Be a Boss: How to Conquer Your Local Farmer’s Market

A few tips on how to prep for your next shopping trip.

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Are You on SNAP? - Want to shop at your local farmer’s market, but you’re on SNAP? No worries, more and more farmer’s markets are beginning to accept public assistance as a means of helping low-income Americans have better access to affordable fruits and vegetables. Check to see if your local farmer's market accepts them. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

Have Cash on You - Make sure you have cash on you ? in case they don?t take credit, debit or SNAP (if you have access to those benefits). Budget out how much you're going to spend before you go. It?s easy to go to the farmer?s market and lose your mind and spend way too much money. Start with $20 on your first shopping trip.(Photo: Whisson/Jordan/Corbis)

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Have Cash on You - Make sure you have cash on you — in case they don’t take credit, debit or SNAP (if you have access to those benefits). Budget out how much you're going to spend before you go. It’s easy to go to the farmer’s market and lose your mind and spend way too much money. Start with $20 on your first shopping trip.(Photo: Whisson/Jordan/Corbis)

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Make a List Before You Go  - Before you head to the market, think about which foods you and/or your family really likes. If you are into tomatoes, farmer’s markets, especially in the summer, are great for in season fruits and vegetables. It’s OK to try new foods, but buy what you’ll eat so you waste less.(Photo: Noel Hendrickson/Corbis)

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Bring Your Own Bags - Remember: You have to bring your purchases back in something. Not all stands have bags or they might charge you for them. Bring some reusable bags or dig into your plastic bag stash as a means to take your food home. The sturdier the bag, the better.  (Photo: Janine Lamontagne/Getty Images)

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Have Someone Else Tag Along - Walking into a farmer’s market can be intimidating, so don’t always do it alone. Ask your roommate, friend or boo to come along and help you navigate this new foodie world. They can help you find something new or help you talk to the people working at the stands. (Photo: Randy Faris/Corbis)

Photo By Photo: Randy Faris/Corbis

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It’s OK to Taste - This is what’s awesome about the farmer’s market: There are samples everywhere you turn. Take advantage of that. Taste new things, from cheeses to meats to in season veggies. This way you know for sure if you are making the right choice. (Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Corbis)

Be Adventurous (With Reason) - One of the main reasons to go to a farmer?s market is to open yourself up to new foods that you may never have tried before. So from rainbow chard to summer squash to cilantro, it?s OK to step outside your food comfort box. (Photo: LWA/Dann Tardif/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Be Adventurous (With Reason) - One of the main reasons to go to a farmer’s market is to open yourself up to new foods that you may never have tried before. So from rainbow chard to summer squash to cilantro, it’s OK to step outside your food comfort box. (Photo: LWA/Dann Tardif/Blend Images/Corbis)

Farm Not So Fresh - THIS: Most routine food inspections by the Food and Drug Administration will be suspended.(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Try Going Early (Or Late) - You don’t have to get there at the crack of dawn, but getting there early can be the difference between you getting the items that you want or walking away empty handed. But on the other hand, you might find some deals by going late or before close, as farmers might want to get some product off their hands before packing up. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Fresh Veggies - We all know that we need to eat seven or more servings of fruits and veggies a day. You can?t make that goal if you don?t own them. Stock up on veggies such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, corn and peas. Also grab some frozen veggies, too. (Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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Organic vs. Locally Grown - Organic foods in general cost more, so it’s OK to opt for locally grown foods, which are made in the area, because that means they are fresh and haven’t been packed and shipped from far away. Organic isn’t always king — remember that. (Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Lean and/or Organic Meats - If you are going to eat meat, opt for leaner meats and/or organic chicken, beef and poultry. Say no to processed meats and high-sodium cold cuts.  (Photo: 2/Alex CaoLKL/Ocean/Corbis)

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Don't Let Them Bamboozle You - Most of the workers are honest and lovely people, but they are there to make money as well. So no, you don't need a $10 package of grass-fed beef, $13 bag of organic grapes or a $15 lavender pillow for your panties. Spend your money wisely. (Photo: 2/Alex CaoLKL/Ocean/Corbis)