Get your fix of local food and save money too. Being a thrifty farmers market shopper can make all the difference in how you make use of your local food. These nine tips can help.
- Set a Budget
Before leaving the house for the farmers market (with your reusable market bags, of course) set a budget for your trip. In fact, it might be a good idea to only take the exact amount of cash you need for your budget. Without a budget you might be tempted to go crazy and buy way more produce than you could even eat in a week.
- Do a Once Over Before Buying
Before you are tempted to buy anything, make sure to do a loop around the farmers market first. You want to compare prices and make sure to choose produce that's the best deal. And always look for the organic sellers.
- Buy in Bulk
Farmers will often give you a discount if you buy in bulk, so don't be afraid to ask farmers to give you a discount if you buy a whole flat of berries or a case of something.
- Go Towards the End of the Day
Farmers often discount produce at the end of the day because they don’t want to have to take anything home! Going later in the day can yield some awesome deals.
- Be a Regular Shopper and Get to Know Your Farmers
During the season, I make a point of going to the farmers market weekly. I also make sure to get to know my farmers and talk to them every week. Farmers are more likely to offer deals to regulars.
- Don’t be Afraid to Haggle
Politely negotiating is totally acceptable. Just make sure to not be too pushy. It also helps if you are purchasing a lot from one vendor.
- Split Purchases With Friends
Buy in bulk and split with friends to take advantage of bulk discounts. It’s also a great idea to split produce with friends on items that will just get wasted.
- Be Flexible and Open to What is the Best Buy
Be flexible. Don’t get wedded to the idea of certain kinds of produce. Instead look for the best deals. Those raspberries might look delicious, but the blueberries might be a way better deal.
- Purchase a CSA Subscription
Finally, consider buy a CSA subscription from your favorite farm. It’s often the best bang for your buck and your produce is delivered straight to your door so you're not tempted to go over budget at the market.
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