Walk and Talk
Get to the farmers’ market as soon as it opens and visit each vendor to find out what they’re selling—and for how much. While Berube says you might get a great deal at the end of the day from a farmer eager to get rid of their leftover produce, the more appealing—and cheaper!—produce might be sold out by the time you show up. For instance, a great deal on zucchini at 8:00 a.m. might be over by 11:00 a.m. if the farmer sells out.
Haggling with farmers over their prices can put them on the defensive—it’s hard enough to make a living running a small farm. Instead, ask multiple vendors at the market what their prices are. You don’t have to buy all your produce from a single farmer—you can buy apples at one stand and squash at another, if the prices for individual fruits and veggies are lower elsewhere. You can, however, try to negotiate a better price if you’re going to purchase an item in bulk.