The Truth about Prices at Farmers Markets

Lisa Says: Great Article from the PA Lancaster BFBL chapter’s e-newsletter: 

 The Truth about Prices at Farmers Markets

 ”You’ve probably heard that buying from farmers markets is more expensive than buying from a grocery store. We want to debunk some of these myths.  More and more research is being done that compares prices at farmers markets with those in grocery stores. And the numbers may surprise you.

 According to research done by the Seattle  Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance and the results of another study reported by  KOMO News, a Seattle-based news network, certain produce is definitely lower in cost when bought at a market. This was the case for collard greens, which only cost 75 cents a local farmers market compared to a range of $1.33 to $2.49 at other grocery stories. While this may not be the case for all produce, the article estimates an average of 62 cents of savings for a variety of produce compared with grocery store prices.

 Another study by  NOFA Vermont shows that if you’re looking for organic, farmers markets are the place to shop, with some price variation among other, conventionally grown products.   The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture also demonstrated that local prices at farmers markets were often equal to or lower than grocery store prices.

 Being a smart consumer also helps. Just like shopping at a supermarket, there are tips to finding the best deals at a farmers market.

 1. Shop around. Walk the market first and compare prices for the items you are interested in.

 2. Build relationships with standholders. They may offer you a better deal, fill you in on what produce to expect for the next market day, or offer you bumped and bruised produce for a lower cost.

 3. By knowing your farmer, you may be able to forego buying organic only because you know that how they grow those strawberries you’re eyeing up.

 4. A  Business Insider article recommends shopping late in the day or in inclement weather. Vendors are hoping to make their daily quota and by the end of the day, they do not want to take the remainder of their produce back home. Often, prices are reduced by the end of the day.

 5. Remember that the produce you are buying locally will last longer than what you can find in the store. You also are more likely to get the specific amounts you desire (a half a pint of brussel sprouts, a small bunch of grapes) which reduces the amount of waste from having too much of some items.”

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