Santa Rosa Hills CSA

  (Santa Ynez Valley, California)
Farm fresh local produce - direct to you!
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Does the CSA Save Me Money?

 Spending $30.00/week on a box of organic produce may at first glance appear to be a bit of a splurge.  $30.00/week equals $120.00/month, more if there are 5 weeks in a particular month.  Let’s look at it.

 My experience with food procurement has shown that usually the fruit and vegetable items in my shopping cart amount to about one third our total food budget. So if you are spending $120.00/month on produce, you would be coming in average if your total food budget was around $360.00/month.  That’s below what my husband and I spend, for just the two of us.

 Granted, not all of your produce needs are coming in your weekly box, but for us, it definitely is the lion’s share of our vegetable matter.  So how does this save you money?

 The produce itself is about the same price you would pay at the Farmer’s market.  Money saver #1: Since you yourself are not going to the farmer’s market to shop, you are only spending $30.00 (the price of the box) instead of the $50.00 or more you could spend purchasing impulsive items, like the almond brittle and Quark Lemon Cheese.  You also save on time and gas by not going to the Farmers market (don’t get me wrong, I love the Farmers market and think everyone should go when they can!).

 Money saver #2:  You can spend less time going to grocery stores, again saving money on impulse buys.  When you have a box of produce, you create meals around the items in the box.  This means that as long as you have staple items on your shelves at home, you don’t need to run to the store.  Research shows that most people shop without a list, and end up purchasing way more than they had anticipated.  The less time you spend in stores, the more money you save.

 Money saver #3:  You will be inspired to cook.  Getting creative with your box contents is very rewarding, in many ways.  Not only are you feeding you and your family well, you are saving money on eating out!  And I’m not just talking about dinner.  Inevitably there will be leftovers from the meals you prepare, which can turn into lunches that can be taken to work. 

 Here’s a list of staple items from Alice Water’s book, The Art of Simple Food.  Have these items on hand, and you will spend less time grocery shopping and more time preparing wonderful foods for your family and friends. 

Pantry StaplesOlive oilVinegars

Salt

Black peppercorns

Spices

Pasta

Polenta and cornmeal

Rice

Dried beans

Canned tomatoes

Anchovies

Capers

Flours

Sugar

Baking powder and baking soda

Vanilla

Yeast

Jam

wine

 

Perishable StaplesGarlicOnions

Shallots

Celery

Carrots

Olives

Fresh herbs

Eggs

Lemons

Mustard

cheese

nuts

chicken broth

butter

milk

potatoes

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