Savvy tourists and locals alike know how to save money in Hawaii by buying local.

Yes, Hawaii can be expensive. Not because it can be, because it has to be. Everything has been brought here, making its way across thousands of miles of ocean and air. That isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap!

Buying local saves the money spent on transportation and the farmers market is a great place to do that. Kauai has multiple farmers markets going on every day plus loads of small, family run road side stands selling everything from ahi and leis to avocados and passion fruit; plus you can learn about things like the white pineapple. Tender, juicy, white flesh that is not as acidic as the common yellow ones. The farmers usually reserve them for the locals but you can find them at the farmers markets.

If you are visiting, renting a condo or time share with a kitchen, it is a smart way to save money. Some hotel rooms also include small kitchenettes. Dining out can be expensive so save one meal a day for that and supplement the other two by frequenting the farmers market and making meals in your condo.

One of my new favorite finds is Island SOL Bakery. SOL is an acronym for Seasonal, Organic and Local. This bakery has something for everyone; savory meat and cheese or veggie and cheese filled pastries. Sweet scones with creative combinations like peanut better, strawberry jam and local bananas. Cookies, coffee cakes, and their signature treats scruffins. Little coffee cakes with surprise fillings. There are regular, gluten free, dairy free and vegan choices. You can find this bakery at the KCC (Kauai Community College) and Hanalei markets.

Some markets, like the large one in Kapa’a, only sell vegetables. Sometimes there is a truck parked outside the market selling fresh eggs. Some, like the markets in Hanapepe, Lihue and Kilauea signal the start of selling with a whistle blow or the honk of a car horn. You can browse but you can’t buy until the signal, then it’s every man for himself! Some sell kim chee, slushies, hand made jewelry, jams and all manner of hand made products. It’s the perfect way to get outside, meet people, support small business and save some money!.


  1. When Rick and I visited Kauai, we stayed in a nice but moderately-priced hotel that had a kitchenette in the room: sink, fridge, microwave & dishes! I hadn’t thought to request it but we really enjoyed being able to fix our own food at times.

  2. I live on the North Shore of Oahu and in my small town of Waialua we have a wonderful farmer’s market on Saturday morning at the Sugar Mill and there is also a farmer’s market in Haleiwa on Sundays for anyone heading out to North Shore! They have such good fresh local produce and more at a very reasonable price. If you ever come across a “tangelo” at the market try it! It is a citrus fruit hybrid and is sweet, mild, juicy, and delicious!

  3. Ahhhhh, Kauai our beautiful garden aisle, I am absolutely in love with this island. We, (my college aged daughter, her friend, my son, daughter in law & grandbaby) had a ball in June. Staying at the beautiful Waipouli Beach Resort. I recommend this property highly! I am a farmers market queen, so we visited the farmers market at Kauai Community College on Saturday morning and really enjoyed the variety of fresh produce, coffee, baked items, Hawaiian Food of all types, and the fesh coconut water was my favorite! We bought lots of goodies
    took them back to our condo and prepared a heart healthy meal for dinner. Check out the farmers markets on all islands..Fresh & Ono Licious!

  4. Oh yes!!!   when I get to go and am there I soooo want to support local businesses!!!

    Mahalo Bruce for another  informative blog post!!!   


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