Filed under: Personal Finance - Saving Money.
Produce and Bread Bargains at the Flea Market
Shopping for bread, bakery and produce at the local flea market can save families hundreds of dollars annually, but care must be exercised.
Small businesses and individual entrepreneurs make deals with grocery stores and bakeries to buy day-old bread and bakery. The keyword here is day-old.
Most of the packaged bread seen at flea markets is already old. As a general rule, avoid buying this bread. The key is to look for the expiration date on the package. If the bread is already three or four days past the expiration date, walk away. Most likely, mold and mildew is starting to form.
These sellers of bread store these items in trucks and trunks, where it’s exposed to the extremes of weather. The bread gets heated and cooled as it sits overnight in a vehicle. Moisture forms to make ideal conditions to encourage mold.
Bread that’s a day or two past the expiration date is okay. Look for moisture inside the wrapper. Bread in a dry wrapper should be fine. It should be eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The cost of this bread should be no more than a dollar per loaf.
The same is true of bakery goods.
Smart shoppers can save a bundle buying fresh produce at a flea market. In general, root crops such as potatoes and onions will likely be good.
Soft produce like lettuce, strawberries and peppers tend to spoil faster. Shoppers can still find bargains here. If a seller has a bin of soft avocados, he’ll likely want to move them fast. Offer a dollar for four, and there’s delicious avocado dip for a few days.
It’s the same with strawberries. Offer fifty cents a quart. The seller will be happy to make any money, and these strawberries can be sorted out to select the best berries.
The fall is an ideal time to store up on yummy nuts for the winter. Buy nuts in the shell as they’ll stay longer when stored properly.
Some farmers, though, overprice their items, thinking that the produce is really fresh and commands a high price. Walk away from this high-priced produce because it can bought at the grocery store much more cheaply, and it will be just as fresh.
The key here is to visit the produce stands near the end of the day. Bargains galore in bread, produce and bakery can be found at a good price.