Farmers Market Shopping on a Budget

The return of farmers’ markets is one of the best things about springtime. Who doesn’t enjoy taking a leisurely weekend stroll by rows of locally farmed food? However, despite being lovely and fresh, the vegetables can be extremely pricey. During your next trip to the farmers market, use these money-saving strategies recommended by dietitians to spare your pocketbook rather than spending $10 on two apples and a box of berries.

Learn about your farmer.

Farmers are also humans! They like to break up the day by talking about the products because they spend the entire day standing about in sometimes harsh environments. Farmers are enthusiastic about their work and will enjoy it if you share that enthusiasm, says 80 Twenty Nutrition’s Christy Brissette, MSc, RD. She continues by saying that talking to a local farmer would not only provide you with information about where your food comes from, but you might also add some extra vegetables to your bag. Additionally, you’ll have gained an experienced companion who can guide you through the complexities of the market.

Select undesirable produce.

Did you know that “ugly” fruits and vegetables or those with minor visual flaws are frequently discarded before being packaged? Many people believe this product is unhealthy or doesn’t have the same nutrients as other products, but Stephanie McKercher, MS, RDN, of The Grateful Grazer, disagrees. She asserts that “ugly fruits and veggies are just as nutrient- and flavor-rich as the produce in your supermarket, plus they’re usually marketed at considerably lower prices.” Purchasing “ugly produce” will not only save you money, but it will also reduce unnecessary food waste.

Create a list.

Without a list of “must-have” things, you might meander around the market aimlessly. Additionally, you might be more inclined to squander your budget on a pricey bag of pretzels and a few homemade baked items, leaving home with little to no produce and an empty wallet. Instead, develop a list of the things you require while considering seasonal food. The farm is usually stocked with whatever is in season at the time, making it an affordable choice. You may get the most for your money if your list is filled with seasonal fruit.

Plant your own.

Saving money is not always about making quick purchases. According to Ginger Hultin, MS RDN CSO, owner of ChampagneNutrition, “I buy a potted herb plant that will continue to produce in the future, rather than buying one pack of chopped herbs” to save money over time. Some farmers sell seedlings so you can grow your food home if you have a strong green thumb. You can ask these farmers for advice on how to maximize your crop yield because they are professionals in cultivating.

Shop in the evening

Farmers are eager to sell their food at the market rather than bring it back to the farm because it doesn’t keep fresh forever. According to Brissette, if you buy in the last hour of the day, you can find fantastic produce, seafood, and other perishables at low prices. Farmers will have to do less work and cleanup, which means more money in your wallet.

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