It is a lot easier to be a locavore in Pennsylvania than I anticipated. I have found so many locally grown and locally produced products. Locally produced products may not be locally grown, but they are locally distributed, meaning a person is still able to support the local economy while the distributor or supplier supports the global economy. It is win-win in my book.
Some local products may seem a bit more expensive than their globally produced counterparts that can be purchased in the grocery store. Buying locally puts money in the business owners’ and farmers’ pockets thus allowing them to expand or even create new jobs. Here are 10 ways to save money while still buying local:
- Shop all in one place: Home delivery is a great way to purchase many different products from different farms and businesses without having to travel. Apple Valley Creamery and Kaufman’s Fruit Farm and Market both provide home delivery service for their products and the products of other local businesses and farms.
- Visit the farmer’s market: Buy what is in season and know what is offered at every stand before you make a purchase. Building relationships with the local vendors may also lead to deals or discounts when you visit.
- Grow your own: Spending a small amount on seeds or plants to grow your own can also save money on your grocery bill. Herbs can even be grown indoors and propagated to grow more.
- Share with neighbors or co-workers: Take a look at what your neighbor is growing and grow something else. You can then share your surpluses with each other. My co-worker has chickens that lay more eggs than she needs so she shares them as well. She also makes salsa, jams, and jellies to share as well. Take what you can use and give something back in return.
- Set limits: You may be able to purchase something made or grown locally, but the costs may not offset this. There are many things that can be grown and produced elsewhere for a lot less and spending more money on such an item may not always make sense.
- Buy in season: Local food that is grown in season is fresh and readily available and therefore costs less. Prices are lower when the produce is growing in abundance.
- Use the freezer: Save money by buying bulk fruits and vegetables in season and then save more by prepping for the off season. A lot of fruits and vegetables can be frozen and used at a later date. Canning and preserving produce are two other ways to save money during the off season.
- Use flexible recipes: Stir fries, pizza, vegetables and pasta, and soup are just a few examples of recipes that can be adjusted to include what is in season.
- Keep pantry stocked: Stock up in an affordable manner by not buying everything all at once. Buy non-perishable items in bulk when they are on sale to save money.
- Follow social media: Following your favorite local businesses and farmer’s markets on social media can alert you to what you’ll be able to get the best deals on. For example, the Farmer’s Market in Hershey posts “This Week at the Market” on their Facebook page which includes a link to what’s in season and spotlights on vendors.