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Mar 11, 2010 09:07 AM

Calgary farmers market?Is it worth it?

Trying to be frugal this weather, ive subscribed to all the blogs. I was just wondering is it worth my purse money to go to the farmers market or shall i keep going to my superstore and avoid spur of the moment spending?

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  1. I would say if money and frugality are your main concern, then no CFM is not worth it.

    1. Go to Crossroads Market and buy from the farmers and hutterites. Produce there really is cheaper than grocery stores, unlike at CFM.

      13 Replies
      1. re: 23skidoo

        Adding to the tip about Crossroads--go on Sunday around 4:00 to get some great bargains on produce as farmers want to sell remaining inventory before they head home. Good for you and for them! But beware that you're not the only one looking for deals at that time...

          1. re: worldwidestuff

            Thanks for sharing about Crossroads Market - first time hearing about it.
            Do they have an abundance of fresh produce?

        1. re: 23skidoo

          I love the cheese store at Crossroads. Great cheese and great prices.

          1. re: higgika

            Thanks, I am also new to Calgary so i must check that market out!

            1. re: Lisaleathers

              Lisa, you're not obligated to buy anything at CFM. Come check it out. The worst that can happen is that you'll end up getting one of the best curries you've ever tasted from Shef's Fiery Kitchen, a dish of the best gelato in town from Tutti Fruitti, and an espresso so good it'll knock you on your ass from Phil and Sebastian. If you don't like the produce or whatever you can head somewhere else, but CFM is a neat place with lots to recommend it.

              We buy produce there all the time. Prices are better than Safeway for many things.

              1. re: John Manzo

                So CFM stands for Curry, Frozen Treats and Macchiato?

                But I digress....sadly there is no one stop shop for great deals and quality products in the city...but if you get the right stuff at the right places, you can save some money and eat well. I've started bringing a small notebook so I can record prices and relative quality when I head out for a shop.

                You wont find the best prices on everything there...but if you compare you can still find some deals. Especially when you calculate cost/quality.

                1. re: KcM

                  ^^^HAHAHA... I LIKE THAT. "curry, frozen treats, and macchiato." i'll have to remember that :P

                  I second the comment about Crossroads. good selection of quality meats and cheeses, ethnic food stands, nathan's hot dogs, etc. lots of produce, too, but you won't find the local stuff until harvest time. (wait for late sunday afternoon for good deals on mennonite produce like onions and potatoes hehe.)

                  1. re: nonlinear

                    Nathan's hot dogs, like in Coney island? Or a different brand?

                    1. re: nonlinear

                      I may be mistaken but was pretty sure the the mennonites or hutterites don't work on Sundays. I've seen them at Crossroads on Friday and Sat only. But that was last year... hard to remember for sure.

                      1. re: nonlinear

                        Going back to the hot dogs... cooked or in packs? I had no idea!

                        1. re: darelleats

                          cooked - served up from a stand/booth in the food court, just around the right hand side of the cheese shop.

            2. I shop at Mercato for quality everything and I still find the farmers market at Currie overpriced for many things and not to mention the parking; it is horrible, or maybe thats just because I like my BMW dent free.

              1. CFM doesn't host that many actual farmers (especially this time of year) If your on a budget and wanting to shop locally, try some of the smaller community markets which will start up soon. I know that the low prices of big box stores can be tempting, but there is really something to be said about supporting local growers. SPUD is also a good option for produce if your on a budget, simply because you order online.. so impulse spending isn't really an issue, I find that it's really easy to plan and budget your meals if you use a service like SPUD (which delivers organic groceries direct to your door). Me i love shopping for food, and often hit 3 stores just to put a meal together, but simply because I love food hunting, and talking to farmers, when ever I can.

                Some of the produce booths at CFM (specifically the two large ones) just sell imported produce identical to any large grocery store, just over priced and re packaged to look "market fresh" I never shop at these booths, but I adore Sylvian Star Cheese, Cookbook Co, Ladybug, P&S, Valalta Bison, and Spragg Meats! and on occasion I indulge in a cheese blintz with jam!

                1. Nobody's mentioned DJ's Market? I love DJ's.

                  I prefer Crossroads Market to CFM, too.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Lainey1978

                    What's DJ's? Is that the one by Rocky's Burger Bus? I haven't had a lot of luck there.

                    1. re: TSAW

                      Yes, DJ's is the one by Rocky's. It use to be fantastic...but then I had a few bad experiences and actually only went once last summer. With so many "neighborhood" little markets all over the city, I don't see the need to go all the way down there.

                    2. re: Lainey1978

                      I'd second DJs. I think for some people on first glance it looks a bit haphazard and there's usually boxes of stuff not at their peak or imported but if you look past that and check out the new fresh stuff it blows away all the other markets I've been to. They have regulars (like me) going there all the time and I've seen lots of other buy many boxes/buckets of the good stuff. When the apple season rolls around, I usually buy big bags of amazing apples and have yet to be disappointed in 3 years.

                      I can't count the amount of times I've been disappointed with fruit from Community, CFM and Crossroads.

                      1. re: slingshotz

                        Its funny, I'm actually working at the CFM now! I do get a discount most places i shop in there but i find the only decent one i get is at the cupcake stand....and i am very happy about that!Disappointed that everything is so expensive, like i bought 3 pwppwers and green onions and even with my discount it was still $5.......!And the simple simon pies chheesecakes are to DIE for!YUMMY!