Farmer’s Markets and local farms are another great way to save money on organic food. Once you get to know the local farmers you can gain a wealth of information on what they raise, when it is harvested and how to get the best possible price on their produce.
A great way I have found to save money at the farmer’s market if you are not looking for specific produce items is to stop in close to the end of the market, Many times the farmers do not want to take their goods back home and you can get quite a deal by offering to take what is left off their hands. Just don’t be afraid to ask. I also have found that by purchasing large quantities early in the season you can save more money. Those last few batches of vine ripe tomatoes they harvest are likely to bring in a pretty penny, as everyone is wanting to hold onto that fresh garden produce as long as they can.
I like to support the local farmers that grow organic produce as there really are not many in my area. In some cases you may even be able to swap services for your share of the harvest.
My sister has worked with a family for the past several years as a garden helper. She takes a few hours each week to help weed, water and tend to a local family’s organic garden. They grow and preserve almost everything they eat so they have many large plots. Everything is done by hand, including the watering. In exchange for a couple of hours of work each week, she receives a basket of what is ready to be harvested. Free organic produce (well not really free but in exchange for her time) what could be better than that!
Once you visit your farmers markets, don’t be shy to ask around. Someone may be looking for help and you may just be just the answer.
Utilize LocalHarvest.org to find local farms in your area. There may be U-pick farms where you come and pick your own produce and then pay a lesser amount for your produce since there is less work involved for the farmer. Often times these are berry farms or orchards but I have picked corn, tomatoes and cucumbers as well.
Gleaning can also be a great way to attain free produce or nuts. Be observant. Try to notice any fruit or nut trees in vacant home lots or alongside someone’s fence that is not being picked. If the fruit is falling to the ground, usually it is either more than the owner wants or they may not want it at all. With a few questions to the neighbors, you can usually find out who the home or lot belongs to and ask permission to glean. We have never been turned down yet!
There are so many ways to save money on organic food other than just using coupons. Don’t get me wrong, coupons are also a great way to save. They are not the only way. By getting to know some in your community and searching for online deals you will find vast resources to purchase wholesome organic food for your family on a tight budget!
If you missed out, here are the other articles in this series: