Author Topic: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...  (Read 9463 times)

FuckRx

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farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« on: July 27, 2013, 12:56:33 PM »

i'm torn and wanted some advice...
instinctively i want to go for the cheapest of the two options but i want to be a good citizen to my local community...
there is a farmer's market every saturday within a walking distance from my house...
prices aren't cheap....
tomatoes 2.50-5/lb
mushrooms 4-5/lb
zuchini 2.50/lb
avocados 1/ea

then there is a mom/pop grocery store near my work that i walk to at lunch every day...
mushrooms are like 1-2/lb
tomato 1/lb
zuchini 1/lb
onion .69/lb

anyways....
how do i decided and what do you guys do with decisions like that?

fiveoclockshadow

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 02:13:34 PM »
If the more expensive food tastes better, is healthier or is in some other way beneficial to you and enough to justify its cost then buy it. If you are making your own meals you are already saving a lot over prepared foods so splurging a bit is OK if you feel there is a benefit. That benefit might even just be enjoying the farmers market and wanting to support some growers. On the flip side someone really might enjoy a bargain, or feel a farmers market is a scam for yuppies and derive pleasure from getting less expensive food even if might be less fresh.

MMM seems willing to splurge a bit on food, as in quality ingredients. There is also a whole subculture based on rescuing slightly spoiled food from grocery and restaurant dumpsters.  No right answer I think beyond do what you feel is best for you.

matchewed

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2013, 02:13:55 PM »
Isn't shopping at your mom & pop store also supporting your local community?

FuckRx

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2013, 04:04:50 PM »

yea i think both ways i'm supportive of local businesses....
i don't want to say anything bad about the larger grocery stores like ralphs and vons in my area...
but they certainly have a lot of waste, a big footprint on the environment....

but thanks for the info so far folks...really appreciate the insight....

for now about to go for my walk to the grocery store again and get my veggies for lunch break at work...

Micheal

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2013, 11:12:32 PM »
The ma and pa store is the way to go IMHO, you get better prices.  Farmers markets are nice and occasionally I will buy something there (the local amish community makes the best rhubarb and pecan pie in the area and at $5 for a huge homemade pie its a deal), but if the food you get at the local store is good I'd support them, and they propally source there veggies locally as well, you could always ask.

Left

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 11:22:49 PM »
hm when you say mushrooms 4-5/lb, do you mean you get 5 pounds for $4? Or is it $4 to $5 per pound? I couldn't tell which meaning the dash had.
Most of the farmer's markets that I've been to normally are priced equal to the store or much lower, or people wouldn't go there for it. Work also offers a "market" for fresh vegetables/fruits one day a week.

Anyways, if your market is like mine, if you go towards the end of the day when they are wrapping up and wanting to leave. You can get discounts/haggle with them easier since they want to go. You don't have the best to choose from but they aren't bad either.

FuckRx

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 10:40:35 AM »
Last i checked it was about 4.50/lb for mushrooms over at the farmers market. I'll check back again. It sounds like there are good deals to be had at a farmers market, I might have to become a better shopper.
loved the input. Thanks

vern

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 07:48:39 PM »
When it comes to food I'm all about quality over quantity.  Farmer's markets are a big part of that equation.

ace1224

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 05:30:48 AM »
the farmers market near me is way more expensive than the grocery store.  i only go there to splurge when i feel spendy.  but its up to you, as long as it doesn't break the budget and its important to you do what feels best

PolarBeer

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 05:36:02 AM »
Its perfectly fine to purchase better goods for a price premium as long as you can objectively argue that you getter better value from it.

However, be mindful that you're not using that line of thought as an excuse to splurge, because its easy to fool yourself willingly or unwillingly.

hybrid

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 07:34:59 AM »
Isn't shopping at your mom & pop store also supporting your local community?

Ding ding ding.....

Like some of the other responders, the most excellent Farmer's Market in my area is significantly more pricey than the local grocery stores.  I do believe in getting what you pay for, but I am also very choosy about what I buy there.  I really enjoy the experience though, it's a fun, hip crowd and the vendors are very friendly.  But I'm not buying $18 ribeyes all the same...  Sausage at $4.50 a pound?  Yeah, I'll do that....

infogoon

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 08:56:00 AM »
Be wary of less established farmer's markets -- we had one locally that didn't vet its vendors, and found out after a couple months that several of them were just bringing produce from the grocery store at a significant markup.

meadow lark

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 08:17:55 AM »
Our farmers markets are more expensive than grocery stores.  It just happens to be really hard to grow anything locally (the climate is harsh, the soil is poor, etc.)

Gerard

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2013, 10:35:33 AM »
Toronto farmers' markets are far more expensive than grocery stores, and during the local growing season, the independent grocers do carry a lot of local stuff, so I don't feel guilty about skipping the market.

