Farmer’s Market Price Comparison

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 4, 2008

I wanted to share with you all how I am getting over my misconception about local farmer’s markets! I always thought they were more expensive than the grocery store! Maybe NOT!

*These are the prices that I am finding in my area…SW Ohio.
**Check your local grocery ads, as certain items might be cheaper by the week. You have to evaluate cost versus freshness, etc.
***FM=Farmer’s Market; G = Grocery Store

Vegetable Price Comparisons
Zucchini
FM $.75 each; G $.99
Bell Peppers
FM 3/$2; G $1.00-$1.50 each
Cucumbers
FM $.50 each; G $.67-$1.29 each
Onions
FM 2/$2; G 8/$4
Corn
FM 6/$2; G 8-10/$2
Squash
FM $.75 each; G $.99-$1.29 each
Tomatoes
FM $2.99/lb; G $1.89/lb
Green Beans
FM $4.99/lb; G $1.99/lb

*Note: Green Beans at the FM look 900 x better than the ones in the grocery store. Also, zucchinis and squashes (squashi…what’s the plural for squash???) are HUGE at farmer’s market! Now is the time to make lots of zucchini bread and freeze it!

Fruit Price Comparisons
Watermelon
FM $5; G$4-6 each
Canteloupe
FM $5; G $1.25-$3 each
Apples
FM 5/$5; 8/$4
Peaches
FM $.89/lb; G $.99/lb

PROs
-Grown locally and recently picked (produce has been in the back of a truck, plane or barge for 3+ days
-Often grown organically
-Individual produce are generally larger in size, therefore much cheaper “by the ounce”!
-FRESH, FRESH, FRESH = TASTY, TASTY, TASTY!

CONs
-In my case, must make an extra stop with toddlers in tow! Who touch EVERYTHING and therefore I end up feeling guilty and buying more than I intended!
-Might be “out of the way” or a “waste of gas”…depending on the location. I am fortunate enough to live near 2 great markets, and another that’s on the way to one of our weekly appointments!

Bottom line: Give your farmer’s market a try! It is likely MUCH cheaper for all those fruits and veggies!

P.S. Seeds are SUPER cheap right now…Think next year’s garden…Seeds freeze well or can also be kept in a simple can! I’ve got my 2009 garden plan in the works and am already excited to get it up and going!

Let us know about some of your “steals” and “deals” from your favorite Farmer’s Market!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsy September 5, 2008 at 5:58 am

There’s a produce market (sort of a cross between farmer’s market and regular grocery) just down the road from my house–I, too, make the extra stop even with my three toddlers in tow because the cost and quality are both vastly better than my local grocery store. Plus, they know me by name in there now and help me out with my kids if I need it :).

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gerberdaisie September 5, 2008 at 9:10 am

I love the farmers market. I love the community atmosphere and meeting new people too!

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Sonshine September 5, 2008 at 9:57 am

I love going to Farmer’s Market! Around here though they are only open certain days and hours which sometimes makes it more difficult to go. However, I have been trying to get to one every couple of weeks! :) I love having VERY fresh produce! :)

Thanks for sharing!

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Sherry September 5, 2008 at 10:30 am

I love going to the farmers market. I wish the closest one wasn’t so far though. Ugh!

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Shannon September 5, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Where are you in SWOH? I’m in NKY and interested in visiting the markets you mention!

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Jennifer September 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm

I just wrote a post yesterday about how I can’t afford to shop at a farmer’s market anymore. I am in Ohio too, and I wish it was still cheaper.

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Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva September 6, 2008 at 11:06 pm

I have a local farmers market in my town, but it is only open for a few weeks in the summer. I definitely like their prices, and the way their fruits and veggies look, compared to my options in the store. I try to take full advantage of my local farmers market as much as possible.

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gfcfmom September 7, 2008 at 8:54 am

I am headed to the farmer’s market now and thought I would check out your blog first. I love the idea of a comparison of FM to G. I am trying to do a weekly menu and head toward 5dollardinners–although that is hard being GFCF! But inspired by your blog, I am going to try to keep track of FM vs G in NYC!

also…hope the return to epsom salts is going well!

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moni September 13, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Much better than a farmer’s market would be a CSA – or how I love to call it “Rent-a-farmer”.I have summed up all my pick-ups of my farm share this season so far – the season is not over yet and I have more than made back my money so far. By the end of the season end of October – I will have gotten my veggies 50% off from April to November. You can check it out at my blog Vegetarian on the Cheap.
http://www.vegetarianonthecheap.com
You can see which veggies i got every week and the sheer amounts are insane!

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