The days are getting nicer (hot even!) and if you are like me you are having visions of fresh garden produce. Not everyone can have a massive backyard garden so we turn to our other option...farmer's markets. Farmer's Markets are a great option for being able to buy fresh, local produce right in your town. Plus I think it's kinda fun to look around at all the goodies that are offered! Here's a few tips to help you make the most of your trips to the farmer's market this year.
1. If you are looking for a particular item, check out all the booths before you buy. Even if you find a good deal on a certain product at one stand, the next one might have an even better deal and you won't know until you check it out! Our local farmer's market isn't very big so I will go through all the booths first before I buy.
2. Learn to bargain to stretch your dollars. Especially if it's towards the end of the day...the farmer's will be motivated to sell. If you haven't already learned the art of bargaining you can check out these posts:
3. Buy in bulk. Often farmer's will offer you a big discount is they have an abundance of a product and they are ready to sell. Buy in bulk and ask for a discount. You can always preserve the produce if you can't eat it right away.
4. Don't compare produce prices at farmer's markets to in-store prices. Sure, you may be able to pay $0.99 a pound for romas at the grocery store on sale but they won't be local, organically grown, farm fresh romas. Knowing grocery store prices will help you be able to make a baseline price for what you'd be willing to pay but shouldn't be a guideline.
5. Looking for organic? Ask the farmer. Many farmer's grow their produce organically or sustainable but they aren't certified organic. (It's very expensive to get certified!) If you'd like to know if a product is conventionally raised or organically raised, just ask.
6. BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag!
7. Make sure you check out multiple farmer's markets if available in your area. I know I can go to the farmer's market in town that's close by or I can travel a little bit further to another farmer's market in a nearby town and get some great deals.
8. Get to know the farmers. This especially helps if you are looking for a particular item. Ask the farmer that carries it when they will be selling or when they plan to have it for sale.
Most importantly, have fun! Enjoying being out and shopping and supporting your local economy and local farmers!
What are your best tips for shopping at farmer's markets?
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