Before I started frequenting my local farmers market, my most expensive weekly grocery purchases were typically fruits and vegetables. Now that I have learned how to save money on produce by shopping at farmers markets, I can buy all the fruits and vegetables I need while saving my family money.
Three Tips for Saving Money on Produce at Farmers Markets
1. The first tip I will share on how to save money on produce at farmers markets is to do your homework before you head out. This means looking at your local store ads to see what is on special that week. If you don’t get store ads with your local paper or don’t want to actually pick one up at the store, you can look many of them up online. Make sure you pay close attention to whether the items advertised are organic or not organic. As I am sure you know, organic produce is typically more expensive, so it is important not to neglect this distinction.
2. The second piece of advice I will offer for shopping at farmers markets for produce is to go around to all the booths before you purchase anything. Since many of the vendors offer some of the same items, check their prices before you buy, and of course, price check everything with the notes you took when you looked at your local store ads.
3. This brings me to tip number three on how to save money on produce at farmers markets: Do not assume it is a good deal because you are buying it at a farmers market. It is logical to assume the prices at farmers markets would be lower since there is no middle man (i.e. Kroger) and no overhead costs like stores, employees, advertising expenses, etc., but this is not always the case.
One other warning is when you shop for produce at farmers markets, you need to be careful when comparing organic and not organic fruits and vegetables. I spoke to a vendor at my local farmers market and she told me that while the zucchini and yellow squash she was selling was grown organically it did not have the actual designation of being “certified organic”. If you buy fruits and vegetables in a store and it states “organic” it is likely “certified organic.” For many this designation provides reassurance.
Below I share a video of myself and my son visiting our local farmers market, the Hyde Park Farmers Market, in Cincinnati, OH. I will apologize in advance for the lack of content in this video. My expectations were to share my shopping strategy at farmers markets along with my three tips on how to save money on produce at farmers markets, but a tired, hungry and squirmy one year old had other ideas. 🙂
If you have the opportunity to visit a farmers market, I encourage you to do so. In an effort to inspire you, below I share the ten reasons why I love shopping at farmers markets.
- As I mentioned above, to save money on produce. Coupons for fruits and vegetables are a rarity, so having another means to find bargains on produce is great.
- Unless you have a garden, there is no better way to get the freshest produce.
- Support local growers.
- Fun, free experience for the whole family.
- Find unique gifts like goat’s milk soaps and lotions, lavender sprays, lotions and candles, and all natural dog treats.
- Meet and discuss with the growers themselves. Learn about their process.
- A little nostalgic. I may live in the city now, but I was raised in rural Ohio, so it is nice to be reminded of simpler times.
- Good reminder of where things come from and the work required to bring them to us.
- Teaches kids that not everything cool has to come from a store. Farmers markets have some pretty interesting items as well.
- Motivates me to try new things. It is easy to ignore a unique fruit or vegetable in the store, but for some reason when I spot something I have never had before at a farmers market it seems more intriguing.
What are your tips on how to save money on produce at farmers market? What else do you like to buy at farmers markets?