Farmers' market

Photo: James and James/Photolibrary/Getty Images

1 of 5
Don't Wait Until 4:45
You've probably heard that you can snag bargains at the end of the day, when farmers want to get rid of unsold produce instead of trucking it back to their farms. Yet, according to Marcy Coburn, executive director of CUESA, which operates San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, lingering and watching for price cuts when there are only 15 minutes left until closing isn't wise. "It causes the farmers a lot of stress if you are just loitering around, waiting for half price," she says. (CUESA actually discourages farmers from making late-day liquidations.) Instead, Coburn advises shoppers to get there early—as soon as the market opens. The atmosphere isn't hectic, farmers will have just had their coffee and they're likely to happily offer samples and chat about the best way to cook those fiddlehead ferns. You'll build a rapport with them, which may eventually yield discounts and special deals.