Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shopping Locally

Yesterday, Squishy and I went grocery shopping at the store that now rivals Publix for my business.

It's a one-of-a-kind, family-run business that sells a host of local produce (along with specialty and organic items).

Fresh flowers. :)
Fresh flowers
 Now, in my head, when I hear "local grocery store," I think "expensive." And for many of the dry goods in this store, that holds true.

Happy apples

But the fruits, veggies, and meats in this store? Quite the opposite! It's one of the cheapest places to purchase produce in town. And since much of the produce is local, it tastes better that it's Publix counterpart.

I enjoy the "old-fashioned" feel of shopping in a small grocery store. The lanes are narrow and the floors are uneven. Almost all of the "baggers" are older ladies or gentlemen. Squishy is quickly winning his way into all of their hearts, because he has taken to blowing them repeated kisses every time we're in the store.

Grocery shopping helper.
My grocery helper
The best part about my local store? The discount carts! Oh the treasures I have found there...this week it was discounted bananas (something we can never have enough of at our house!)...

discount carts

There were also Brussels Sprouts (forgive my misspelling in the above picture), but somehow I didn't go so crazy about those.

Right now, our budget is too tight to allow shopping locally purely for the sake of shopping locally. While I think it's awesome to support near-by farmers, have a better idea of where my food is coming from, and know how it's been grown, right now price dictates where I shop. But when I find a local resource that also meets the budget, it's exciting!

Some other awesome resources I have found in my town:
U-pick strawberries in season
U-pick blueberries in season (there is actually a field nearby that offers FREE blueberries if you come out and pick them!)
Honey man that sells raw, local honey, delivered to my door for much cheaper than I could get average honey!
An abundance of farmer's markets (although these can be hit or miss as far as price goes...I need to work on my bargaining skills!)
Mulberry tree nearly in my backyard

Soon I'm hoping to have fresh produce straight from our garden! All the plants are flowering...whooo-hooo!!

Ideally, if I can't grow my own, one day I'd love to participate in an organic CSA or co-op. Right now that's now quite in the budget, so I'm simply enjoying the affordable (or free!) local resources at hand.

Have you scoped out the local food sources in your town?

Linked to Homemaking Link-Up and Works For Me Wednesday.


  1. I haven't found any local stores yet. I did go to one that a lot of people recommended for their produce, but was sad to see that it was actually more expensive and lower quality. Apparently it's hit or miss. :( We've been so busy on the weekends, that I haven't had the chance to go to any of the farmer's markets, so I'm hoping to go soon.

  2. You've found some great resources! Looks like a neat local grocery.

  3. I love u-pick farms too. Especially since my kids love picking the fruits. Our garden was just planted on Friday and already the beets and radishes have sprouted! I was amazed!!! Hope you have a great week!

  4. Candi, that is so cool! I must say, beets and radishes are two things I never cook with! What do you make with them? I have seen a great guacamole recipe lately that calls for radishes...

    Sarah, I haven't explored the farmer's market's here too much. The prices have not seemed TOO great...but I COULD bargain, esp. if I got their late, I think. I just hate bargaining. I can't even listen to my husband when he tries to do it. Ha!

  5. Your store sounds like so much fun! Last week I went to a "local" farmer's market. The strawberries and oranges I bought were so delicious!! Unfortunately, it's 45 minutes away, so I can't go every week. :-(

  6. What a neat store! Last fall I finally went to a locally owned health food store and was pleasantly surprised by some of the prices too. =)

    My tips for farmer's markets: 1) Take at least one adorable child along, and 2) Shop during the last hour the market is open. Just before packing up, some farmers will discount or add in extra (free!) produce I've been eyeing, rather than cart home or toss what hasn't sold.

  7. And to tip #2 I wanted to add that sometimes just looking at what you want will prompt a seller to offer a discount. You don't even have to haggle with such nice, eager folks!

  8. What a great find, score on the bargain baskets! There are great farmer's markets up here but I've never seen anyone bargain and I feel like you about trying myself.

    Aiming4Simple-thanks for the tips!

    As always the photos look fantastic!

  9. hehe, blowing kisses :-) My daughter has taken to doing the same thing while out and about!

  10. Those bargain baskets sound great! And I'd love honey delivered to my door!


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