I love shopping at farmer’s markets to buy my food. There is something so wonderful about knowing exactly where your food came from, who grew it, and their story behind the crop. It gives me so much more appreciation for the food. I love being able to sample all of the local fruit before I buy it, to make sure that it is exactly what I want. Produce at farmer’s markets seems to always taste fresher and juicier. It is also fairly inexpensive. Because I am such a foodie, going to the farmer’s market is such a fun Sunday morning activity for me, so I wanted to share with you my tips on how to master shopping at the farmer’s market.
- Make it a date! Farmer’s Markets often have live music, great fresh food to try, and cute places to have a picnic. FM’s are not limited to only selling produce. There are usually food trucks with vegan burritos, juices and smoothies, etc. I find it fun to walk around with my boyfriend and explore all of the unique vendors. Shopping for groceries does not have to be boring when you have a friend to experience it with.
- If you are a first time farmer’s market goer, research the FM’s in your area and take note of what day of the week and what time that it is open. Most FM’s are only open one day a week for 4-5 hours. Make sure you know when they are open so that you don’t arrive when the vendors are shutting down.
- Be a smart shopper. Make a loop around the the market first before stopping to buy the first thing you see. If tomatoes are on your shopping list, don’t buy them from the first vendor that you meet. There may be juicier, fresher, tomatoes 3 stalls down for a better price!
- Bring reusable shopping bags AND reusable produce bags. Most people remember to bring reusable bags to carry their purchases in at the end of the day, but I hardly ever see shoppers use reusable bags to store their individual produce in. Imagine how much plastic is wasted every shopping trip from those plastic bags that you put your kale and broccoli in. One of my favorite eco-friendly products are reusable mesh produce bags from BahrEco. You can purchase them here on Amazon. These are so great for reducing our plastic usage.
- Bring cash. A lot of vendors only take cash and not credit cards. Don’t loose out on buying those perfect looking strawberries because you forgot your dollar bills.
- Ask questions! Don’t be shy to ask the farmers where they grow their local produce, what else their farm grows, etc. Knowing exactly where your food comes from and meeting the farmer that grows it gives you a better appreciation for the meal on your table.
- Come hungry. There are so many interesting foods that are brought to farmer’s markets that you don’t get to see at your average grocery store. Make the best experience of it by sampling these foods and buying things that you wouldn’t normal find at grocery chains.