How to eat healthy, shop cheap, support your community and the environment.

12 07 2011

First of all, I want to mention this great blog I found…MomVesting.  It’s all about investing in different areas in your life…self, family, and, yes, finances.  These women know their stuff, too!  It’s good to find some reading material in this area that’s actually…well, readable.  Finding information on managing your finances is one thing…understanding what you’re reading is another.

Today’s investment on femmefrugality:  farmers markets.  I’m so excited about them.  Spring and summertime you can find local stands in your communities that sell all kinds of great food at cheaper than grocery store prices.  When you shop at these stands, you’re buying direct from the farmer.  By buying direct you’re saving money, and you’re helping your community out, too.  Your local farmers actually make more money by selling direct to you at a retail price than selling to those middlemen, as they purchase from the farmers at wholesale prices.

You’re eliminating food transportation costs along with costs associated with packaging the product.  These costs aren’t just monetary ones.  There aren’t many ways to be green while saving money UP FRONT, but farmers markets are one of them.  The manufacturing of the plastic products is now eliminated, as is the waste of the plastic itself (you were probably going to throw the package in the trash when you were done, weren’t you?)  Then, of course, less transportation means less gas used which we all know is a great thing.  Organizations like the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture also help local farmers operate their farms in a way that is not intrusive to the environment.  A lot of the markets around here are associated with them.

So you’re saving money.  You’re supporting your neighbors and local economy.  You’re being green on purpose or as a fringe benefit.  You’re also going to be eating healthy.  A majority of what these markets provide is produce relative to your area.  In Pennsylvania, that means corn on the cob! (Along with myriads of other fruits and vegetables.)  At some stands you can also get locally grown flowers, locally made baked goods and prepared foods, and other products.

There are farmers markets across the country, the world, even, so don’t hesitate to locate one in your area.  If you are in Pittsburgh or anywhere else in South Western PA, you can visit The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or the Buy Local Buy Fresh website.  Happy and healthy shopping!