Shop Local, Save Money
Buying generic food and using coupons helps you save money on groceries, but most people don’t think of another great way to save money on food: Shopping locally. When you shop local, you can find high-quality, fresh food that tastes better than food in the grocery store, and you support your local economy.
Food has to travel a long distance to reach your local grocery store, so it could be several days or weeks old by the time you buy it. Since local food doesn’t travel as far, it is picked when it is ripe, which means it has more nutritional value. Foods destined for a grocery store are often picked a week or more before it is ripe, so it does not have time to mature, it is therefore lower in vitamins and other nutrients.
Buying produce from a farmer’s market or directly from the grower is cheaper because there are fewer transportation and packaging costs. It also eliminates the middleman, so the price savings are passed on to the customer.
Less packaging and travel means less energy is used to get the food to your table. When fuel prices increase, you will soon see an increase at the grocery store.
Finding Local Produce
If you do not regularly shop local, you can start by visiting a local farmer’s market. These are gaining popularity in the country, so more small and medium size cities are hosting them. Call your city’s town hall to ask if they have one or have plans to start one.
Some farmers have their own produce stands on their farm or at another convenient location. At some farms, you can pick your own food, which reduces the cost even further.
Boost the Local Economy
When you support local growers, you keep money in your community. This money is then used to hire employees, which means more jobs for those in your area.
When you shop local, you not only enjoy better tasting, more nutritious foods, but you also support your local economy and help create jobs. The grower gets to make more profit off of their crop, and you save money on fresh produce and enjoy fresher food.