3 Grocery Staples That Are Actually Cheaper at the Farmers Market

published May 22, 2023
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Paying for fresh produce at the farmers market.
Credit: Sean Locke/Stocksy

As grocery prices remain frustratingly high, I invite you to consider more frequent trips to the farmers market. If you have a farmers market in your area and the means to support local producers, it’s a great opportunity to engage more closely with your food and where it comes from. It’s also an easy way to shop more sustainably, and is often a path to fresher food raised or farmed via practices that prioritize the health of a local ecosystem. Plus, with grocery prices as high as they are, it is worth taking a look to see if some items are the same price or even more affordable at the farmers market.

On a recent springtime visit to a farmers market, I spotted several items I could buy at a cheaper price or for a better value than at a nearby grocery store. Let’s take a look.

Credit: Megan Litt

1. Eggs

If you opt for organic, free-range, pasture-raised eggs at the supermarket, you may have noticed prices inching higher and higher. So if you have the option, why not buy them from a local farm for even less? On a recent trip to a New York City farmers market, the eggs were $6 or $7 a dozen as compared to the $8.29 price tag across the street at the grocery store. The farm eggs are likely more fresh and humanely raised, and you get to save a dollar or two per dozen? Win-win.

Credit: Megan Litt

2. Radishes (and other peak-season produce).

This is also often true of peak-season produce. Right now radishes are at their best and abundant at my local markets. Sure, you can buy a measly bunch of five or six organic radishes with wilted tops for $2.49 at a nearby grocer. But you can also buy bunches almost twice the size (and far more fresh and crisp) for $3 (and support a local farm while you do it)! Give the radish tops a wash and use them as a bonus salad, stew, or sauce green — they have a delicious, peppery bite. In the coming months, keep an eye out for the quality and price tag of other peak-season items at the farmers market, like berries, summer squash, and tomatoes. 

Credit: Megan Litt

3. Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are consistently one of my favorite things to buy at the farmers market because you get so much bang for your buck compared to the supermarket. Tiny plastic clamshells of thyme, oregano, sage and chives sell for about $3 at the grocery store, but far more substantial bundles sell for the same price at the farmers market. So check out your local farmers market this summer to stretch your dollar further without skimping on flavor.

Spot any items that are cheaper at your local farmers market? Tell us about it in the comments below.