How to Make the Most of a Farmer’s Market
Do a sweep
When you first arrive at the market, do a quick walk through so that you get a sense of what’s available. You may not be used to doing this because grocery stores always have the same stock available – even the produce barely changes season to season.
At the farmer’s market, doing a quick walk through gives you a sense of what’s in season, as well as the prices that things are selling for. This will give you leverage if someone tries to sell you something at a higher-than-average price.
At the farmer’s market, comparison shopping is key. Often certain vendors will skew their prices below everyone else’s to try and ramp up their sales. Finding the stall with the cheapest price is the easiest way to save money, but you can also test out your negotiating skills to get a better price.
If you see a person selling a basket of carrots, or a pint of strawberries that looks much better than everyone else’s, but at a higher price, mention that you saw a lower price elsewhere and ask if they’ll bring their price down. They may say no, but it can’t hurt to ask.
Buy in bulk
Another way of getting a discount at the farmer’s market is to buy in bulk. Often, farmers will make it worth your while to buy lots of their stock at once by giving you a discount if you make a larger purchase. Buying something by the flat, or crate will definitely be a better bargain than simply purchasing a number of individual boxes.
Once you’re home, prep and freeze whatever you won’t be able to eat in time. That way, you’ll actually save money, instead of just wasting food.