I've read on some frugal blogs that farmer's markets have better prices, but unfortunately that is not true here in New York City.
For the last two years, my budget has been $25 a week for the farmer's market alone, and even though I would prefer to buy local, this year I will have to hold myself back.
One good bargain is herbs and greens for planting. Yesterday at the Fort Greene farmer's market one of the farmer's was selling herbs, lettuce and tomato plants for $2.25 each, or 3 for $6.
I bought a cilantro, a leaf lettuce and a cherry tomato plant for a little balcony I have in the front that gets full morning sun.
Last year I discovered that lettuce bolts when the weather gets hot, meaning it shoots up like a corn stalk, and the leaves become absolutely inedible. I thought to myself, how bad can they be? Trust me, they were inedible. SO yesterday as I was repotting the lettuce I realized that it was suspiciously tall, and I hope the 90 degree weather we had last week didn't cause it to bolt. I would like to get at least a month's worth of lettuce for my $2.25.
I also learned that cilantro does not like heat, which is odd, because I associate it with Mexico and hot weather food. I am keeping it in my kitchen where there is less sun, so we'll see how it does.