Written by Julie Paiva, CHHC
One great thing about spring is the return of farmers’ markets. There’s nothing better than admiring local produce from various vendors while enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine. Farmers’ markets provide you with a place to shop for fresh, seasonal produce and can also give you some amazing deals. Many times, grocery stores sell produce at higher prices and it usually isn’t as fresh or locally grown.
Find the closest market near you
Farmers’ markets have become more popular and are now popping up in urban areas as well as suburban areas. You might be surprised when looking for one at how many are actually close to you. Websites like http://eatlocalgrown.com/ can help you find farmers’ markets in your area. Just enter in your zip code and it will populate fruit and vegetable markets near you.
Shop later in the day to get the best deals
If you are looking for the best prices, then shop the farmers’ market closest to the end of the day. Although the selection of fruits and vegetables may not be as plentiful, but vendors may prefer to sell what’s left at reduced prices, rather than pack it up and take it home. If there produce is at its peak now they may wish to sell it to you for a lower price before it goes bad. So, if you are open to eat whatever is left then shop the famers’ market later in the day for a deal.
Join a CSA to secure your share of fresh produce
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a great way to shop local on a budget; you may be able to sign up at your farmers’ market. By joining a CSA you pay a fee upfront and are entitled to a share of a farmers’ produce throughout the season. For a reasonable price, you’ll have access to a bounty of produce. This is a dream come true for those looking to eat healthy throughout the season for a fair price. This might not be the best for picky eaters as you generally get whatever fruits and veggies are harvested that week. If you love a variety of produce, then this is a great option to get a large amount of fresh seasonal products at an economical price. If you want to look into a CSA check out this website, http://justfood.org/csaloc. It can help direct you to CSA’s in your area.
Trips to farmers’ markets can be fun for families and friends to attend together. It can also be a way for you to encourage your children to try new veggies. If they pick them out and learn about where and how they are grown from the vendors, they might be more willing to give new things a try. These cost-saving tricks will help fill your belly with healthy fresh produce and your wallet will thank you too.