My 5 Tips for Shopping at a Farmers Market

Of the things I’m really good at, shopping for food is one of them.

Below are my 5 top tips on how to shop at a farmers market. Hopefully you’ll find them useful and will encourage you to shop at your local market.

Share your favorite tips + tricks in the comment section below!

  1. Bring Cash: Nowadays, there are several vendors who do accept CC payments and some even Venmo. However, for a majority cash is the preferred and sole way of accepting payment. Make it easier on yourself by making sure you have enough cash on hand before you get to the market. As someone who never has cash on them, I always stop at the ATM just before I make my way over to the market.  

  2. Bring re-useable bags and a rolling cart if needed: To help reduce plastic use, bring your re-useable grocery and tote bags to stow your goods in. If you’re planning to buy a lot of things, bring a small rolling cart to keep things in and protect your shoulders/back. 

  3. First, walk through the market. Then, buy what you need: Produce changes week by week (due to climate, availability, etc) and even though you might have a favorite seller that you like to buy from (I personally have plenty) you have to follow Mother Nature and buy based on taste and quality versus convenience. I start my visits by walking through the market for one round, seeing what each vendor has, what’s in season and trying any samples made available – making mental notes of what each vendor had available that week, what tasted the best and the price of each item. My second walk through is when I go and buy what I need.

  4. Ask the seller questions: If you’re ever unsure about a product, how to cook/prepare something or just curious about the farming practices for an item, just ask the farmer/seller! They love to answer questions; you can tell how passionate they are to share information with their buyers, and you’d be surprised at how much they can teach you in a single conversation. I also encourage learning the farmers’ name(s), because it creates a personal connection that they too appreciate. 

  5. Carry water while you shop: If you’re anything like me, you’ll get lost in a market for an hour on end and find yourself thirsty as time goes on. Going to a market and being outdoors especially, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated. And if you’re eating a variety of samples, it’s a good idea to have water on hand to drink in-between to help balance your taste buds. Trust me, there’s nothing stranger than eating a sample of garlic hummus and then a strawberry right after... 

Prep for your market visit: