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Happy couple shopping at a busy local farmers market.

Craving fresh-picked berries or succulent veggies to toss on the grill? If so, your local Farmers Market has it all. Below are a few shopping tips on how to get great deals, mouthwatering produce and even on how to turn a trip to the Farmers Market into an educational experience for your kids.

Early Bird –  Arrive early to enjoy the best selection. However, you may get better deals near the end of the day, as retailers wish to clear the remainder of their merchandise.

Buy in Season & in Bulk –  Save money by shopping produce that is locally in season. It sounds simple enough, but some markets may ship in fruits and veggies from out of state to provide a wider selection. And if you can, buy in bulk- you’ll most likely receive a discount for purchasing a dozen apples over just one or two.

Bring Cash – While many retailers accept Credit and/or Debit Cards, most still prefer cash. In fact, quarters are popular for merchants to make change with – stop by a Branch Office to purchase a roll or two.

Location, location, location – Shop more than just one to compare prices, quality, inventory and fresh products throughout the week. Just a few of the local markets to check out, include:

Find an Illinois Farmers Market near you in the National Farmers Market Directory.

Children Welcome – Bringing your kids along to help pick out fresh fruits and vegetables can be a fun learning experience. You can teach colors, names, simple math and more in a fun learning environment – plus when they help select fruits and vegetables, your kids will be more likely to give them a try.

Rain, Rain Go Away – Don’t let storm clouds deter you, as a little rain could be your friend. Sellers may be willing to slash prices if the weather is uncooperative and crowds sparse. If the weather looks dicey, download a weather app like the Weather Underground App to get up-to-date forecasts, lightning detection and radar imaging.

Beauty is Only Skin Deep- Don’t shy away from slightly bruised or overly ripe produce, these items may be marked to sell & are still delicious to eat.

And much-like the credit union philosophy of “people helping people”, by shopping your local farmers market, you’re helping your neighbor – all while enjoying tasty food produced nearby.

Have other tips or suggestions on how to get the best deals at the Farmers Market? Share them below.

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