One of the best ways for you to get your weekly food shop and many more items in Mexico City is to head to the market. Each day you will find pop-up markets in the colonias around the city, as well as a huge array of permanent markets. Some people will look to go to the grocery store but the large majority of people still enjoy going to the market for all that they need. The truth is that this is a much cheaper option for getting your goods, and it is also an option which just provides a better and more personal experience for those who are heading out to buy what they need.
If you are new to the city then here are some tips on getting the most out of your experience at the market.
There are always more than one place to buy your meat or your produce and that is why it is so important that you shop around when it comes to getting the goods that you need. If you find some limes at the first place which cost $0.50 per kilo then you could certainly find them at $0.45 elsewhere. The same goes for the quality of the produce and food, which is why shopping around before you buy is so important.
Being in Control
It can be overwhelming when you get to the market and have people shouting their prices to you, but always remember that you are in control. Many get nervous but you simply need to remember that the vendors are trying to sell to you, not the other way around. You are the one in control here, and you should always remember that.
Negotiating is perfectly acceptable at the market and this is the best way that you can get the lowest prices on your goods. Always be sure to ask what the vendors best price is before you buy, no matter what it is that you are purchasing. They may make no room at all for negotiation which is fine, others however are likely to be a little more flexible.
A great tip which my friend Javier Burillo gave me was to try and strike up relationships with some of the vendors, especially if you shop there each week. This is a great way to get the best quality food and to ensure that you get bargain basement prices. In some cases you may even be able to order ahead of time, and they can keep you what you need for the following week.
Know Your Price
If you are not local then you may get some vendors looking to take advantage of that with higher prices. The best course of action here is to simply have a good awareness of what sort of prices you should be paying, or go to the market with a local. It is not always easy to avoid, but if you are smart then you may be able to.