How a CSA Saves You Money
by Alana Johnson
How to Save Money and Eat Healthier with a CSA
My Story: CSA vs. Grocery Store and Co-Ops
We are all looking to save some money these days, right? And go green at the same time! First off, what is a CSA? Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a fancy way of saying, "A farm that grows (organic) veggies, and sells shares of the crop at the beginning of the season to local consumers."
Here are the money-saving reasons why you should join a CSA:
- The average cost for organically grown produce from a CSA is lower than the grocery store, or even the farmers' market. This varies from farm to farm, but it's more bang for your buck if you typically eat organic.
- Using a meal planner helps you utilize all your produce.
- With your veggies already purchased, and armed with a small grocery store list, impulse purchases at the store will be minimal. Fewer trips to the store means less accidental spending.
- CSA boxes generally provide so much food that you will be covered for dinners as well as lunches with proper meal planning, cutting down on eating out expenses.
- Some CSAs include berries and flowers, which are massively more expensive at the grocery store. Treat yourself while saving some cash!
- When the production peaks, and your veggie box overflows, you can freeze veggies for the winter in a vacuum-sealed bag.
- The produce is much fresher and lasts longer, so therefore far less is wasted.
- Some CSAs even have "u-pick" days, where share owners can go out to the farm and pick excess crop, take it home, and freeze it for the winter. For free! Now that is value.
- You'll be trying new things, and eating more vegetables in general. That can ultimately lower your medical bills, as a varied diet high in organic vegetables will keep you healthier.
- If you have kids, a CSA can be very exciting for them. You can really play up the excitement of finding out what your family is receiving each week, finding new recipes to try, and even getting them involved in the food preparation.
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