If it’s your first time planning a trip to your local farmers market, you may not know what to expect. What should you bring with you? If you’re using your SNAP Quest Card and Double Up Food Bucks, where should you go first? Get the most out of your shopping trip with these tips:
1. Plan ahead.
When it comes to shopping for food, going in with a game plan saves time at the market and cuts down on food waste. Research some recipes beforehand, and have a clear purpose for all the food on your grocery list. It also helps to know which fruits and veggies will be in season at the time of your shopping trip. Here’s a helpful guide to Arizona’s in-season fruits and veggies.
2. Find your local market.
Visit this site to find a participating Double Up Food Bucks market near you. If you’re not using Double Up Food Bucks, click here to find any Arizona market and schedule. Hours and locations are subject to change according to season and weather, so check back often for updates and information.
3. Grab your reusable shopping bag.
Some stands at farmers markets do not have bags available, so come prepared with a reusable bag to carry your fresh finds. Not only will you have plenty of room for your purchases, but you’ll also help the environment by ditching plastic bags. Only about 2 percent of plastic disposable shopping bags are recycled, and the ones that end up in our landfills take 15 to 1,000 years to break down. The plastic products that are dumped in our oceans or elsewhere in the environment harm wildlife and our earth. To top it off, an alarming amount of petroleum is also needed to produce plastic bags. Grocery shopping with a reusable bag is a simple, effective way to help keep our environment pollution-free.
4. Visit the info booth.
If you are using your SNAP Quest Card at your local market, visit the information booth before you start your shopping trip and let them know you’re shopping with Double Up Food Bucks. They’ll help you get started, answer any questions you may have, and help direct you to any particular booths or items you may be looking for.
5. Get shopping!
It’s time to start shopping! If you're using Double Up Food Bucks, look for these Arizona-grown signs. As you navigate the farmers market, be sure to ask local growers about their products. Growers work hard and nurture their produce to maturity with care, so they’ll be happy to let you know about the nutritional benefits, seasonality, and potential recipes for the fruits and veggies they’re proud to have grown. Also, try to stick around until the market’s closing time; growers often knock down prices on unsold produce right before the market ends!