Thursday, February 17, 2011

Local Foods, Fresh Eggs, GF Bread

One day my husband I were talking about the cost of cage free organic eggs in the grocery store. We had just paid $4.60 a dozen for those eggs. It seems because the word "organic" was printed on the egg carton, the price was nearly doubled. Reviewing our grocery purchases of late, nearly all of our grocery purchases had doubled or tripled what we were used to paying. Our budget was way overextended and we needed to find somethings that can be done to lower the costs of our foods.

As always, when I am looking for answers, I began to research. Finally, I came upon the answer. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is the best way to lower costs of foods without having your own little farm in your backyard. I reviewed the different farms in my area and came across one that is not too far from where we are currently living. They have fresh cage free, organic eggs for $2.35 a dozen. That would surely lower our egg costs I thought as I continued reading the list of foods offered through this program.

Cheese, milk, fruits, vegetables, and gluten free bakery products! A local bakery is offering gluten free products through the local CSA. I noticed that they even offered whole grains and beans. I was so excited. I simply had to place an order. Not all CSA's are set up to where you can choose your own supplies, many of them have a program where you pay a certain amount of money (your fair share) and receive a box each week of whatever the farmers are offering.

This particular program is not exactly like a CSA. It is more flexible. You simply review their offerings by Tuesday morning of each week and place your order, paying online. Then you go pick up your order each Thursday evening. This organization brings several farmers and local organic merchants together. The prices are much lower than what we would be paying in the store.

I am excited to say that we placed our first order and today was our first pick up day! When we arrived, we were presented with two reusable shopping bags of food. The person who was there distributing the food gave us a few extras because it was our first order, organic tuna, about a pound of brussel sprouts and a butternut squash. They were so pleasant to deal with and there was no standing in line. We are sold!

For this to work best for us economically (we still do need to drive about 35 miles each way), we have decided that we will only order every two weeks. Even so, we are predicting that we will be saving quite a bit on our groceries. Due to this, my grocery planning will need to be at least two weeks in advance so I can adequately account for our needs. We are looking forward to spring and summer when even more fresh organic and local fruits and vegetables will be available through our local CSA.

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