Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Produce Co-op

I am really enjoying being a part of a produce co-op this year.  It is forcing helping us to eat more fruits and veggies.  That is a good thing.  Another bonus is that it is helping greatly with our food bill!  I highly recommend doing this if you are at all interested.  I know many areas have co-ops.  For various reasons, we decided to start our own.  Here is how it works for our group.

1.  We have 6 families.  So all food purchased is divided by 6.
2.  We shop once per week - usually on a Friday or Saturday morning - early.  We shop in the bulk area at our Farmer's Market.  Going early makes for a better selection.
3.  We shop in pairs.  Helps with making decisions and just makes it more fun.
4.  We come home, sort and then wait for the others to pick up and pay.
5.  We aim to spend between $25 and $30 per week.  We hope to get at least 4 fruits and 5 veggies.  We often have 10 or more different items.

The first photo above is what the back of my van looked like filled with produce.  The photo below is the boxes of food spread out on my driveway.
This is one weeks worth of food.

The selection varies week to week.  We have a list of "please do not buy me this" so that nobody gets something that they hate.  That being said, we have tried some new things just to see.  

A couple of times we have compared what we've purchased to what it would cost in the store.  We have found that the same produce in the store would cost $50 to $90 more than several of our local grocery stores.  Its a great savings!  

Just wanted to share in case someone else was looking for a way to save money and eat more natural foods.  This is working well for us!