Fresh Market grocery stores just make me happy. It’s destination shopping for me — even if I don’t need anything, I never pass up a chance to walk in one and breathe it in: The gorgeous fresh produce, the tempting bakery, the beautifully arranged meat, the cheeses, the oils … I can’t stop! My long-range goal is to actually live someplace where I can visit one every day — I envy anyone who can do that. I especially love Fresh Market in the fall, because apparently the folks there share my love of pumpkins. And why not? Pumpkins are cheerful, colorful, tasty and good for you. On a recent visit to Fresh Market in Huntsville, Alabama, I found pumpkin-spice coffee, a pumpkin-spice scone mix from Sticky Fingers Bakeries, Doctor Kracker pumpkin-seed cheddar flatbread (crunchy and hearty and perfect for spreadable cheese) and my favorite cereals: organic FlaxPlus pumpkin-raisin crunch and organic FlaxPlus pumpkin granola from Nature’s Path.
But even though I love Fresh Market, sometimes (well, really, almost all of the time) I cringe at spending $5 for a box of cereal. The secret is that you can find most of these products much cheaper at other non-Fresh Market places. Nature’s Path cereal, for instance, is at Wal-Mart for practically half of the Fresh Market price. And I found some Doctor Kracker crackers in my other favorite food-browsing place: T.J. Maxx, where you can pick up oils, syrups, jams, jellies and other goodies for a fraction of what you’d pay normally. Just make sure to check expiration dates. And then, with the money you save, you can go back to Fresh Market!