Sometimes the best fresh produce deals are not found in your local supermarket. Checking other outlets where food is sold can save you money. It can also introduce you to different varieties of fruits and vegetables that you won’t find in the grocery store produce section.
Local Farmer’s Market
Farmers’ markets are an excellent source of fresh local produce. Since the products 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. They are also less expensive since you are purchasing them directly from the grower. There are no middlemen 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 upfront 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.
Ask the Sellers
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. It won’t likely 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.