Five Ways to Save...
By Finding a Farmers’ Market
by Stephanie Nelson. CouponMom.com
1. Check on-line. Try the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s website: www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets. I used this directory and found a large market 10 miles away with more than 50 participating farmers. Small and medium sized markets can be found using a Google search with your town’s name and “farmers markets.”
2. More than produce. Depending on the size of the market - local honey, fresh eggs, homemade soaps, breads, fresh-cut flowers, and potted herbs are some of the additional offerings you may find.
3. Best selection and price. Somewhat akin to shopping at a yard sale, you must keep in mind that the best selection will be early and the best prices will be closer to closing time. If you become a “regular,” participating farmers may work with you on getting the best price or selection.
4. Adventure and learning for children. No candy racks to tempt your children when you check out a market. For more adventure, try a “pick-your-own” farm. Check pickyourown.org to locate a low-cost family outing. If at the end of the day your family has fresh produce and worn-out children ready for bed after devouring the fresh produce of their labor, you’ve discovered a bargain indeed!
5. Support your local economy. Take advantage of items unique to your community. Prices vary, but since the farmer does not pay for marketing, shopping carts, lighting, or as many employees as a grocery store does, you are able to realize those savings.
Stephanie Nelson is the Coupon Mom. Her web site, www.CouponMom.com, has 6 million members, and she is established as the nation’s top expert in couponing across the country. Stephanie has been on every major national television talk show and taught millions how to save money for the past 11 years. She has been called ‘”the rock star of the recession” by the Washington Post and her book, The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, is a New York Times best seller.