How Supporting Local Farms Could Lower Your Grocery Bill

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  • You may be able to get fresh, local food for less money. 
  • Shopping at farmer's markets and investing in a CSA share may help you lower your grocery bill. 

If you're sick of the prices you're paying at the grocery store, you may want to start supporting farms in your area. 

Across the United States, food costs continue to rise. If you're on a budget, you may be looking for money-saving tips to reduce your grocery spending. If you have local farms in your community, exploring their fresh produce and food options may be worthwhile. Purchasing food from local farms could help you lower your grocery bill. Find out how. 

If you live in an area with community farms, they likely sell much more than produce. Many farms sell other food items like baked goods, jams, pickles, milk, eggs, and meats. 

When you support local farms, you're helping keep a small business running. This is also a great way to get high-quality food. When you shop at a grocery store, you may not always get good quality food and it may not taste or look fresh. 

If you're buying all of your food from the grocery store, you may want to think about changing your habits. You could save money by purchasing some food items from a community farm. Here are two easy ways to do this:  

Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs have recently become more prevalent. These programs function similarly to a subscription service. Members who pay the fee and commit to the program get a share of fresh, local produce throughout the season. 

If you join a CSA program in your area, you'll likely need to invest before the start of the growing season. Some CSAs offer other payment options as well. You'll enjoy regular pickups or deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables in exchange for joining. 

Most CSA programs have a variety of plans available at different price points. This includes different size plans for individuals and families. You may be able to save money by committing to a CSA. 

Here are three things to consider before committing to a CSA:

  • Does the time commitment work for you? Some farms offer different time commitments, such as a 12-week plan, 18-week plan, or 24- week plan. Make sure you choose the right plan for you. 
  • Will you be able to eat all of the food you get? If you think you won't use it all, you could share a CSA with a neighbor or friend or choose to invest in a smaller share designed for individuals or couples. 
  • Are you open to trying new things? Your CSA share may include unique fruits, vegetables, and other new-to-you food items. If you're a picky eater, a CSA may not work well. 

Shop at farmer's markets

Another way to support local farms is by shopping at local farmer's markets. These events are typically held weekly during the spring and summer months. Your city or town may have several events and locations throughout the week. 

You can check out the different vendors and make an outing of it. You can likely get a great deal on items like produce, eggs, and bread. If you're new to shopping at farmer's markets, visit a few locations to find the one that appeals to you. 

Will supporting local farms lower your grocery bill? 

Supporting local farms could reduce your food spending. However, your shopping habits and food preferences are significant factors in how much money you could save.   

If you're unsure if you'll save money, begin tracking your grocery spending now. After a couple of weeks, you'll know how much produce you use and how much money you spend. Then, compare CSA and farmer's market prices.  

If you're looking for other ways to reduce your food spending, these resources may be helpful: 

Inflation is at an all-time high, but you can make small changes to reduce your spending. For additional tips to keep more money in your wallet, check out our personal finance resources.

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