|This was the contents of my basket one week.|
One thing we have done to try and improve our health and our transition from fast pace, convenience style food is to eat more fresh whole fruits and vegetables. The only problem is fresh fruit & veg is not cheap, and when you are working with a budget as tight as our is $20.00 is the equivalent to $100.00. You might think I'm joking, but in this case I'm dead serious. To help solve this problem I started looking around the web and on different forums I belonged to and there was a common theme among frugal, self sustaining families. They either grew their own fruit & veg or purchased from a local farmers market. Well the garden idea did cross my mind but we knew nothing about gardening and thought our chances of it costing us more money in the long run was a big possibility. So my next choice was to find a local farmers market. I started searching on the web for terms such as "farmers market", "food co-op", "produce stand" , "local farms" etc.. I came across a farmers market co-op in my town. They offered several different kinds of presorted baskets. Some fruit only, some veg only and even a combo fruit & veg basket. Their prices were so reasonable I couldn't believe it. We tried it, and sure enough we were hooked! It was nice to have a presorted selection waiting for me each week. Some things we got I would not have bought if I was in the store, but since it was in our basket I tried to figure out different ways to prepare it so my family would eat it. I remember the first time I made a spinach, mushroom, and feta cheese quiche I thought McClane was going to die! He reminded me of when he was six and would totally have a gagging fit trying to eat green beans. Oh what good times... lol. Now, he will be playing video games or just see me eating something and he will say "mom, you think you could heat me some of that?" I grin and think to my self "no, you don't like that green stuff remember", as I go to heat him a plate.
When we joined this co-op I was still working and the price of our basket ($15.00) was fine for our budget. After I returned home full-time this expense was too high for us. I know $15.00 a week doesn't seem like a lot but it was $60.00 month and our total food budget could not handle that. I began to volunteer at the market for a discount on my basket. At this point I only pay $5.00 for everything, plus I get a box of extras each time! This has been a life saver many times when the stretch was almost stretched out of our food budget!
|All this for $5.00!!!! This is my normal basket and my free volunteer extras!|
If you live in or around the Kennesaw area I will be more than happy to give you information on the co-op we use. If this is out of your area try searching the internet for terms like I mentioned above. When you find a place don't be embarrassed to ask if they would barter or accept volunteer service for some kind of discount.