Wherever you go it seems everyone is talking about the economy and hard times coming. Yet sometimes the way people live makes it hard to believe that’s really the case. People still spend significant money on purchasing breakfast and lunch every workday and seem to be out spending money every weekend.
Maybe it’s because we don’t really want to think about the economy affecting us personally the same way it’s affecting the rest of the country or the rest of the world. Well to me it makes no difference. I was raised by frugal parents — a stay-at-home mom that could make a dollar stretch a mile. So the same mentality has been ingrained in me whether I have little or lots. One of the best ways I have found to chop my food bill each month is to go to the local market.
I get super excited on market day! I cannot wait to see what I will find! Market experience to me is like feasting the eyes in the same way as some feast their eyes on art. I love the colours of fresh picked produce blended with the reds of tomatoes and sweet peppers. I love the smell of fresh chive and herbs for sale. The best part about is that I know that what I’m getting there is not only better quality than the grocery store, but significantly cheaper.
That doesn’t mean I blow the whole idea of having a budget out the window. I still have my list with me and I also carry only the cash I have budgeted to spend. That way I’m not tempted to blow it all on one market day.
There are three markets I have been to here in Trinidad. The pictures on this blog post are from the one I have been frequenting the most lately. It’s every two weeks and I find the atmosphere relaxed and less pretentious or exclusive as my other favourite market (although it has an exclusive or “stushy” vibe I still love it, so not being negative OK). But more on that another time. The largest one I have been to was great but I’m not a fan of waking up at 4am to beat crowds. By 6am the central market is a zoo. That may be exciting for some, but not my cup of tea.
The market at the Savannah is every second Saturday of the month. I wake up at six - yes still early for a weekend but worth it I promise. It’s not just for the produce, but your wallet will thank you at the end of the month. There’s always parking, and although there are lots of people that come, it doesn’t feel too overcrowded and congested. The other thing that I appreciate is that it’s so close to home.
So when choosing a market those are some things to consider. Because if it’s far and inconvenient to park, overcrowded, always picked over by the time you get there, you will just press snooze and skip it all together.
So stop blowing all your money on mediocre at best produce at the grocery store and hit up your local market. I promise you you won’t regret it!! And for all my Trinis, stop buying foreign tomatoes and lettuce!! More on eating local on a future post because there’s more I have to say about that!! Tell me what are your favourite things to get fresh from your local market?