Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.

Flea-ting Find: Open Air Markets Offer Steals and Deals

New Haven's a college town, filled with college students on college student budgets. Fortunately, it's also filled with plenty of budget-friendly options. There are sale racks and discounted downtown shopping nights, thrift stores and dollar stores, big box stores and IKEA. And then there are the city's open air markets.

Traders' Market, located at 86 Fitch Street, opened over the summer. Since opening, the market has been doing well for itself. "It is growing and getting busier everyday," Alyssa DiSpazio (a co-owner of Traders' Market) says.

Traders' Market has an indoor and outdoor facility, so it runs all year round, Friday to Sunday. The market urges shoppers to "shop, swap and save," just for the fun of it. The variety of items is large, selling lots of antiques, jewelry, clothing and collectibles. DiSpazio explains that customers can trade items with vendors. Haggling is allowed, but you may not be able to cut a deal.

"It's all up to the vendors," DiSpazio says.

Traders' Market is also family-oriented. "We offer free popcorn, free admission and free parking," she said. "Also, we do our best to keep out illegal items and knock-offs."

All-ages venue The Space operates a vintage clothing store on-site year round, but they host a flea market about four times a year. Vendors sell vintage clothing, records, cassettes, and more — "anything from staple flea market regulars to somebody selling vegan brownies,"owner Steve Rodgers says. Each market hosts between 30 and 40 vendors, sometimes with live music. And over-21 shoppers not interested in vegan brownies can partake in beers and barbecue at The Space's sister venue, The Outer Space. The next two markets are September 23 and October 8.

If you're looking to keep your shopping experience outdoors, feel free to check out any one of the open air farmer's market that CitySeed operates. More than just your average farmer's market, vendors sell everything from green bags to dog biscuits. And CitySeed's recently initiated a marketshare program — like a farmshare, members pay $13 for a week's supply of health vegetables, picked fresh from an urban farm. Fresh, healthy food, and more, on a student budget? Sign us up!

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun