Did you know that you can get FREE and MAJORLY DISCOUNTED food at farmers markets? Here are a few insider tips...


Photo by eekiv of fruits sold in La Boquería in Barcelona. Use freely for non-commercial purposes. :]

Source: Wikimedia Commons

  • Perishable goods (fruits/vegetables, fresh pasta, hot foods, flowers, etc.) need to be sold before they go bad. Find a vendor of perishable goods toward the end of the market and ask them if there is anything they won't be able to sell in time before it perishes, and would be happy to donate to you (or sell to you for a discount...).
  • Ask fruit and veggie vendors if they have any "imperfects" (fruits and veggies with a bruise, a spot of mold or other things that drop their $$ value) that they would be happy to donate or sell to you at a discount.
  • TRADE! A lot of vendors trade with each other. Why not trade fruit from your overabundant plum tree? (The writer of this tip used to trade her vendor's pasta for backyard avocados and chicken eggs.)
  • Work for a vendor (or be the vendor) who does trades! Even working one day a week, you can load your refrigerator with organic produce, rotisserie chicken,...
  • And now, the biggest tip of all: GET TO KNOW YOUR VENDORS! As Cesar Chavez once said: "If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him...The people who give you their food give you their heart." In the case of farmers markets, the people who give you their heart give you their food. Friendship breeds generosity. :]