We all know that buying generic and using coupons saves money... But did you know that buying locally grown, organic goods might save you more? There is an unfortunate misconception that buying organic (or healthy) is more expensive and that’s just not true.
The concept of buying local is to buy goods, services and foods that are produced, grown or raised as close to your home as possible. When you buy locally grown foods your essentially paying for the food and the cost of harvest. When you buy foods that have been ordered from large agribusiness corporations in various states, cities and countries, you’re paying for advertising, trucking, flying, shipping, milage, gas and more. In the United States, the average grocery store’s produce travels 1,500 miles before it reaches the refrigerator!!!
Buying Locally: Good for your health, good for the environment, good for your local economy.
If you want to try this but don’t know where to start, an excellent tool to help you is, Local Harvest. Local Harvest is a nationwide public directory of small farms, farmers markets, restaurants and other local food sources. You simply go to the site enter your zip code and all of the local farms, farmers markets and restaurants in your area pop up! Sustainable Table is another great site, with tips and tools on how to maintain a healthy body, healthy wallet and a healthy earth! For tips on growing your own garden try, here.
As far as convenience, there is only one major grocery store, that I know of, that fills it’s shelves with local goods, Trader Joe’s.
When I was living in Southern California this was our favorite grocery store. Tim and I still advocate this place even though the closest store is 300 miles away! Trader Joe’s has the most affordable produce, meats, breads, dairy etc... simply because they buy nearly all of their goods from local vendors. Since they don’t have to pay overhead to corporate farmers, Joe’s is able to price their products lower than Publix, Wal-Mart, Ralph's, Win-Dixie and Krogers. Find a Trader Joe’s in your area!
Now that we are back in Melbourne we do most of our shopping at Petty's Meat Market. They sell locally produced/organic meats and dry goods. Their meat prices are half of the cost of our major Supermarket's meat prices. It's astonishing! As for our produce, we stick with either GreenWise or local veggie stands! We save at least $75 a month just from buying locally.
Industrialized agra-goods are overly processed, unhealthy, overpriced and harmful to the environment.
Buy local, save money, get healthy, be sustainable and employ a small farmer!
Image via CWage's Flickir Photostream