It’s that time of the year when summer Farmers Markets spring up across the country. I live in Southern California, and the Markets are mostly year-round here! When I first started shopping at the Farmers Market, I was overwhelmed by all the beautiful fruits and veggies to choose from and ended up buying way too much food.
My top 5 tips for shopping at the Farmers Market.
Bring a List When Shopping at the Farmers Market
The shopping list will help you remember what and how much you need. If you have an idea of what you’re preparing for the week the shopping experience will be more relaxed. Feel free to buy something new and if you venture into uncharted territory, ask the farmer about for the best way to cook or pair the fresh fruit or vegetable.
Walk Through the Farmers Market Before Buying Anything
Upon arrival go on a sort of reconnaissance mission to survey the offerings. Walk through all the aisles and see what’s available and who has the best prices, stop for samples but don’t buy yet. It’s a bummer to purchase the first item on your list and later discover another farmers stall has better quality for the same or cheaper price.
Bring Your Reusable Bags and a Tote
I prefer sturdier bags to haul my bounty home so I bring my straw market tote and a few bags tucked inside to carry my seasonal goodies. At the very least a few plastic grocery bags tucked into your pocket is a good idea.
Cash is a Must at the Farmers Market
Bring cash, single, fives and few quarters. A prepared Urban Kitten always carries a little cash. Some vendors may accept credit cards, but paying with cash is quicker and a very frugal Urban Kitten way of shopping.
Shopping at the Farmers Market in the Morning or End of the Day
Morning is generally less crowded and has the best selections. During the late afternoons before closing, farmers may offer a small discount so they don’t have to pack and haul the leftovers back to the farm.
It’s more common now for Farmers Markets to include food truck style vendors, so if you’re feeling a little peckish grab a bite at the Farmers market before shopping. During the Summer, my local Farmers Market offers the tastiest Roasted Corn on the Cob.
Looking for a local farmers market? You can search for a Farmers Market by location and products available at the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory