Top Tips for Shopping at a Farmer’s Market

Although some people may not consider themselves to be a “farmer’s market goer,” they truly are for everyone. They are full of fresh food and friendly people. Who doesn’t like that? I can’t remember exactly when I first went to a farmer’s market, but what I do know is that ever since they have been one of my favorite places ever! They can be found pretty much anywhere, and they are a great way to get outside, be with people, spend time with friends and family, or take some me-time for yourself. Throughout my visits to different farmer’s markets in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Beverly Hills, California, here at LMU in Playa Vista, California, and back in my home state, Pennsylvania, I’ve learned how to maneuver my way through these little worlds to make the most out of them. Here are some of my tips!

Go during breakfast or lunch time.

If you know the farmer’s market that you are going to gives out samples, then this can be a great place to basically get a free lunch! At the Beverly Hills Farmers Market, they give out tons of samples of both food and drinks.

Bring reusable bags

Most farmers market vendors give bags but are almost always plastic and very flimsy. So for anyone who has gone grocery shopping, you know that getting all the food home without spilling or squishing anything is just as important as the actual shop! I promise you will thank yourself when you get there and start piling on the fresh produce and homemade foods.

Plan out meal ideas ahead of time

At almost every farmer's market, the vendors are selling fruits, veggies, herbs, spices, and other ingredients that are used for cooking, rather than prepared foods, so having ideas of meals you want to make for the week ahead can be super helpful and time-saving while shopping at the market.

Buy in bulk

The best deals at farmers markets can be found when buying food in bulk. Especially fruits and veggies, you can always buy bundles of cartons of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Know what’s in season

No matter how many times you’ve been to a farmers market, each one is different. So, remembering what foods are at their peak can help you feel less overwhelmed and make the best decisions at each vendor!

Don’t go crazy

Going to a farmer’s market is always super exciting and eventful. You see a table covered in fresh berries, a basket of freshly harvested tomatoes, piles of leafy greens, fresh oven baked pastries, coffee brewing, and specialty juices and teas, all sustainably made, naturally, you want everything! However, remember, most foods at a farmer’s market are fresh and made to be used and cooked with within a week or two, so you don’t want to stock up on so much food that some goes to waste! Also, most farmers markets are open a certain day at certain times every week or month, so you can always go back.