This is one of my favorite money saving tips – and in most places it’s seasonal. In Detroit, however, it’s year round! Shop at your local Farmer’s Market!In Detroit, there are some regional Farmer’s markets in the summer – but we are lucky enough to have Eastern Market. It is one of the largest and the oldest farmer’s markets in the nation. In the last couple years they’ve started re-doing the sheds around the market. It is a huge market, with several independent vendors as well as small food vendors. I love going in the Summer, but they even are open through the winter!
This is what I got today, well part of it – the fingerling potatoes and the mushrooms I have a pound of each – I didn’t put them all out. All of this for under $25! And YES, each strawberry is the same size of a Roma Tomato – I love it!One of the best things about Eastern Market is the variety – and it’s accessible by a large portion of the city. I don’t mean just geographically, but also financially. Eastern Market has a program where you can redeem your Bridge Card Benefits for tokens that can be used throughout at different vendors. In the summer they even have a program where they double the token amount, so you can get double the amount of food for your beneifits. It’s an awesome program.
Find out more about Eastern Market, their food programs and even recipes on their website.
Check out some of the goodies at the market today! I love the roses, although not for the price they were asking :)!Another benefit of the market, is at least at ours – smaller shops have sprung up. Some have been there for decades, even generations now. Today I hopped into Rocky Peanut Company – a Detroit tradition since 1931! They have snacks ranging from candied almonds, to dried okra (which I hear is fantastic). They are also your place to stop for local brands and that favorite candy from when you were a kid. You can find beans and grains of all types as well as spices and sauces galore!
So make visiting your local markets and local stores part of your money saving habit. Trust me, the prices for the fruits and vegetables you get directly from the farmers is going to be much less than at your local mega-mart.One quick note about Eastern Market – they are only open on Saturdays Year round from 7 am – 4 pm. Starting in July they are also open on Tuesdays from 11 am – 6 pm. That being said- I find you will get better deals right when the market opens and right when they’re closing. Early market sales are due to the want for early sales, and the later sales are so they don’t have to take the extra merchandise back with them.
Plan what you want and make sure you coordinate your list and budget. I often go with my cart (yes, I even have my own shopping cart for the market) and walk the market once or twice first – this allows me to see the best prices around the market. On my final pass through the market, I know what I’m looking for and how much I’m willing to pay. This keeps me in budget, and makes sure I can get the best deal!
So enjoy the market, and enjoy all the in season flavors of your area! Trust me your family will thank you!