This time of year, we all run to the farmer’s market to connect with friends, sample local cookies and buy fresh fruit and vegetables. However, if you’re like me you get too excited, buy way too much, only to discover it goes bad in your produce bin a week later. Womp, womp. Our intentions are good, right?!
Well, after years of practice, I have a few tips that help me stay on track and save money. Here is my Farmer’s Market 101 Guide to help you mind your budget, have fun and eat more real food:
Take inventory before you leave the house.
Take a minute to check out what you still have at home and plan to mix it with other fresh ingredients. This is a huge money saver. It’s easy to forget what we already have in our fridge.
Buy small amounts of what looks fresh and delicious.
We’ve all walked home with one too many bags and while good for us for getting in an extra arm workout, we bought way too much. Think a few and leave the rest for others. Resist the urge to hoard.
Use the one bag rule.
I only have one small tote bag and when that’s full…I’m done. This rule keeps things in control and limits my over buying.
Limit yourself to using cash.
What no debit card? I know. This is a good one. Take cash, twenty or forty dollars and run out the door. That way you can’t buy too much and it’s easier on the cashier to have real good old-fashioned cash on hand. Give it a try…it’s fun!
Talk to the farmer.
Not sure what to make with this bounty of real food? Don’t be shy about asking the farmer or sales person about simple recipe ideas or information about when the crop was picked. They’re usually more than happy to help and might even have recipes printed out for you to take home.
Enjoy all those beautiful outdoor markets, real food and sunny summer days. They’re fleeting!
For more recipes, motivation and information find Lynda at lyndalayng.com.