Now onto the good! Have you ever checked out your local farmers markets? I've heard so many excuses of why people don't go, hell, I have even said a few myself. Things like "I don't know when/where one is." "I don't like to get up that early." "I can just go to the store, the produce is not that much more expensive." "I always work mornings." Well, I am here to tell you to quit yo' complaining. It is not hard to find out when and where they are, just ask around or check out your town website. Put on your adult underwear and get up early. In my small little town there is one almost every day in the week (or at least one in a nearby town), working most mornings is no excuse. Oh, and yes, the store is in fact that much more expensive.
Don't believe me? Go ahead, guess how much I spent on this fresh produce today.
|Just look at that tasty produce.|
3 Bell Peppers
1 Bundle of Green Onions
4 Beef Stake Tomatoes
I only spent $10.75, and that is my average when I go. This is about a third of what I would pay at the store. I have brought home fresh berries, asparagus, the sweetest watermelon you have ever tasted, peaches, pears, mangos, and whatever else happened to be in season at the time.
Not only do you get the satisfaction of saving money, but you are also directly helping a family pay for their bills when you buy from them, instead of supporting some CEO paying employees minimum wage. It is a win-win if you ask me.
It is not all that much different than buying your produce anywhere else. You always have to check it before you buy it. Never let the vendor randomly grab a bunch and bag it for you. Also make sure you wash your produce before storing them so they stay fresh all week long.
My favorite wash "recipe" is to fill a bowl with cold water. Add 1/4 of distilled white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix it up and let your produce soak for 30 minutes. Then rinse them with cold water and let them dry before storing.
Just look at these happy fruits and vegetables taking a dip!
No worries if you can't stand vinegar. The taste does not stick.
One last word of advice is to go early, because stuff can sell out quickly! Go forth and be frugal!