Tips for Shopping Farmers’ Markets

Your local farmers’ market is not only a great place to purchase fruits and vegetables that are grown nearby. It’s a good opportunity to score other freshly baked and produced goods, from pastries and jams to handmade jewelry and homegrown flowers. A farmers’ market is also a fun way to spend a few hours on a summer day.

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Another advantage of shopping a local farmers’ market is the prices. For a senior on a fixed income, it’s tough to beat the affordability of fresh produce and baked goods.

How can you make the most of your weekly trip to the farmers’ market? We have a few tips to help you master the market.

1. Bring your own bag. A farmers’ market essential is a sturdy bag to stash your goodies in. It’s also an environmentally friendly way to shop. If you have other errands or stops to make afterward, consider bringing a cooler with ice to keep your produce cold.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. When you shop at a farmers’ market, it’s guaranteed that you will do a lot of walking. Wearing comfortable shoes is a must.

3. Bring cash. While some farmers might accept credit cards, cash is generally the preferred currency. It’s also a great way to stay on budget and avoid indulging in too many impulse purchases.

4. Talk with the growers. Vendors at farmers’ markets can be a great source of information and advice. Make sure to talk with them as you make your rounds. There is much to be gained by talking with those who grow or make items to sell at a farmers’ market, from learning how things are grown to getting suggestions for how to prepare produce.

5. Shop early if you can. Farmers’ markets have gained in popularity in recent years. If you want the largest variety of fruits, vegetables, and other goodies, it’s best to go early. You’ll not only have the first pick of goods, you’ll probably have more time to chat with vendors.

6. Get to know the market. Most markets have regular vendors who set up in the same place week after week. Once you get familiar with the market, you can visit your favorites each time you shop. It helps you plan your menus and snacks for the week. One tip, however, is not to fall into the trap of visiting only the vendors you’ve shopped before. Continue to explore new vendors and those who sell just a few times a summer.

7. Adhere to market etiquette. Few farmers’ markets encourage the haggling you often find at flea markets or other sales. Before you try to barter with vendors, take time to learn market etiquette. The market may discourage that type of behavior.

Finally, remember the health benefits you gain by shopping at a local farmers’ market. In addition to providing you with an abundance of healthy foods to use in planning meals, you’ll reap the cardiovascular benefits of walking. Those are two of the best steps for avoiding disease and living your best life. Visit “The Link between Your Lifestyle & Cancer” to learn more about the habits and choices that may help you prevent cancer.

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