What Can You Get for $40?

Challenging the notion that the farmers market isn't great value.

DSCN1740What can you get for $40?

Some believe, when it comes to Farmer’s Markets, not much. Because the food isn’t mass produced on a level of say Safeway or Costco suppliers, surely the prices are a premium?

The Royal City Farmers’ Market is challenging that notion. They believe that with a little bit of resourcefulness, $40 can go a long way at the market.

Every Thursday, from now until the end of the summer market season, we’re going to put that belief to the test. I will be spending $40 to fill my fridge and pantry with market staples. I’ll write about the successes, and the failures.

My family is comprised of three people: two adults, and a teenage-­thinking toddler. My husband works full time, I’m a full-­time student heading to UBC this fall with the intent of becoming a registered dietitian. Our son goes to daycare full-­time. As a single­-income family, with a huge chunk of our savings going to education and daycare, we are always on the hunt for grocery deals. We scour the flyers, shop multiple chains, acquire the majority of our fruits and veggies at mom-­and­-pop produce stands for the best deals. As a prospective dietitian, and a type-­1 diabetic, health plays a huge factor – the more fresh and the more nutrient rich the better. But it’s got to be tasty too.

I know the farmer’s market has fresh and nutritious in the bag; but what about value? We eat a crazy amount of salads and greens; I average two giant salads a day. My husband joins me in a dinner salad. We often eat grilled veggies with our dinner. Our son has breakfast smoothies full of varietal greens, and fruit is pretty much included in every meal and snack we have.

With this column, I am going to explore whether the market can not only beat the chains in quality, but value as well.

Stay tuned for Katie’s weekly columns, starting tomorrow!

Don’t forget to follow the farmers market on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and be sure to tag your pictures: #outsidethebox and #rcfm when you visit this summer. The market runs Thursdays in Tipperary Park from 3-7pm until October 6. 

Katie Bartel

Katie is a former journalist and student, and is a type 1 insulin-dependent diabetic into running 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, and marathons. She blogs about her experiences at Princess of Pavement.

Katie Bartel is a really valued member of the Tenth to the Fraser community. Interested in joining our pool of writers? Please see these submission guidelines.


  1. Nice. The farmers market has nice food, but I find it is pricey. You pay for the freshness. I think the best way to offset the high cost of eating is to grow some of your own food. You eat lots of salads, lettuce is so easy to grow and it is so expensive. Even at the farmers market. With all that being said making your own food at home instead of eating out will cost less. You will be busy going to school, looking after a child, keeping life together. Good lucK.

Comments are closed.

Tenth to the Fraser