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Grocery Stores vs. Farmer’s Markets

In these days of economic crisis, we all want to pay the smallest amount for our necessary items. This is why we should consider buying our fresh vegetables and fruits at a farmer’s market.

Of course, the big grocery stores and supermarkets will have a wide variety of everything. At their shops, you’ll find the most exotic items you can imagine – at a cost, of course! Some vegetables or fruits will be more expensive in winter than in summer.

Also, they offer this large variety all year through. It’s not impossible to buy strawberries in winter – your grocery store imports them from Israel or another country in the East. You’ll find fresh asparagus and peppers, too. Tomatoes are available throughout the year, although the taste can be a lot less in wintertime.

The big convenience stores are conveniently situated. You’ll find one in almost every centre and you won’t have to drive or walk a big distance. They have a big parking lot and most of the time, you’ll find a choice of other shops in the vicinity, which makes shopping there the more attractive.

Still, shopping in a big store can prove a lot more expensive than going elsewhere. You’ll not only buy your fruit or veggies, but you’ll be tempted to buy things you don’t really need. The psychology of the big stores is to show you lots of items, in the hope you’ll load them in your basket.

Ergo, you could save money by taking some more trouble. Somewhere in your neighborhood or region, there will be a farmer’s market. In Europe, most farmers keep a little shop where they sell part of their produce. Of course, they’re not based in the town centre, and you’ll have to drive a couple of miles on small roads.

But it’s certainly worth the trip. The farmer will sell you carrots, tomatoes, sprouts, leak, celery, potatoes, mushrooms, etc. once the crop is in. The prices are much lower than those asked in the big stores, and the product is day fresh. The reason for the cheaper price is that the farmer is allowed to sell part of his produce directly to the customer, hereby skipping the services of the middleman. These are companies who buy up produce from, in this case, a farmer and sell it to a chain of grocery stores.

Especially bio products are better bought at the farmer’s market than at the grocery store. While bio culture is quite expensive, you can still save money when you buy directly from the one who produces. In grocery stores, the costs for distribution make the price even higher.

One of the disadvantages of buying at a farmer’s market is that you won’t be able to buy whatever you like, or whenever. You’ll have to take the seasons into account. But does that make up for the money you save? A good tip: buy lots of fresh veggies in the season, prepare them and then put them in a freezer.

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