Welcome back to our savvy shopping series! This is a little compilation of ideas and tips to become THE savvy shopper we all know and want to be. So jump in– the water is just fine.
If you missed last week, catch up right quick….we talked about how buying in season helps with keeping cost down and freshness high.
Shopping local at a farmers market or becoming part of a Co-op is also a great way to buy in season. However it can be intimidating if you are not familiar with how farmers markets work.
Here are some tips for shopping at your local farmers market…
1. Arrive early. If it is a hot commodity, then it will sell out quickly. So if you are after one particular item, then grab your coffee and head out with the sun.
2. Take your own bags/box. While some vendors/farmers will provide plastic bags, many will not. So don’t forget that canvas bag to carry your goodies around.
3. Know what you are looking for. Farmers markets are wonderful for browsing around, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home with something I have no plan to use. Plan your meals out before you go to prevent wasting good product and money.
4. Get to know your farmers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. They love it! Most growers will jump at the chance to share a recipe or idea for preparation– after all they have put a lot of work and time into this food for you already. Some of my favorite recipes have come from the growers. A pen and paper might be handy if you have trouble remembering recipe steps.
5. Have a cooler in your car. Especially if you are buying meats/eggs/cheese. These products will keep well if you are planning on going straight home, but if more errands are on your list, then a cooler will help keep them fresh longer. You can also ask the grower/farmer if you can leave your purchased meats and cheeses in their cooler until you are done scoping out the rest of the market.
6. Take cash. Many vendors now day have credit/debit card machines; however, that is not always the case. It is a good rule of thumb to carry the amount of cash you want to spend with you. That also helps you from overspending or splurging on something you don’t need.
People just might mistake you for a veteran farmers market shopper. Here are some links to farmers markets in the area that I’m familiar with…
OKC metro area:
For a more comprehensive list of markets around the state, check out OK Grown at https://www.okgrown.com/markets for a list of markets in Oklahoma!
Happy shopping! Lauren