Spring is finally here, and the warm weather is slowly starting to emerge. Before you know it, farmer's markets will soon return with fresh treats. I'm always willing to spend a little more on food that is fresher, healthier, and will last longer; however, I used to be very alarmed at how much money I would spend on my farmer's market hauls. Based on my experiences, here are five of my top tips on how not to go broke when shopping at the farmer's market or any local food store:
1. Browse, Then Buy: Take a walk through the farmer's market first before purchasing anything; this will allow you to scope out your options. Maybe there are fresher apples for a lower price farther into the market. Browse, then buy!
2. Get What You Need: Even if you find a great deal, buy what you came to the farmer's market to get. Most things at the farmer's market are easily perishable because they are so fresh; stick to buying items that you know you will use that week or next.
3. Know The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen: You don't need to necessarily buy everything organic. You can save money on buying the "clean fifteen" conventionally, and sort out what you don't need to be spending extra money on. Here is a cute little printable for you to take on your next farmer's market trip.
4. Set A Budget: I started bringing only $30 to the farmer's market because I knew that would be enough for my mini haul, and would also deter me from spending money on appealing foods I didn't need. Set your budget, and bring that exact amount of cash with you.
5. Don't Go Hungry: Last, but not least, my favorite tip is do NOT go to the farmer's market hungry! You'll end up eating with your eyes, and buying much more than you should. Have a small snack beforehand to curb your appetite and help you stay focused.