CR city market says buying local will lower grocery bills - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CR city market says buying local will lower grocery bills


Grocery prices continue to climb along with the price of fuel. In fact, because grocers are paying more for fuel, some of that cost is passed onto the customer.

But a local food expert from Iowa City says there are ways to stock up and save, especially if you're ready to take on the art of cooking.

Steve Cook feels pain in his pocketbook every time he buys groceries.  He's retired and does all of the shopping for himself and his wife.  They travel from Hills to Iowa City to search for the lowest prices.

"We're both retired and the cost is outrageous. I go to certain stores to get the sales on certain things," Cook said.

But what he's saving on food, he's spending on fuel.

"Food should be untouchable, the price should not be raised," Cook said.

Kurt Friese is a chef from Iowa City.  Friese is on the board to build a year-round consumer market in Cedar Rapids where sellers set their own price. 

The NewBo City Market will first and foremost be a meeting place, a public space that provides the opportunity for people to encounter one another in an informal setting. A center for social interaction, the Market serves the dual purpose of generating traffic and providing a "town center" where people can meet, greet and, of course, eat.  Friese hopes discussions about healthy, whole foods will translate into lower grocery bills.

"There is a misperception that shopping at farmers market,and shopping at places like the Newbo market will be, these things are by default automatically more expensive and that's just not the case.  In fact, there's a study that the Leopoldville center did that shows shopping a the market in season is actually cheaper," Friese said.

Vanessa Rogers agrees with Friese's approach to healthy eating and shopping. 

"I'm actually an Iowa transplant.  I'm from Austin, Texas and there we have Whole Foods and the fresh food organic market.  I think its really great to offer that diverse option for people who might be looking for some different cost-saving alternatives," Rogers said.

Steve Cook likes the idea but says traveling from 30 miles from Hills to Cedar Rapids won't save him money in the end.

"Cedar Rapids too far away.  Burning that high priced fuel would defeat the purpose," Cook said.

Local food experts like chef Kurt Friese say Steve has the right idea, though.

"Freezer bags, I buy these in bulk so I can freeze and stock up," Cook said.

"Stuff out of McDonalds, or other fast food joints, these things are not saving you money. They might look like it but they're not.  Especially not in the long run when you'll end up paying out the nose for your health care from eating unhealthy foods," Friese said.

The Newbo Market is scheduled to open in April of 2012.

To learn more head to the market's facebook page.


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