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Tips For Shopping At Famers Markets

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I really enjoy the farmer market season here in northern Maryland.  There is always so much to see, touch, and taste - great fruits and veggies as well as mouth-watering baked goods.  But, the downside is that the products are often crazy expensive.  I do expect to pay more for the locally grown produce and I expect it to be better than what I get at Safeway.  That said, sometimes the prices make me wince.  So, with that in mind, I was off on an online search for better ways to shop at farmers markets.

Go early or late:  The best selection is early and the best deals are late.

Bring bags:  A lot of these folks don't have bags as they don't operate a B&M store.

It's okay to dicker:  As for a discount, the worst that can happen is a "no."

Buy in bulk:  You can usually get (you may have to ask) a discount for quantity.

Get to know the farmer:  Once you are seen as a regular or a friend you may get better deals.

Take your time:  Many farmers may be offering the same items so take your time and shop around for the best combination of quality or price.  It's tempting to buy at the first table or stall but you'll do better to browse first.

Ask questions:  Where is the farm located?  Did your grow all of what you sell? What's good today?

Know what fresh is:  Before you go, make sure you know how to identify "fresh."  Can you tell fresh asparagus from asparagus that is getting long in the tooth?

These are the tips that came up the most.  There were other suggestions such as not over-handling produce, bringing cash in small bills, knowing what's in season, and making sure that you shop many farmers markets rather than  just one or two.

Please add your own tips in the comments section so that we have an even better list.

erick99 posted Apr 09, 2012

I love them too! I buy too much and I buy too much baked goods but it's all so good!

MaryRolle (rep: 23) posted Apr 09, 2012


I love to shop in farmers market. Thanks for the great tips.

Dexterous (rep: 102k) posted Apr 09, 2012


They are actually cheaper to buy from than grocery stores in my area. Just like anywhere else, don't shop hungry. There is a lot of junk food temptingly available that will eat into your produce shopping $. It really is true that you get yhe best deals toward the end. My husband is the leaky wallet of the two of us, a quirk I find endearing however unfortunate, and he buys all the junk food. We are usually there until almost closing and buy a lot of food so buying in bulk works for us and its great b/c the vendors want to lug back as little as possible and will actually offer us the deals most of the time.

dealwagger (rep: 10.3k) posted Apr 09, 2012


To the farmers market to buy food, I like to bargain with them, this feeling is really good, I like to follow those housewives selection of dishes, they know how to know which vegetables are fresh.

coco987 (rep: -9) posted Apr 10, 2012


Wow thanks for all the great tips :)

ArtemisDeals (rep: 7.2k) posted Apr 10, 2012


I love the famers markets as i can get fresh foods.

Azura89 (rep: 10) posted Apr 11, 2012