I often hear people exclaim "it's expensive to eat healthy" or some variation there of but yet I find with a little variance from the norm it's really not that hard to save some money and eat not only healthy but fresh and in season as well.
If you’re looking to save a bit on your weekly shop definitely leave those expensive and often imported fruits and vegetables on the shelves in your local large chain grocery store and find a market near by and if not a true farmers market then search for your local independent stores that will often source their produce from nearby farms.
It’s often a benefit to become a regular at whatever market or small store of your choice and get to know the vendors. Often they are the best resource on what’s in season, what’s on special and at times even open to bartering or throwing in an extra bag of something for you as well.
For several years I would go to the Fremantle markets that are open only on weekends and public holidays. I quickly learned that midday or later on a Sunday became the best time to go, as they needed to discount their wares to sell them or risk having to toss them away.
There are always great deals to be had and my local guy became a market friend who would always give me 8 for $10 rather than the standard 7. Produce was bagged up and prices clearly marked which meant it was never a guessing game as to how much an item would weigh in the $/kg category.
It became a weekly habit for me and now that I have moved further away I often miss it and go still when I can. That guy, he still remembers me.
Relationships through going local make a market trip both a fun adventure and a source of stocking up for the week ahead.
I’ve have now found another local market that’s bustling on Saturday mornings – I add it to my schedule as I find when I miss it I’m off balance for the rest of the week and have to resort to the lesser quality and selection at my local big chain.
I’ll add a bit of a disclaimer that we are extremely blessed here in Perth, Western Australia to have yearly farmers markets that bring us locally grown produce that’s in season.
I understand that not all cities will be like this and maybe you only have a local market during spring and summer or it’s monthly rather than weekly – regardless of where you are I bet if you dug around a little bit you can find something that suits.
Eating with a bit of planning and a sense of adventure can be both fun and inexpensive.
Where do you love to buy your fruit and veggies? Is there somewhere in your city that’s a favorite? Comment below and let me know all your secret gardens.