How To Stay on a Budget, with Kids, at a Festival or Farmers Market

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Is Taking The Family To The Farmers Market, To A Festival, Fun And Possible On A Budget?

by Carol Giambri

Can you be on a budget with kids wanting everything they see and smell? 

Or, will you break your budget when you see this gorgeous painting….

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A Taste of Italy

(beautiful painting)

I assume most readers have been to a farmers market or familiar with them.  If not, think of it as a block or two of vendors lined up with their goods to sell.  It can be most things hand made or grown.  Today, I met two painters — a husband and wife team –at the Italian Festival at Belmar Shopping Center that shared the picture above.  I named it "A Taste of Italy".  It is just one of many of their beautiful ones.  Imagine it hanging on your walls?  How much is beauty worth to your walls and budget?  

Locally I have many markets, but not always celebrating a festival.  There are other Italian feasts or festivals in our community but this is the one at the farmers market each year and probably best known and great location.  Close to me is The Boulder Farmer's Market.  It attracts a crowd of about 10,000-15,000 people on a Saturday.  They sell locally grown fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, and plants directly from the growers. It's supporting our local growers even if not organic; I prefer organic however.  

Here's a proud Italian…

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I "SEE and READ" your back #2

My out-of-state friend, Tiffany, asked me to do a video of a local farmers market so I took my camera with me to Belmar feeling like a professional, but not the case, to the Italian festival in Lakewood, Colorado. I am speaking to Tiffany in the video but also to you. 

Here goes the video…

Did you enjoy the Italian Festival? 

It was a hot dry day filled with streets of vendors and lots of people.I was surprised only seeing one farmer. He had pretty merchandise but his sign didn't say organic so I didn't buy anything there. It's a choice how I spend my money.  It's your choice too for value or not. Some think organics is more expensive and for some may be true.  Here's a look at the crowds:

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Crowds around the Dolce Italian Bakery

Years ago the market was a place for finding only fresh produce.  Times have changed and does move forward.  You may not love the word "change" but it will only stand still if clock battery dies or your power goes out without a back up.  Even farming methods and composting are also changing from the way it was to way it is now. If anyone thinks we are going back to the "good old days" it is not happening.   

Today was less produce and more festive activities.  There was dancing, an Italian band, jewelers, painters, an Italian bakery, and more.  Now with all these temptations you can still enjoy having a fun on a budget. Here's some suggestions:

5 Ways to Enjoy a Festival, with your family, on a Budget

  1. Carry own drinks with you — non alcoholic
  2. Pack your own food — don't bring a cooler with you but a recycled bag
  3. Walk around and look at vendors
  4. Remember your budget
  5. Dance to the music or sit down and enjoy it.

3 Ways to Go to a Farmers Market with Kids (or other family) on a Budget

  1. Talk about the budget before going to the Market
  2. Allow the kids to pick out a healthy fruit or vegetable talking value and budget before buying
  3. Teach them that vendors are there to sell, but they are there to save money and use it wisely with your help.  

Reflecting and Acting…

Today was a lot of fun and actually I ended up going alone and not buying any foods at the Festival.  Are you looking for a local farmer's market, farm or other farming relevant places. Hope this link helps:  You can take the family, on your budget, without breaking your "savings" to a festival or farmers market.  Please share some of your ideas in saving money and still enjoying a cheap day with yourself or your family.  Day at the farmer's market? Invite a neighbor along with you.  Nothing beats nice company if available. 

Please share your comments below  

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Carol Giambri is a gardening expert. She is obsessed with the garden, eating healthy as a frugal shopper and photography.  At a 12 step program she would probably stand up admitting: "I am addicted and obsessed with the garden and its foods."  She even shops for unique shapes of fruits and veggies.  From worm composting, which is a new desire, to homemade cleaning products, eating edible weeds, coaching programs, speaking, copywriting content for blogs, green/recycle talk, dogs and helping her hubby, she loves encouraging people.  Carol plans to write several books on healthy living as well as a pet book where her heart still remains having seen so many go to heaven.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

denny hagel September 12, 2011 at 11:42 am

Love the video…great job Carol! Would love it if we had one of these markets nearby! :) )

pat September 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I love to shop at the local farm market as it has the freshest food a the best prices.  your market day looked like fun

michele September 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for the tour Carol…love those types markets myself!

