Hi guys! Here in Arkansas this weekend felt incredible! We finally had some nice, cooler weather so it was so much better to get out. This heat has been killing this pregnant mamma. It was like a personal gift to my husband and I because it was also our anniversary weekend. We decided that instead of doing gifts for one another we would both get $20 to do what we want with and then we would go get dinner out together. I chose to go to this huge farmer’s market that is held each weekend in Little Rock.
My parents and I used to go every weekend when I was a kid. I was so impressed to see some of the same vendors are still there. It was great getting to chat with all of the farmer’s and everyone was so friendly and open to conversation.
The selection of fresh veggies and fruit was incredible! There were tons of peaches and watermelons. I was so tempted to get some of the beautiful peaches but we have finally used all of the ones we got a few weeks ago so I thought we might need something a little different. (If you are wondering what we did with an entire case of peaches go check out my peaches and cream smoothie, it was INCREDIBLE!)
I was also super impressed by all of the Asian veggie selection. There were tons of Chinese Cabbages and Yard Long Beans. I sear my mouth was watering and I wanted some of everything.
To make the atmosphere even more awesome there were a bunch of vendors selling things like soaps and kettle corn. I cannot even begin to describe all of the awesome smells you are hit with when you walk into this place.
James had so much fun while we were there. I’ve mentioned before that the kid could live outside if I would just let him. He loved getting to ride on his push tricycle that he has and was talking to all of the dogs that were around. He has started barking at puppies when he sees them now and while I’m a bit biased, it’s basically the most adorable thing ever.
I ended up buying some blue berries, sweet basil, cilantro, and spinach. My son, James, will go absolutely nuts over some blue berries and the ones they had at the market look amazing. I plan on making a pesto and spinach chicken dish with the spinach and basil sometime this week. Then with the cilantro I plan to indulge my craving for guacamole for quite a while. For all of this awesome produce I only spent about $9. (Honestly I probably could have spent a lot more but I was trying to be conservative).
5 Tips to Save Money at The Farmer’s Market
Going to a farmer’s market can really go either way when it comes to money. Either you can save money compared to the grocery store or you can go way overboard. There are a few ways you can keep yourself from spending way more than necessary.
1. Walk the entire market before you make any purchases at all.
If your farmer’s market is anything like mine then there are a ton of vendors that have the same products. It’s so easy to want to buy the first thing you come to but it’s so easy to miss out on a better deal that way. If you walk the entire market first and then start making purchases you can pick what vendor has the best price.
For example this weekend there were about 5 vendors that all had peaches for sale. The price per pound ranged from $1.75 all the way to $3.50.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk to people.
It’s truly incredible to me what a simple conversation with a person can do. This doesn’t mean you have to ask for a cheaper price or anything like that. If you just talk to vendors it’s pretty common that they will end up giving you a free sample especially when they are selling things like berries or apples.
3. Bring mostly $1 bills and some smaller change
Sometimes vendors are selling products in quantities larger than I could ever use. Occasionally if I see someone looking at the same product I’ll ask them if they want to split the order. Having the small cash with you as opposed to larger bills makes this so much easier when you need to make change between the two of you.
4. Don’t impulse buy
This means making sure I have an idea in mind of how I’m going to use every product I’m buying before I buy it. It is so easy to go into a farmer’s market and get overwhelmed by all of the awesome food and go crazy. Unfortunately, when we do that many times that produce may end up going to waste in our fridge. By making sure you have a solid plan before purchasing will really help to prevent that.
5. Bring some ice and water with you
Many farmer’s markets have products such as eggs or meat that you can purchase. Bringing ice with you especially on very hot days is essential to making sure nothing goes bad before you get home. I also like to bring a couple small cups and some water with me. It makes a huge difference when it comes to keeping your herbs fresh while you are out in the heat.
I would love to see some of your farmer’s market purchases! Tag me on Instagram with your pictures!