pound
  • Supermarkets: Slightly higher than grocery stores

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The USDA ERS website provides detailed statistics on pumpkin production and prices in the US. According to the website, in 2022, among the six top producing States, Pennsylvania received the highest price for its pumpkins, at about $280 per 1,000 pounds.

The website also highlights that the cost of pumpkins varies depending on the type, with pie pumpkins priced higher than jack-o’-lantern pumpkins. For example, in the last week of October, U.S. average wholesale pumpkin prices ranged from $183 per 36-inch bin for Howden pumpkins, to $237 per 24-inch bin for pie pumpkins, and up to $280 for specialty varieties like Heirloom pumpkins.

Ralphs, a big retail store in the US, offers fresh grown large pumpkins up to 19 pounds for $4.99 each. The store also provides a variety of pumpkin sizes and types, including small, medium, and large pumpkins, with prices ranging from $1.99 to $4.99 per pumpkin.

Selina Wamucii provides a detailed breakdown of the retail and wholesale prices of pumpkins, squash, and gourds in the US. The retail price range for US pumpkins, squash, and gourds is between US$0.66 and US$3.26 per kilogram or between US$0.30 and US$1.48 per pound(lb).

The wholesale price range for US pumpkins, squash, and gourds is between US$0.46 and US$2.28 per kilogram or between US$0.21 and US$1.03 per pound(lb).

Pumpkin Types and Common Uses

There are several distinct types of pumpkins, each better suited for different seasonal purposes:

Decorative Pumpkins – Typically smaller, ornamental varieties used for holiday centerpieces, porch displays, and other autumn decorations.

  • Price Range: $3 – $10 per individual decorative pumpkin

Carving Pumpkins – Large, round, orange varieties specially grown to carve jack-o-lanterns and Halloween decor.

  • Price Range: $5 – $15 per carving pumpkin

Baking or Cooking Pumpkins – Dense, thick fleshed pie pumpkins like sugar pumpkins perfect for pies, baking, soups, and roasting.

  • Price Range: $2 – $8 per sugar pie baking pumpkin

Miniature Pumpkins – Cute bite-sized pumpkins under 3 pounds used for festive decorations, dollhouse accents, and crafting.

  • Price Range: $1 – $3 per miniature pumpkin

Factors Influencing the Cost of Pumpkins

You might also like our articles about the cost of spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, or Christmas meals.

Several key factors affect the retail pricing of pumpkins:

Seasonal Supply and Demand

  • Prices peak in October leading up to Halloween due to surging seasonal demand.
  • Best availability with lower prices in September and November before and after peak season.

Geographic Growing Region

  • Cooler northeast and midwest climates produce much of the U.S. crop.

Urban vs. Rural Location

  • Prices higher at urban farms and retailers vs. rural areas.

Organic vs. Conventional Growing Methods

  • Organic heirloom pumpkins range $5 – $15 per pumpkin.
  • Conventional field grown pumpkins cost $3 – $10 each typically.

Wholesale Bulk Discounts vs. Retail Pricing

  • Farms offer bulk wholesale pricing to retailers resulting in cost savings passed on to individual consumers buying multiple pumpkins.

Finding the Best Deals on Pumpkins

Local Pick-Your-Own Farms – Buy directly from the pumpkin patch source for lowest retail costs, averaging $0.30 to $1.50 per pound. Kids love picking their own!

Farm Roadside Stands – Also offer fresh-picked pumpkins at very affordable farm prices, usually $0.50 to $1.25 per pound. Support local agriculture.

Grocery Stores – Provides convenience of one-stop shopping for all needs at slightly higher costs – $0.75 to $2.00 per pound. Watch for sale prices!

Online Mail Order – Not as fun for kids, but ordering online allows easy home delivery if local options are sparse. Prices vary, and shipping costs often apply.

Always call ahead to check crop availability and pricing before venturing out to procure the perfect pumpkin specimens for all your autumn activities.

Regional Price Variations

Due to growing climates and yields, pumpkin prices can vary notably depending on region:

Northeast – Abundant supply means lower prices, averaging $2 – $7 each.

Midwest – Also a leading producer of pumpkins resulting in lower costs around $3 – $10 per pumpkin.

West Coast – Not a major pumpkin growing region, so costs are higher, averaging $5 – $15 each.

South – Very limited seasonal pumpkin crops lead to premium pricing of $7 – $20 per pumpkin on average.

When it comes to pumpkin price differences, location matters! Pick-your-own farms always offer the best value.

Store Bought vs. Farm Purchased

Pumpkin InsideComparing costs shows farm stands consistently beat grocery stores on pumpkin pricing:

Farm Stand Pumpkin Cost

  • Average Price Per Pound – $0.50 to $1.25
  • Total Cost for 12 lb Carving Pumpkin – $6 to $15

Grocery Store Pumpkin Cost

  • Average Price Per Pound – $0.75 to $2
  • Total Cost for 12 lb Carving Pumpkin – $9 to $24

Per pound pumpkin prices run about $0.50 to $1 less when purchasing directly from nearby farms and stands compared to national grocery store chains.

When You Buy Pumpkins?

Timing your pumpkin purchase strategically can yield the best bang for your buck:

September – Decent availability with lower prices before peak Halloween demand hits. Growers are still harvesting crops.

October – Peak season means peak pumpkin prices, but quality and selection is prime for Halloween festivities.

Early November – Post-Halloween surplus sales mean deeply discounted pumpkins ideal for fall decorating on a budget. Act fast before they sell out!

Frequently Asked Questions

Get quick answers to some additional common pumpkin pricing questions:

How much do big pumpkins sell for?

Specialty giant pumpkins over 25 pounds often sell for around $1-2 per pound at contests. Award winners can auction for over $5 per pound at charity events.

How much does it cost to carve a pumpkin?

Expect to spend around $15-25 including purchasing the pumpkin for $5-15 and basic carving tools for under $10. Professional carvers charge $50+.

Can you make money carving pumpkins?

Yes! With the right venue, creative carved pumpkins can sell for $20-40 each. Skilled pumpkin carvers can make $35+ per hour at seasonal events. Finding markets to sell is key.

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