Being a cheapskate at a farmer’s market may sound like a bad idea — who wants to rip off farmers? — but it can still be done while keeping your conscience clear. I’ve tried some of these methods or have watched others do them successfully for years.
I haven’t done a cost comparison to see if shopping for produce at a farmer’s market is any cheaper than at a grocery store, but as a regular shopper at both I’ve seen mostly higher prices at grocery stores. Not always, but often.
Even if you do find deals at the store, the quality isn’t often as good as it is from a farmer’s market where the produce was picked that morning or maybe a day or so earlier. I’m not trying to be a farmer’s market snob. Some things I’ve found at farmer’s markets during my weekly trips to them in the past seven years have not always been so great. But overall, I’ve found most of the produce to be top-notch.
Being a cheapskate at a farmer’s market requires some changing of your standards. And don’t think that these methods will put your local farmer out of business. They want to unload their fruits and vegetables every week, and will sometimes take a small loss if it means moving more items.
Here are some ways to be a cheapskate at a farmer’s market, and they don’t include having it delivered to your home:
Without getting into an argument over the overuse of the term organic and which foods should be grown organically for health reasons, if you want to save money as a cheapskate, skip buying organic at your farmer’s market. You’ll save at least 25 percent
If you absolutely don’t want fertilizers on the food you buy and are willing to pay extra for organic, then buy it. But know that it’s basically a technical term that requires adhering to certain practices and standards.