Carol Giambri September 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Michele, I may be touring all our local markets and include into my gardening website talk. It was fun and unplanned to get to market. No cards, but as I evolve so do the cards too. May be bartering some air time for a “homemade organic salad.” We’ll see. New station so they said they could be game to anything. I said “salad?” They didn’t object. Need contact.

Carol Giambri September 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Pat I love the local farmers markets but wouldn’t say here the “best” prices. Some are super pricey, but I suppose those I wish to at the right right. That Farmer in my blog I feed raw foods too weekly unless I miss a week of going there. If he only knew he is becoming more famous then locally. Very nice person — actually great.

Carol Giambri September 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Denny hope you find a market here or even a CSA — community, farms, farmers markets, etc. : ; Thanks for loving video. A work in progress and took advantage of going to the crowded festival and playing for Tiffany’s challenge to take a vid of a farmers market. Maybe I will hit more of them and take more vids. No shortage. Hope you find a local buying place.

Lori September 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Thanks for the tips Carol! I am always on a budget so this helps!

Karen Brooks September 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Great article about staying on budget. I personally know that when I go to Farmers Markets, I can easily spend $40-50 on all of the fresh fruit and produce. This is certainly a reminder to set the budget before I leave.

donovan grant September 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Great post and video Carol. Thanks for the top tips!

Olga Hermans September 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

I love farmers markets; I am from The Netherlands where we have them in every other village, always fresh!

Carol Giambri September 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Lucky you Olga. I just wish we had Farmers Markets all year round here in Colorado, USA.

Carol Giambri September 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Oh, Donovan–is it the weather that keeps the Farmers Markets from happening. We are surrounded by many–no shortage. Glad you liked post and video. The vid was a challenge in one of Sandi’s classes—it was an assignment to be done that day. So this was an add on to more practice in video shoots.

Carol Giambri September 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Karen, so many markets around here. Today there was 2 in my local area. I didn’t buy anything but got to talk to some vendors perhaps as to market their blog or video. Stepping out in faith with no bites but was in action to meet. When it comes to food we hardly budget but we do know if we are willing to pay the price. There is something to be said great about farmers markets. I love them. Thanks for sharing Karen.

Carol Giambri September 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Lori, thanks for sharing. Being on a budget is a challenge when it comes to eating fresh produce, but we do our best to make wise decisions. Today I was shocked organic, local peaches $2.89 pound–way to expensive. I skipped them. But, I do love attending: music, flowers, wines, breads, produce and more.

Anastasiya Day September 14, 2011 at 3:47 am

Love the video too… great article! Thank you so much for sharing!

Rachelle September 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

Carol, I love,love,love the farmers market! One thing we do is give the kids a few dollars each to spend any way they want. It is great fun to see what they all pick out. :O)

Michelle Pearson September 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Such a fun video and you are right–organic is best!

Wil September 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Farmers' Market = Fresh food to me. We don't see a lot of them around here, but I used to stop in Lancaster, PA on the way to picking up my daughter from college. It was so much fun!

Solvita September 18, 2011 at 10:55 am

Great Carol, I felt like I was visiting the market with you! Thanks for posting! :)

Carol Giambri September 20, 2011 at 10:34 am

Thank you so much Solvita for joining me at the Farmer’s Market experience. It was fun and now off to do many more videos to bring you along with me. We have tons of them here, but they do end soon with the weather changing.

Carol Giambri September 20, 2011 at 10:36 am

Wil, I live in an area where there is no shortage of farmer’s markets, but still for those who don’t have one, like you, then create your own outside or inside start growing some herbs which can give you that “sort of” market with the freshest to read your table or meal prep. Thanks for commenting.

Carol Giambri September 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

Michelle, it was a blast being silly. I love eating this way, organic, fresh fruits and veggies, but still showed the Farmer’s Market also has other things and vendors there. Thanks for commenting.

Carol Giambri September 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

Rachelle, What a great idea–giving kids shopping experience on how to spend their money. Wow, that rocks. You may have some of the same vendors that we do: Miller Farms? I love them but not with their organic certification. Heard different stories: they are organic and some say not. Regardless I feed my local ones each Sunday raw foods.

Carol Giambri September 20, 2011 at 10:40 am

Thanks Anastasiya for listening to vid. I know it was long and next ones much shorter, but the fun was there all the way. I felt so proud and important walking around and showing off the event to those not able to attend. Got some video shooting experience and was scared to do this, but still I tried, imperfect, but aiming to get better including indoor video shoots (I am working on now).

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