Saving Money: Support Local Farmer’s Markets

Saving-Money-1With groceries becoming increasingly expensive, saving coupons and keeping a close eye on sales seem to be the only way to save. Actually, it’s not. One of my favorite ways to save is going to the local farmers market. Today, I went to the Olive Branch Farmer’s Market in Olive Branch, MS. Conveniently located next to City Hall, you can find an array of fresh produce, canned goods, and even handmade furniture! I love going!  Here’s how it works:

Saving-Money-2You probably typically buy from a grocery store. Farmers sell their produce to grocery stores at a wholesale rate. Grocery stores buy the produce at wholesale, but display and sell it to us at the marked up, retail price. At your local farmer’s market, you can often times get produce at the wholesale price. Other times you may have to “dicker,” or negotiate, with the farmer personally for the best price possible. It may be slightly more than the wholesale price, but by simply cutting out the middle man (grocery stores, privately owned and otherwise) you will save money and keep the money you do spend within your community. When you purchase produce from a farmer’s market, you are not only saving money, but also boosting the local economy!

As if that wasn’t enough to convince you, you know where your produce comes from and how it is grown simply by talking to the farmers themselves. The farmers and their families don’t mind sharing info. In fact, my local farmers often give me news and advice on how to grow my own vegetables, herbs, etc, new hybrids and old heirlooms, and even how to use new ingredients I’ve never or rarely worked with. Sometimes, they even sell plants that you can buy and grow on your own. For instance, today I purchased fresh Lemongrass, an herb used often in soups, curries, and more, for two dollars a bunch. In my bunch, I received three Lemongrass plants that I plan to pot and keep in my kitchen. Go online, find your local farmer’s market and start saving now!

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