miriam, that is so weird that you haven't found a farmer's market with actual farmers around here all the farmer's markets i've been to have been all local farmers and farms and local crafters...most of the farmers will give you deals, and my kids are often given free apples or berries by the farmers when we go to the market. i just did a big shop today and spent $75 more than i wanted to...i spent $204 when i wanted to stay close to $125, but i bought chicken breasts on sale for $1.99/lb ( a savings of $1.70/lb i bought 3 big family packs) and i bought 2 organic chickens on sale at $ 1.49/ lb each, so shouldn't need to buy chicken next week. i do spend $5.99/lb for grass fed beef (if i could i'd buy the organic grass fed beef, but at $7.99/lb i really can't swing it at this point in time) and i did have to stock up on some staples this week that i won't need to buy again for a t least a few weeks. typically i feed a family of 4 on $700-$800/month (though i really need to aim at $600-$700/month), and i learned that even though it seemed like i was spending a ton of money last time around in the long run i saved about $100 over the previous month's grocery bills...i'm hoping to be even better this time around since the farmer's markets are open and i can go to those and since i am planning my meals and paying close attention to the sales fliers. really, meal planning and shopping the sales flier are very helpful (i find if i plan my meals and shop accordingly i am less likely to pick up something "just because" and i know that certain sales only happen once in a while so i do things like what i did today and buy a lot of certain things then freeze what i'm not cooking in the next few days). i also try to keep all of my produce under $3/lb and preferably down around $1.99/lb...organic cabbage is $1.99/lb at my grocery store which is way more than the cost of conventional (which they sell for under $1/lb) but i usually will do it...i haven't been buying apples but organic gala apples were on sale for $2.49/lb this week and my kids have been asking for them so i bought a few...you just really have to figure out if it is really worth it for some things...i only buy apples and strawberries and blueberries if i can afford to get the organic ones, so some times i don't get them. another trick is to find out what wild eatables are in your area...i refuse to pay $1.99/bunch for dandelion greens since i know i can get them easily in my yard or nearby, i can also get purslane and chickweed to add to my salads easily as they are abundant in my neighborhood...earlier this summer the kids and i got a whole bunch of black raspberries that grow wild near us.