Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Menu Binder ~ Buying groceries

This step for me has been a no brainier for the past three years. I have worked at/with/for the farmers market for that time and being around the seasonal rotations of food it is easy to see what is in season, what is local, and what you can make with it. Plus, I had to be there each week, so picking up groceries was just part of the day and I usually did it on my lunch break.

When I got pregnant I decided not to work for the market this year and it has caused some major adjustment for me and my household. This has been the year of transformation for me from 'Housewife' to 'Household Manager'. And that's no joke. I am delegating more of my 'work' this year than I EVER have before. My children are getting old enough to really be able to help (even my 3 year old feeds the cats every day). Most of the chores are assigned to someone other than me. I just run the house.

I had to step that up a notch when I got pregnant. I am not a happy pregnant person... the whole process kinda makes me feel like I have the flu, all the time. And on top of that, the 'bullet proof' immune system that most pregnant ladies experience is opposite for me. I catch EVERYTHING and usually worse than those around me. But this wasn't meant to be a whine.... this was meant to be a post on how I now buy groceries.

How? I have them delivered. 90% of my groceries now are delivered to my door. To do this with my local/organic/small company ideals intact took some research, but I think I discovered a way that fits them all... and on top of all that, it may even save me some cash (it has already saved me some garbage).

The two main places I use are Terra Organics and SPUD! Organics. Terra Organics is very much like a CSA, but you are able to order on a week to week basis and add things to your share each week from a small list of local items. I have never been upset with their products. You can choose from several different boxes. I get the Pacific NW produce box each week. Most of the things that are in these boxes (esp this time of year) have traveled less than 100 miles to get to me. Last week I had CA grapes on my list for the week. I just emailed and asked them to sub more apples and pears from WA and cut out the CA grapes. No problem! And that made the entire box from my immediate area.

SPUD! Organics is a grocery chain. But one that is dedicated to organics and local living. It is based in Seattle (about 20 miles from me) and they will tell you exactly how far your groceries have traveled on average with each and every order. You can easily stay under 500 miles (my personal goal for basic groceries) and since the average grocery product travels around 1500 miles in the box stores, that is a HUGE impact on our carbon footprint.

The garbage comment wasn't a joke either. Both of these places use mostly reusable bags, if they use bags at all. My fresh produce is usually loose in a green produce box, and the rest is put in a thermo packed bag, inside a larger grey produce box that has a small bag of dry ice in it to keep things like milk and cheese cold.

Terra Organics is always my first stop, because it is more local. I order potatoes, apples, pears, garlic, and onions from there and build side dishes for menu items with the things that are in my box each week. Then I hit SPUD! for the rest of my groceries.

So far, these two places have made it possible for me to create an almost completely local living menu without having to take time from my other daily's (like homeschooling, cooking, and taking care of myself while making baby bits). I feel wonderfully blessed to have this type of service at my fingertips.

I hope all of this info has helped some of you set up a similar plan for your house. It has been SUCH a blessing for me. With all the things that are going on and especially Alex starting homeschooled High school and me making a baby, I can't tell you what a relief it is to have a good laid plan.




Amber said...

Thanks so much for all of this info, it really is helpful!

Jessica said...

This is great! I was just looking up CSA's in Olympia (I moved here 4 months ago) Terra organics looks like a wonderful place to start, especially since it is so late in the season, so many of the CSA's I'm interested in are sold out, and I'm having a hard time forking over so much cash at once so soon after moving! Thank you so much for this information! This is just what I was looking for.

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