How to Save Money at Farmers Markets
Shopping at your local farmers market is a great way to save money while helping your local economy. Your produce will be fresher and cost less. A lot of farmers markets even sell organic fruits and vegetables for much less than a traditional store.
Go With a Friend
There are many benefits to having a friend join you on your trip to the farmers market. Of course the first one is that you have company. It can also be beneficial if you want to buy your fruits and vegetables in bulk and split the cost and produce with a friend. When you buy in bulk from merchants at a farmers market, you are more likely to receive a bigger discount.
Look Before Buying
Farmers markets can be large, and the booths may seem repetitive. Since most of the farmers are local, they may have a lot of the same produce. Before you commit to purchasing produce, you should take a walk around and compare not only prices but quality. It is a good idea to take along a notebook to write information in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about a product. Most of the vendors are the farmers themselves, so they can answer just about any question you may have. Most farmers are very proud of what they do and will enjoy talking to you about it. If you aren’t sure how to use a fruit or vegetable, ask for advice. You may also be able to get free samples so that you don’t accidentally waste money on something you won’t like.
Shop at the End of the Day
Generally, it is best to get to the farmers market first thing in the morning. This is when the selection is at its best. If you are looking for a really good deal though, you may want to wait and shop at the end of the day. The selection will not be as good, but many of the vendors will be eager to get rid of the produce they have left. This could mean deep discounts for you.
Once you have found a vendor that has the produce you want, shop with them. By shopping with the same vendors time after time, they begin to notice your loyalty. They may start to offer you better discounts on the produce you purchase.
Ask for a Better Price
It is always good to ask for a better price, but be careful how you do it. Farmers work hard every day to grow that produce they are selling. You don’t want to offend them by making an offer that is too small. If they are not flexible on their pricing, either pay the asking price or move on to the next vendor.
This is probably the most important thing to remember when going to a farmers market. Many vendors will only accept cash. It is also important to bring small bills instead of larger ones. Many vendors won’t be able to make change for a hundred dollar bill, especially if you are only purchasing something for $3. Vendors like to be paid with dollar bills and quarters, so instead of taking a twenty dollar bill, take twenty one dollar bills.
Not Only Produce
Many farmers markets have homemade baskets, jewelry, and fresh flowers or plants. Farmers markets can be a great place to buy unique gifts. Just beware of the quality of the items and the price. Sometimes these items can be overly priced and not worth the money.
Guest post from Bailey Harris, who writes for the Homeowners Insurance Guide.