We are a family of two, very health conscious, cook almost every meal from scratch and bring our own lunches (eat out 5-6 times a month). We eat almost exclusively organic and seafood. I would like to solicit some idea from fellow organic veggie eaters on how to pinch pennies in this inflationary environment.
We currently belong to 3 CSAs, Eating with the Seasons, Full Belly Farm and Frog Hollow (for fruit only). We like Eating with the Seasons because it offers choice, unlike conventional CSAs. With choice comes cost, every single item comes in a smaller quantity compared to Full Belly, which has some outstanding produce, but bunch carrots for a whole month could be overwhelming. So we always look at Full Belly's weekly delivery list first, and choose from EWS whatever FB doesn't deliver that particular week. Frog Hollow (Happy Child CSA) is the most expensive one, costing about $35 for 10lbs of fruit (avocado inclusive), we joined based on the raving reviews of their peaches on this board. So far, we don't find their fruit to be THAT extraordinary, perhaps because the peach season has not started yet. With 3 CSAs under the belt, we need very little supplement from the supermarket, except for olive oil, milk, condiments etc. at TJ's. When our subscription with Frog Hollow expires, we may find another fruit CSA with better value. Are there any other choices for fruit CSA besides Frog Hollow?
Our CSA costs come out to be around $85 a week, which I find to be as good as it gets because we eat enormous amount of veggie. Prior to joining the CSAs, our Whole Foods grocery bill was at least 50% higher. Now we never visit Whole Foods again. Our TJ cost is around $40 a week on ice cream, olive oil, milk, nuts, two buck chucks (for cooking, we don't drink) etc. Maybe there is some slack, but I feel we are doing ok.
We are murdered by our cost on seafood. We shop at Mitsuwa, which we found to carry the best quality seafood in South Bay, but at a steep price. Our seafood cost is around $65 a week, and they are not even all wild caught. I would love to know about quality fish mongers around South Bay that can cut my seafood cost. Are there seafood CSAs?
So just on food alone, without counting the bath tissue, washing powder etc., our grocery cost is already $800-850 a month, which I found to be on the higher end compared to grocery bills I saw on the internet. I would love to cut $100-150 a month without sacrificing much quality, is it doable? How?