If you love fresh, locally grown produce as much as we do, you’re probably counting down the days until your farmers market opens its doors for the season. And we're here to help you save money shopping at the Farmer's Market. We can’t wait to get our hands on the perfectly ripened fruits and veggies we been waiting so patiently for all winter long!
While the farmers’ market is heaven on earth for anyone who likes to explore the flavors of the season, it can be an overwhelming experience for the vegan on a budget. Spending an arm and a leg on a pint of strawberries almost takes the magic out of buying food directly from the people who grew it! However, there are plenty of ways to shop locally without emptying your wallet in the process. Here are our favorite farmers’ market shopping tips for the vegan on a budget.
Make a shopping list
Writing out a shopping list before you leave for the farmers’ market will save you both time and money. When you have specific recipes in mind, you’ll only buy what you need and will be able to avoid making impulse purchases.
Evaluate your options
As soon as you arrive at the farmers’ market, take a loop around and check out every vendor’s selection. This way, you’ll be able to compare prices and talk to many different farmers before making any purchases.
Ask about discounts
Many farmers will offer a customer a deal if they plan to make a bulk purchase. Along the same lines, farmers may also discount slightly bruised produce that doesn’t look perfect but is ideal for preserving, canning, or freezing.
Buy produce in peak season
Buying in-season produce is not only delicious – it’s also easy on your wallet. This spring, look for asparagus, broccoli, Swiss chard, peas, artichokes, and spinach. Herbs to keep an eye out for include parsley, chives, basil, and dill.
Have impeccable timing
Timing is everything for the vegan on a budget. If your priority is getting the best deal on your favorite fruits and veggies (and we know it is), it’s best to avoid the busy morning rush. Arriving at the tail end of the market will give you a better chance of negotiating with farmers on any unsold goods.
Buy only what you can eat in a week
One of the best ways to save money at the farmers’ market is by only buying what you know you’ll eat before it starts getting moldy. Look ahead at your calendar and determine how many nights you’re going to cook at home versus eating out to make sure nothing goes to waste.