Now that the weather has been getting nicer, outdoor farmers’ markets are starting up again all over the place! I always look forward to biking to the market on the weekend, grabbing a coffee, and doing some of our grocery shopping. Today, I thought I would share some of the shopping strategies/tips we have come up with over the last couple of years to make the most of our weekly trips to the market.
- Not sure if there is a farmers’ market in your area? Check out this market locator.
- If you like to plan your meals ahead of time, make sure you take a look at what’s in season in your area. You don’t want to plan on using asparagus for your meals in August (if you live in the Northwest)!
- Pack some reusable shopping bags! Most vendors usually have bags, but you can fit so much more in one of these. Plus, it’s a great way to go green. 🙂
- Make a loop around the market to see what is available that day before you start buying. Dozens of times I have been a little over-eager and started buying at the first stand I came to before I took a moment to scope out what’s available this week. There might be a vendor elsewhere in the market with tastier looking (or cheaper) produce and you’ll be missing out!
- Don’t be afraid to ask the farmer/vendor if you don’t recognize a fruit or vegetable. They love talking about their food!
- Chat with meat, dairy, or prepared food vendors and see how they raise or prepare their products.
- If you are buying a new-to-you fruit or vegetable, try asking the farmer/vendor if they have any tips for preparing them. We have gotten some great advice in the past from farmers!
- Shop at the farmers’ market before you do your weekly grocery shopping at the store. Since it is hard to predict what will be at the market, shop there first and buy anything that wasn’t available at the grocery store.
- You know the saying, “the early bird gets the worm”? That definitely applies to the market! The best of the produce gets picked up first, so aim to get there early during market hours.
Do you like shopping at the farmers’ market? What are some of your handy tips for shopping the farmers’ market?