Localvore – Eat Local Foods and Save Money

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A localvore is any individual who prefers to eat healthy, locally grown/produced food.

The following post is just one example of how my wife & I are becoming increasingly focused on eating healthy, organic, fresh, local, in season foods, and how this transformation has benefited both our pocketbook and our health!

Buying fresh, organic food DOES NOT have to equate to spending more money!

While I was laboring away in the air conditioned office today, my wife headed to a local organic farm to pick part of our yearly supply of fresh blueberries!  Beginning this year we have committed to purchasing fresh organic foods in bulk (whenever possible) and preserving them for use throughout the year.  This is the story of our yearly blueberry trip.

How many frozen organic store bought blueberries does $10 buy?

The following photo shows that $10 (plus tax totalling $10.60) will purchase 3 pounds of frozen wild blueberries.

Fozen Blueberries

Okay, looks like a decent deal for 3 pounds of frozen blueberries, but what about fresh picked, organic blueberries…

How many fresh picked organic blueberries does $10 buy?

I’m glad you asked.  You may not believe this, but $10 will buy you 10 pounds worth or fresh picked blueberries in Lansing, MI.

Fresh Picked Blueberries

As you can see… you can purchase more than 3x as many fresh, local, hand-selected, organic blueberries as you can their frozen, store bought counterpart.

Just one more example to show us that purchasing healthy, nutrient dense, organic foods does not have to be more expensive, as the food marketing giants would initially have us believe.  Sure, if you do all your shopping in a health food store, you will pay more.  But if you focus on a few key concepts, you can easily start eating much healthier and more local.

Other specific ways to become a localvore…

  • get creative & think outside the box
  • buying local (shop local farmers markets & develop relationships with local farmers)
  • pick your own fruit if possible
  • start your own garden
  • buy organics in bulk (like these berries, flour to bake your own breads, or tomatoes to can for winter)
  • learn how to preserve food (by freezing, canning, etc.)

By following these simple steps… and by developing a “localvore” mentality you actually stand to save quite a bit of money, and increase your health in the process!  My wife & I are living proof…

Here are some great websites to help you find the healthy, sustainable, organic farms in your area:

Enjoy!  And just remember to take things one small step at a time...

DFA is passionately dedicated to helping people break the bondage of debt & work toward financial freedom using biblical principles.



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1 jason

What state are you in, because blueberries, for example, are not that cheap here in Virginia?

I have a question for those buying locally grown food. Are you doing it to help out local farmers economically or is that just some sort of a trend?

2 Matt Jabs

I live in Lansing, Michigan. Check out a few of the website resources in the post… you may be surprised what you find within a 20 mile radius of your home.

I buy locally to support my community farms (rather than Walmart, the Waltons, other big corporations, and China), and to ensure the healthy source and farming methods which the food I consume comes from. These reasons are pretty typical of localvores.

Also, local eaters are VERY passionate about eating local because they believe so strongly in the things I just mentioned above. You should check it out man.

3 Baker @ ManVsDebt

Matt,

You and your wife are inspiring on your journey in frugality, self-sufficiency, and healthy living. Courtney and I still have a long way to go in this area, but subscribing to this blog is helping us see the light.

Keep up the amazing intensity! I look forward to seeing more of this type of stuff!

4 Matt Jabs

Gracias Baker…

Since you promised to keep reading… I promise to keep the content coming! ;-)

Make sure you keep us posted as to Courtney’s Virgin Islands teaching gig among other things. We all wanna know!

5 Mark @ TheDebtHawk.com

Man I love local produce. I grew up in the country and it was easy to find cheap locally grown food. And, now is the time of year that it is the best – corn, tomatoes, green beans, etc.

6 Jason @ Redeeming Riches

Wow! It is easy to save money when your blueberries come with a $10 bill inside! =)

My wife and I love hitting the farmstands in the summer for fresh produce. Not only does it taste better, but you save a lot of money that way too. Although when we get some good fresh sweet corn, we may end up spending more because we love it so much!!

7 Wojciech Kulicki

I have to say that’s pretty incredible. A lot of the farmer’s markets in our city are really marked up because the people here are fairly rich and willing to pay the prices. Sucks for everyone trying to make a living though. :)

Thankfully, there’s some good markets just outside of town that you can get similar deals to yours. Like an entire case of tomatoes for a few bucks. Sure beats the grocery store (in quality and price!).

8 Money Funk

I always wonder if growing your own is cheaper than buying at the grocery market – costs of watering, soil, fertilizer, etc…
I think that it could be really beneficial if one learns how to can & freeze. Definitely.
But, my choice to buy from the local farmers is to help the local businesses out. Plus, it darn well taste better (especially organic)! ;)

9 Matt Jabs

@Jason & Woj: We didn’t buy the berries at the farmers market, be bought them at a “pick-your-own” farm.

Utilizing pick your own farms in your area will allow you to save big too. Check it out, use the links in the post to find local farms.

10 Jason

We just got done freezing our 41 lbs of blueberries. That is about what we need to eat some fresh and have enough to last until next year.

Here is my plan for the next few years. Right now I am starting to save up for some blueberry bushes to plant on our property. They make great privacy hedge and you can eat the fruit too. If we get 10 bushes that are 3 years old (3-4 foot tall), then we will have blueberries off them next spring and our pay back will be about 5 years, assuming they produce 40 lbs a year.

Next up will be corn and green beans. Corn we purchase from a local company. I get a half dozen every week while fresh and when we are ready we get a bushel for freezing. Green beans are grown in my in-laws garden. They grow them, we pick them and keep half and that works out great. Freeze them and eat them all year. Cost is zero and we really enjoy eating them.

11 Matt Jabs

How many people in your household? My wife & I have picked 10lbs, but plan on picking 20 more to last us throughout the year, and we eat blueberries in our healthy breakfast about 5 days/week.

Good idea to grow your own bushes & other fruits/veggies, that is our eventual plan as well.

Thanks for your comment, I love hearing from people who have similar passions and are doing something to implement their passions into their daily lives.

12 karyn

The price differences are amazing when we buy local, organic meat as compared to organic from the grocery store. Plus we’re supporting a local farmer and reducing the amount of packaging. Of course, I still am learning how to use some of those strange cuts of meat.

13 Matt Jabs

It’s awesome isn’t it? Almost without exception people think that healthy, local, organic food costs more… IT DOESN’T! My wife & I took our grocery budget down from $400/month to $250/month.

There are so many other blessings that follow changing your eating habits. We save money, lose weight, have better health, are closer (preparing food is a family building time)… I could go on & on but will end by saying that we are also supporting our local farmers & communities instead of The Waltons (richest family on earth) & China.

Most people also think it is “inconvenient” to make these changes… that is false too. Mrs. Jabs & I have made the switch & have yet to be inconvenienced. It’s about changing already existing patterns of behavior… not adding burdensome extras.

I have yet to discover any negative effects!

14 Nickie Chamorro

Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… come on! :P

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