Produce Guy informed me a few weeks ago that his company had recently released new guidance on changes to store policies and included in that memo was that the produce and bakery departments are no longer allowed to give away food to anyone other than a registered food bank.
He was so apologetic and really felt terribly. I assured him that I understood completely and that I appreciated being able to pick up the produce that I was able to over the past almost year.
So....now that grocery budget that I was so proud of reducing......well that's about to go through the roof! UGH.
We eat a TON of plants around here. I mean - a ton! When I go to the grocery store and get asked if I am a caterer or if I own a restaurant - I think that tells you how many vegetables and greens I buy - and that's with having a garden!
So...out comes the Menu Planner. It was so hard to use it when I didn't know what food I would be getting each week in the boxes, so it was always a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda thing when it came to planning dinners. We've only been using it again for 2 weeks and this thing saves me so much money!!!
I "liked" BackYard Produce on facebook a few months back and I love their recipes/ideas they post all the time. They also deliver customizable boxes of fruit/veggies/meat/cheeses/etc to your house once a week. They post what is in the next week's box on Thursday and you have until Saturday to customize your box. Then it just shows up at your house! :)
We are getting our first box today and I am so excited! Even with getting the super-jumbo-you-eat-an-insane-amount-of-produce sized box - it still isn't enough. But I am so happy that we can provide our family with almost exclusively local grown, organic produce and then I simply have to supplement throughout the week. This week, I plan on having to buy limes, cilantro, and of course more bananas - we eat them like they are going out of style! I will be continuing to use tomatoes, peppers, beans, okra, kale, etc from our garden as well as all of the tasty canned goods I've been so busily putting up for the past month or so. I also have some left over apples, potatoes, and oranges that I bought last week, so we'll be set for a bit.
We also, may or may not have purchased 80 pounds of organic Vidalia onions that are now adorning my canning shelves....we go through at least 1- 1 1/2 five pound bags of onions a week, so I hope those will last us a bit! :)