The Frugal Foodie: Local eats and money-saving cheats

The recent surge in interest in eating healthy on a budget can seem tricky if not done right. One way to ensure a healthy, well-rounded diet while saving money is to eat local. Buying fresh produce from the farmers’ market not only saves money in the long run, but it also truly encourages a healthy lifestyle. Think about this—since the distance between the harvest location and your table is shorter, the freshness and nutrient values are greater. Jon Arney of Pleasantview Farms is one of the many local vendors at the Geneseo Farmers’ Market. He grows a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, calling his food “happy produce.” Aren’t you tempted to try some after hearing that name? Arney suggested making salads and fruit bowls in order to make efficient usage of fresh produce. These suggestions are fast and very easy to make, perfect for a busy college student.

Also, such recipes like fruit bowls or salads are customizable. You can change the quantities of ingredients––or even the ingredients themselves––according to your taste.

The Berry-Apple Cider Salad, my personal favorite, requires using produce that can all be found at the Farmers’ Market and is absolutely delicious. This salad features an assortment of greens and is topped with a thick fruit dressing (almost like a chutney), with hints of honey and cider.

Berry-Apple Cider Salad 


Spring mix and/or spinach

Cucumbers, finely chopped

Onion, thickly diced

3/4 of an apple, finely chopped (I suggest Honey Crisp)

A handful of raspberries

Apple Cider, about 2 tablespoons

Fresh honey, about 1/2 teaspoon

A dash of cinnamon

Chopped pecans and craisins, if desired


Combine spring mix and/or spinach of desired amount in a bowl. Top mixture with cucumbers and onions.

In another bowl, combine apple, raspberries, apple cider, honey and cinnamon. Mix lightly and let sit for five minutes. Strain mixture to rid of extra juices and pour on spinach/spring mix mixture.

Garnish salad with chopped pecans and craisins. Top with a light, balsamic dressing if desired.