As the weather warms up, Arizona farmers markets are in full swing! Many varieties of produce are in season, so your market goodies will be both affordable and delicious. Shopping at a farmers market can sometimes seem overwhelming with all the different vendors and choices.
Double Up Food Bucks is here to provide you with some tips on how to get the most out of your farmers market experience, and also get the most out of what you are spending.
When to go
Go early to take advantage of the products that might run out faster than others. Farm fresh eggs often run out after an hour or two, so head to your favorite Double Up market early if those are on your shopping list. There will also be fewer people, so early morning shopping is a great option if you’re looking to avoid crowds.
Visiting late can have its advantages, too. This is especially true if you’re looking for produce and staples that are better day-of, like dairy, bread, and other perishable products. Sometimes farmers offer their products on sale during the last 30-60 minutes so they do not have to take everything back with them and risk disposing of it later. The produce can be up to 50% off, and vendors who sell bread and baked goods sometimes do 2 for 1 deals towards the end of the market.
Taking a tour around the whole market before you start making purchases has numerous benefits. This allows you to compare prices to make sure you get the items you want at the lowest price possible. Additionally, some vendors might have a different variety of a certain item that the others do not carry. Taking time to decide where you are going to buy each item will help stretch your food dollars and avoid impulse purchases or unnecessary items.
Get to know your farmer
Getting to know your farmer is a great way to try new items, find deals, and get inspiration for recipes. Farmers are experts when it comes to what is in season, and these recommendations can help you save money and enjoy items at their peak flavor. Learn more about the benefits of choosing in-season produce. Farmers also have great recipe ideas for their products and can help you figure out how to use a new ingredient you may have not tried before.
One of our favorite advantages of shopping at farmers markets is the opportunity to sample foods you’re interested in purchasing. Most vendors offer samples of their products and will help you pick out which product fits your palette best. This is a great way to see if you or your family members might like something you have never tried before, and also pick something you know you will like.
Use the market services
Markets are not only a great place to shop – they also offer many services that are useful for customers. Some markets have booths that will slice your vegetables for you so you don’t have to worry about it when you get home. This is helpful for those with a busy schedule! Farmers markets also offer free classes for people of all ages that can include cooking, gardening, exercise, and nutrition. Oftentimes, markets have a children’s area that has activities to keep kids entertained while you complete your shopping. Learn more about what your local market has to offer by exploring our partner locations or stopping by the information booth when you visit the market.
Farmers markets offer a great opportunity to connect with both your community and the food you eat. We hope these tips help you shop like a pro and take advantage of all of the wonderful options our Arizona markets have to offer!
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