Home > Uncategorized > 5 Ways to Find Deals at the Farmers Market

Comments 0 Comments

Do you like fresh food? Of course. Do you want to get outside and meet some local people when the weather’s nice? I know I do. From May through November, farmers markets pop up in cities and towns across America. Farmers and artisans gather to sell everything they have to offer to eager members of the community.

Food costs are one of the most common budget breakers, and farmers markets can help you get fresh, local produce at low prices to help you stretch your grocery budget.

If you find yourself attending one sometime soon, be sure you get the most out of your experience by following these tips for shopping at farmers markets.

1. Scan & Plan

Unlike a trip to the supermarket where you know where the things you need are, it’s important to shop around at a farmers market to get the lay of the land. Make a pass through to check on quality and price before you start buying. Vendor location and product availability will vary even at your regular spot. Looking around also gives you the chance to think over your budget and meal plan for the week so you can make a more concentrated list.

2. Consider Your Timing

Your local farmers market selection may be limited to what is in season, so it’s a good idea to learn what grows in your area during every season ahead of time. You should also talk to the vendors about what will be coming to the market in upcoming weeks so you know what to expect. Also keep in mind that the earlier in the day you show up, the better the selection will be. While coming later in the day often means getting deals on the items vendors are looking to unload, you may not have the best selection. It’s a tradeoff.

3. Come Prepared

Being prepared can help big time when it comes to the farmers market. Try to bring cash, especially small bills. (Even though more and more vendors can accept credit and debit card payments.) It’s also a good idea to have some heavy-duty reusable shopping bags and even a cooler to keep your stash fresh. This is better for the environment, helps the farmers’ low profit margins, and helps you avoid spilling or crashing your items on the sidewalk on your way out.

4. Buy in Bulk

The best deals often come when you work in volume — meaning you can get the best flavors and prices by buying in bulk whatever is at its harvest peak. Even if you don’t like to can your produce, you can follow some new recipes and freeze (or dry) anything extra. You will thank yourself now for the low price and later for the ready-made meal.

5. Ask Questions

The same people who grew the produce and raised the livestock for the meat they are now selling usually staff market stands. They are the most knowledgeable people about where your food came from and can be a great source for new and interesting recipes or uses. Take a few minutes to chat and ask any question you may have.

Attending a farmers market is generally an easy way to shop locally, but if you’re not careful, you can leave dazed or frustrated with bags of too many items and having spent more than you intended. Check the USDA or Local Harvest website to find the local markets near you and be sure to follow these tips to maximize your experience.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: Fuse

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team