But it's not a complete either-or. Some things are actually better at the market -- tomatoes, garlic, and green onions come to mind -- so I splurge out a little for those.

onehappypanda

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 09:16:22 AM »
But it's not a complete either-or. Some things are actually better at the market -- tomatoes, garlic, and green onions come to mind -- so I splurge out a little for those.

2nd this sentiment: It doesn't have to be a "grocery OR farmer's market" thing. If something is particularly fresh and awesome looking at the farmer's market, I'll usually spring for that. Fresh greens are awesome at the farmer's market, but potatoes seem to taste the same regardless of where I buy them. Fresh eggs and local meat are an occasional splurge, but day-to-day staples come from the grocers.

During the growing season, I usually hit the farmer's market on Saturday morning to see what looks awesome, and buy everything else I need at the grocery store on Saturday night or Sunday morning. To some extent, it also depends on what we're getting out of our garden, as we grow our own herbs/tomatoes/cucumbers/etc.

daverobev

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2013, 09:44:00 AM »
This is an aside from someone who is (trying to do) a CSA (community supported agriculture) this year.

Farming is hard. Small scale farming is bloody hard. We were planning on doing 20 boxes but only sold 12 (poor marketing on our part, but lucky because the land we're using is baad. Like, heavy clay, full of weeds, surrounded by groundhogs and turkeys). Anyway.

My point is this - it is not possible to sustainably grow tomatoes for what mom & pop sell them for. It's fine to grow them at home, but if your local farmer is to be paid a living wage (and not have to take on the debt to put up polytunnels/greenhouses and heating systems) it is bastard hard to do it.

So, not "as charity" but in terms of supporting the crazy people who do do it, I'd say find a local farm you like and buy some stuff from them. We need them to keep on.

Or learn to grow a chunk of stuff at home, if you can. Eat in season.

Because I can guarantee you, the stuff at the grocery store is grown in ginormous plantations or factories with underpaid overworked people, pesticided not when necessary but on schedule because it's more economical (though more destructive) to do that, tomatoes shipped green and gassed to make them ripen.

Don't get me wrong. I used to be WAY more into organic than I am now. I've seen how much killing goes on on small scale organic places (I used to be vegetarian. After a season of squashing bugs... meh. Cows > bugs? Sure. But.. they are on the same chart, right?).

Anyway. As others have said, it's not either/or.

backyardfeast

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2013, 12:50:27 PM »
Remember, too, that some of this decision should be based on your financial situation.  If you are in massive debt emergency, then price should be the first priority (put your oxygen mask on first, remember? :) ).  Its possible to eat reasonably ethically for very little by being mostly vegetarian, paying attention to seasonality, u-picking fruit and veg when available, etc.  But organic, farmer's market, premium prices (often TOTALLY justified!) are for when you've got enough room in the budget to put the priority there.

My .02.  And remember that growing your own is often the best of all possible worlds!

CptPoo

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2013, 01:31:09 PM »
It is interesting. I live in probably one of the few areas where the farmers market is often cheaper than even the cheapest big box grocery stores. I can get 3 giant zucchinis for $1, a pound of the best kale I've ever had for $2, a dozen ears of sweet corn for $3, and all kinds of peppers for next to nothing.

With that said, while I buy most of my produce at the farmer's market, I don't buy all of it. I get some from a locally owned grocer and even a little from Aldis (a budget grocery store).

zinnie

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2013, 03:53:10 PM »
I'm with the posters that say it doesn't have to be one way or the other--especially if you get enjoyment out of the farmer's market. For us, biking to the farmer's market is our Saturday morning activity every week.

daverobev--I had the same thought about vegetarianism and organic gardening--sure, I wasn't spraying bad chemicals, and they were all vegetables, but the number of grasshoppers I have to chase around the yard (sometimes after they've lost a leg or two) and squish with my bare hands was a little disturbing. 

vern

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2013, 10:01:38 PM »
You also might want to check if there is a wholesale produce market near you. 

This guy got some great deals!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW3rWq5JNuU

jrhampt

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Re: farmer's market or cheaper grocery store...
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 08:57:43 AM »
Remember, too, that some of this decision should be based on your financial situation.  If you are in massive debt emergency, then price should be the first priority (put your oxygen mask on first, remember? :) ).  Its possible to eat reasonably ethically for very little by being mostly vegetarian, paying attention to seasonality, u-picking fruit and veg when available, etc.  But organic, farmer's market, premium prices (often TOTALLY justified!) are for when you've got enough room in the budget to put the priority there.

My .02.  And remember that growing your own is often the best of all possible worlds!

Right.  When you are financially independent or well on the way is when I would shop at the farmer's market, provided you get a better taste for your money there.