We'll help you get started with these 6 easy tips:
Tip 1 - Plan Ahead
Planning what you will buy at the market is important. Set a budget for what you would like to spend and how much of your SNAP/EBT benefits you can use. Then think about the meals and snacks you will have for the following week. Making a shopping list is smart because it helps you remember what you need, and it prevents you from buying too much.
Tip 2 - Use Your SNAP / EBT Benefits
Many CT Farmers Markets accept SNAP / EBT benefits. Some even double or triple the amount. For example, if you have $5.00 in benefits you can get another $5.00 in tokens or vouchers to spend! Our CT Farmers Market Guide 2018 lists some of the markets that offer this great service.
To use your benefits, find the market manager’s table (often when you first enter the market). They will help guide you through the process. See Using SNAP/EBT at Farmers Markets for more info.
Tip 3 - Shop Around Before You Buy
Don’t forget to review your list from Step 1. You can always make changes to the list if you see a new item that is a bargain.
Tip 4 - Talk to the Farmers
Tip 5 - Prepare What You Buy ASAP
Some fruits and vegetables need to be refrigerated and others are better left in a cool, dry place. Use this helpful guide to know what to do.
- For greens: Wrap washed greens in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Keep in the coldest part of the refrigerator and plan to eat within 1-4 days.
- For berries: Wash right before you eat them so they don’t get moldy. Berries can last for well over a week in the refrigerator. For keeping longer see Tip 6.
Tip 6 - Freeze Some Fruits & Veggies
Freezing produce can keep it fresh for months. If the price is right and you are able to freeze it, buy as much as you can afford! Fruits like peaches, cherries, and berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) work well. Chop vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots before freezing so that they will be easy to thaw and prepare.