public market

The Phoenix Farmer’s market has about two dozen vendors selling a a variety of items — from fresh produce, to duck and chicken eggs, to preserves and fresh baked bread. I enjoyed wandering around the stalls and making my selections. I was frugal and selective. However, as I feared, my $20 did not go very far.

squash in the morning light
beans for $4 a bag

My produce alone cost $17.85. The loaf of bread was $3. The honey was $4. While the produce tastes wonderful — so full of flavor — I wouldn’t be shopping here if I was on food stamps. This sack of groceries cost me $25.

$25 at the farmer's market

I met the woman who organizes the fair and she was so welcoming and kind. I will continue to shop here — the olive bread and tomatoes I bought are out of this world — but I do not think this is a practical answer to those shopping with food stamps in Arizona.

This experiment has reconfirmed my desire to learn how to cook, bake, can and jar, and garden more than ever. It isn’t so much about saving money as being more self-sufficient. How great would it be to give homemade loaves of bread and jars of tomato sauce (from veggies grown in your own garden) for holiday gifts? Next year, absoloodle.


P.S. Check out what Laura (LLA) of Atlanta got for $10 at her grocery by also using coupons and smarts. Awesome!