Sometimes the best deals you can get on fresh produce is not on sale in your local supermarket. Finding other outlets where food is sold can save you money and introduce you to different varieties of fruits and vegetables that you won’t find in the grocery store produce section.
Farmers’ markets are an excellent source of fresh local produce. Since the produce sold at these markets are locally grown, they tend to be much fresher compared to grocery store produce that has been shipped thousands of miles. The local produce also tends to be less expensive that produce in the grocery store since you are purchasing it directly from the grower and there are no middle men to pay.
While the prices should be competitive if not lower than your local grocery store, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the cost even more:
Purchase Seconds: Seconds are perfectly edible produce that may not look right or have minor damage. Sellers will usually keep these in their trucks out of view and will often sell them for a discount.
Purchase In Bulk: If you are going to be purchasing a lot of a certain type of produce, ask up front what type of discount the seller will give if you buy in bulk.
Purchase At Closing: In the last hours before the farmers’ market closes, you can get great deals since most sellers would rather sell the produce even at a slight margin than haul it all the way back home. Simply ask what is the best price they are willing to sell for as they are packing up.
Sample: If you see something that you have never seen before, ask. Sellers will be more than willing to explain and give a small sample for you to try. Local farmers will often grow produce varieties not found in supermarkets with a wider variety of flavors. By sampling, you know you will be buying something you truly like and won’t be thrown away once it is taken home.
The first step is to locate a local farmers’ market in your area. You may have already heard of one, but never gone. If you haven’t, check the local paper for advertisements and ask friends. If you are able to locate one, make sure to mark it down on your calendar on what days it is held. A farmers’ market will give you an alternative place to purchase some of your produce at great prices.