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Most of us are not strangers to the busy parking lots, beeping cash registers, and shopping cart navigation that the average trip to the grocery store consists of. Shopping for a week’s worth of food is just another errand on your student to-do list; but only if you let it. With a little bit of planning, stocking your fridge full of food can be an extremely enjoyable experience. The secret? Your local farmers’ market! Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should ditch the checkout line this week.

You Can Enjoy It With a Loved One

When someone says “grocery shopping,” chances are you don’t picture a day of fun for the whole family. Whenever my family comes to visit, we always love to visit St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market for a fun way to catch up – and snack on lots of incredible foods in the process, of course! With farmers’ markets, leisurely browsing the rows of produce, stopping at a nearby ice cream stand, and enjoying live music are just a few of the fun things you can do while getting your weekly errands in. Bringing a date, friends or family transforms filling the cupboards into the perfect quality time with your loved ones.

Choosing Healthier Options is Made Easy

Sure, leafy greens are all over the grocery store. But they’re also just steps away from the cheaper, prepared, canned or prepackaged versions. It can be very tempting to opt for the easier processed foods while meandering the aisles. I often find myself going to the grocery with the intention of getting lots of produce and veggies, but never fail to end up getting sucked into that chocolate bar staring me down at the checkout. If you’re ready to opt for a healthier, fresh, more plant-based diet, farmers’ markets are for you. Not only are you surrounded by entirely fresh, local, and healthy foods, but everything you see is often at peak ripeness! Trust me, nothing beats some fresh berries straight from a farmers’ field.

Your Wallet Will Love You

$5 for 5 cartons of raspberries. Need I say more? Deals like this are all over farmers’ markets because you aren’t paying those added costs to get your food from the factory, to the grocery store, to your home. By buying straight from the source, you’ll save more money than you could even imagine. It’s the dream place even as a student on a budget

Supporting Your Local Growers

Local farmers work hard day in and day out to produce fresh, nutritious foods. When you buy those apples from the grocery store, your money is going into the pockets of growers elsewhere and any manufacturers or packagers involved along the way. By buying local at your local farmers’ market, you know your money is going into the hands of your neighbours that work hard everyday to feed your city.

Almost everywhere you go, there is a farmers’ market nearby. With zero excuses and copious of reasons to go, shopping local is a no-brainer.

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