We love to shop at farmers markets for tasty fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm. As much as we enjoy the truest flavors of the season, we have to admit that produce from farmers market tends to be more expensive than those in grocery store. What is the best way to save money at farmers markets?
We live close to a local farmers market that opens every Saturday morning in spring and fall. One thing we noticed was the foods there are relatively expensive, but the unit price (e.g., per pound) is actually much lower when you buy in a big bushel or box. But the issue is we don’t really need a whole bushel of apples or pears since we cannot finish all before some go rotten. The key here is to buy in bulk and split the fruits and vegetables (and cost).
For weeks, we have done “shopping and splitting” with friends, neighbors, or shoppers who happened to want to buy certain food too. For instance, several friends of mine would like to buy a bushel of sweet potatoes which was about 70 pounds for $50. No single family could consume 70 pounds. Seven families joined the group and we equally split the whole bushel, so each family only paid $7 for about 10 pounds of fresh sweet potatoes. The same amount of sweet potato will cost us $15 in grocery store ($1.5 per pound), so we saved $8.
A bushel of fresh gala apples was $10 for about 20 pound. It was going to take us a long time to finish 20 pounds of apples. We found a person who was willing to share the cost with us. So each of us actually paid $5 for 10 pounds of gala apple. That was only 50 cents per pound.
I was also able to find several families to share eggplant, green pepper, potato, and Asian pearl with me. So I paid $6 for 5 pounds of eggplants, $4 for 4 pounds of green peppers, $7 for 10 pounds of potatoes, and $9 for 8 pounds of Asian pears. All those items I bought from the farmers market were cheaper than those from grocery stores, but much fresher.
Sharing cost is a great idea to eat fresh while saving money at farmers market. I encourage you try it. Don’t be shy. Next time when you are at a farmers market, just ask people around you to see whether they like to share the cost to buy the bulk foods with you. You will easily find many shoppers interested. Good luck!
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