When I am not selling, I really enjoy shopping at a farmers market. Other than knowing you’re getting fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, it is one way to relieve stress. As they say, “it is a feast for the senses.” Sure, shopping at the grocery store is pretty convenient, but there’s always something about those tables spilling over with fresh meat and green vegetables. Plus, you can get quality products at a very reasonable price. So, how do you skip the weekly trip to the supermarket? Here are my shopping tips to help you sort things out.
Tip #1: Make a meal plan
Before you make a trip to the nearest local market, it is best to list down the things you need to buy. Make it a habit to do a daily or weekly meal plan. Knowing the stuff you need to buy, makes it easier for you to shop around. As much as possible, be flexible with your meal plan. For example, if you’re planning to make chicken enchiladas with roasted vegetables or salad, you should have at least prepared a backup plan in case they ran out of supplies of your main ingredients.
Tip #2: Find the most reputable farmer in your area
The best way to find a reputable source is to visit every farm market in town. Check out the products and compare them from other stalls. Ask them if the items they are selling are self-produced. If you have time, you may try to visit their farm as well.
Tip #3: Get enough stocks
Restocking depends on the size of your fridge. But as much as possible, get enough stocks for the week so you wouldn’t have to minimize your trips to the marketplace. Load up on shelf-stable pantry items like canned goods, pasta noodles, grains, or beans. It is also a good idea to stock your freezer like fresh meat, fish, and nuts. Again, always check the fridge or freezer and make sure there’s enough space for perishable items.
Tip #4: Be creative and have fun!
Shopping at the market should always be fun. Try to figure out what to do with your bounty. While having a shopping list is a good idea, you don’t really have to stick to it as long as you have the budget for other ingredient you can use for the week. Don’t be afraid to discover new things. The fun part is to do some experiments in your cooking. You can tweak your previous recipes by adding new spices or invent something entirely new. Just go with the flow and have fun!