Fresh produce is expensive but you can stretch your food budget and support local farms by heading to your local farmers’ market. Not only will you be able to buy locally grown produce, there are many farmers’ markets that sell organic produce for far less than retail grocery chains.
Tips for Saving Money at Your Local Farmers Market
Ask Questions: The key to getting a great deal at farmers’ markets is to ask questions. You may be able to buy in bulk or buy ‘seconds’ if you take the time to ask. Seconds are perfectly fine to eat but may be misshapen and not as pretty as the perfect looking produce on display.
Shop Late in the Day: Ask if you can buy produce for less after the market closes for the day or close to closing time. You will likely save the most money by going to the farmers’ market right before it closes.
Make a List: Make a list of the produce you will need for your weekly meals and go specifically for those items. Do not over buy or you will end up with rotten produce at the end of the week that you will have to throw away.
More families than ever depend on SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits for food. Some farmer’s markets accept food stamp EBT benefits cards for produce purchases — and many will double your dollars when you shop with your SNAP card.
Take a Friend: Consider going with a friend or relative. If you offer to buy a bit more (or in bulk), you may be able to get a better price. It is always worth asking!
Visit Regularly: Go back to the same farmers’ markets regularly and get to know the people who are selling their locally grown produce. Your loyalty may earn you a discount.
Shopping at your local farmers’ market is the best way to get fresh produce, a nice family day out in the fresh air and a nice alternative to expensive grocery store produce prices. Find a farmers market near you on localharvest.org.