Many people think eating organic foods comes with a hefty price tag. That might be the case if you’re shopping at your traditional grocery store. However, chances are there is a farmer’s market or a produce stand close to where you live. While the closest farmer’s market to you may be available only once a week, produce and fruit stands are open six-to-seven days a week and are run by local farmers as well. Just use the internet to find the places nearest to you.
Fruits and vegetables are generally picked the morning they are brought to market, so they are at the peak of freshness when you buy them. Thus farm fresh produce won’t spoil as quickly, and you will be throwing away less food. The produce in the grocery store has to be picked under- ripe to ship, process, and display, and who knows how long it has been sitting there by the time you buy it.
Not only are the farmer’s market prices generally cheaper than the grocery store, but they often run sales towards the end of the day. Since they don’t want to pack all their produce up or have it spoil, they will often discount it heavily. I have bought fruit before at this time for half off! When I bought these apples for $7.33, the lady asked me to give her just $7. This happens all the time since you are dealing in cash and no one wants to deal with small change When is the last time your grocer gave you a deal like that?
The other day I bought tomatoes from a vendor at the farmer’s market. He wanted me to try his green beans, so he threw in 2 big handfuls for free! Another vendor was down to the last of his lemon crop, so when I needed only 2 lemons, he told me to take 10 for the same price. The same day, the lady I always buy my apples from had some great- looking almonds that I needed for a recipe. I portioned out only the handful I would need instead of wasting my money on buying a whole bag, and she just threw them in with my apple purchase since I was such a good customer. I left happy that day with a full grocery bag and wallet.
When you get to know your local farmers and vendors, they are more than willing to help you out and support you just as you support them. The guy I buy lettuce from even lets me practice my Spanish with him and teaches me new words. I like knowing my money goes to people like that and their families other than some huge corporation that couldn’t care less about me individually. I enjoy going every Tuesday to my local farmer’s market, then stopping at the produce stand the other days of the week if I forget something. It’s a great way to support your local economy, and save on your own weekly food budget.
If you add up the savings from your food lasting longer and getting great deals on top of tons of free samples, buying organic and local IS actually cheaper. Plus you get all that good karma from saving the environment by supporting pesticide-and-chemical-free farming. Now go online today and see which market and fruit stand is closest to you!