For the 5th consecutive year I have taken it upon myself to compare BFM pricing with our local grocers. Again, I picked a Sunday during the peak season and gathered pricing info from all of our meat and produce vendors to arrive at an average price. Remember the word “average”, so some vendors are higher and some are lower than these prices. Like American capitalism itself, it’s a free market and the farmers set their own prices.
This year there is not much more for me to say about this that I haven’t already stated over the past 4 years. See the links at the bottom to look at those past surveys. The one thing I will explain are the changes I decided to make this year.
First off I decided to name names. It was really silly to keep using “Store A” and “Store B”. Everyone knows who I was referring to so this year it’s Wal-Mart and Kroger instead.
Secondly, this year is more of an apples-to-apples comparison. I decided not to list the supermarkets’ cheapest items in the meat section. In produce if a store had an organic item I list both it and its non-organic counterpart. It’s not fair to our farmers who pride themselves on the way they raise and process their products to try to compare them to meat that is obviously not treated the same way. While I wasn’t an expert in choosing meat 5 years ago I feel I’ve learned enough to know when something doesn’t stack up. So, in truth you may find cheaper meat at the supermarkets. But, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you want to feed your family that way that’s your prerogative.
If you are concerned about what you feed your family I’ll fall back on something we’ve stated over and over in the past. One of the beautiful things about shopping a farmers market is that you can ask the farmer themselves about their techniques and practices.
Lastly, I expanded both sections to show off the ever increasing diversity of products now available at the BFM. Again, this is especially true of our meat vendors but you will also see “NONE” for some of the produce items on the supermarkets side as well.
Now, all of this is not done to try to downplay the importance of supermarkets in any way. Nor do I do this to downgrade one store or another. Everyone has their favorite place to shop and we’re not trying to change that. You won’t find everything you need at the BFM and we understand that. Our argument is this; shop the Market FIRST and then go to the supermarket. You may be surprised at how much space is left in your buggy at the end of the second trip.
As promised here are links to the past 4 annual price surveys:
Stay tuned here next week for this month’s installment from our friend over at the Frugal Foodie Mama blog, Carrie Robinson.
Until then, Stay Fresh!