Sunday, January 27, 2008

Manna from heaven? No...but close!

I am pretty sure I'm not the only one who has noticed the recent increase in food costs. In addition to being an ice cream addict, I'll admit I'm a chipoholic as well. I LOVE potato chips! And so, this is a pretty easy example for me to give. Potatoes are relatively cheap...potato chips are not. A year ago, I could buy a 6oz bag for $ I can buy a 2oz bag for $0.99, and a the 6oz bag for $1.59. But wait, what is that!?!? The 6oz bag,, is only 4oz!?! The bag is the same size, shape and design, but they've reduced the now I'm paying 50% for 30% less? My addictions are killing my wallet!

Seriously, though, food has gotten more expensive. There are many reasons for this...fuel costs, added taxes, increased labor force costs, etc. There are not so many ways to save on your food purchases. Besides clipping coupons, or playing The Grocery Game, there isn't a whole lot one can do.

Well, you can possibly add one more thing you can do. Get food from Angel Food Ministries. I first learned about them from my mother-in-law, who said her church is a local distribution point. What they do is call food manufacturers, and negotiate low-cost food purchases, or even donations, of food. These are the same manufacturers that provide the foods you find in the grocery stores. You pre-order as many food boxes as you like, at a cost of of $30 a box, and the contents would have an average retail of $60. Each month features a different "menu", so your not getting the same food each month. This is open to everyone, not just low-income families, as the food is provided based on the number of you are not taking a box away from someone who may be in a financially harder place than yourself.

A sample box might contain :

1.25 lb. Bacon Wrapped Beef Filets (5 x 4 oz)
4 lb. Individually Frozen Chicken Leg Quarters
2 lb. Lean Hamburger Steaks (4 x 8oz.)
1.5 lb. Boneless Pork Roast
1.25 lb. Meaty Beef Short Ribs
20 oz. Supreme Pizza
10 oz. Deli Sliced Turkey Breast
3 lb. Fresh Apples
35 oz. Crinkle Cut French Fries
16 oz. Frozen Green Beans
16 oz. Onion Rings
14 oz. Fancy Ketchup
26 oz. Pasta Sauce
16 oz. Pasta
16 oz. Pinto Beans
7.5 oz. Macaroni and Cheese
Dessert Item

Now granted, most of the food is frozen, so you'll need some freezer space to keep it, but it's a great way to make your grocery dollars stretch. They will deliver to central location (you can find the drop-offs on their website) once a month, and you bring a box, or something to carry your food home in, and that's it. For US residents, they also accept EBT (food stamps). Check them out, and see if they come near you.

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