As the parent of two small children, one thing that is a constant source of worry for me is food. Are they eating enough? Are they eating too much? And most of all, am I feeding them the best and most nutritious food possible? The debate over organic foods still wages, but our family has come down on the side of natural and organic is best. We are blessed to be surrounded by a lot of grocery stores, but as it stands we are stuck choosing from an extremely limited organic selection of produce that frankly tends to look unappealing and close to turning at best, and often times comes at a huge (almost double in some cases) markup.
When I first heard out about Green BEAN grocery delivery service, an organic and natural grocery delivery service that is sort of like a co-op with the freedom of a grocery store, I will admit I was skeptical. Having never used a grocery delivery service I thought surely there must be a huge markup, and organic on top of it? Forget it. It all seemed a little too luxurious for our budget conscious family. When they contacted me to send a free, small produce bin for review, I thought it would be worth a one-time try and we’d just be on our way. But after unpacking our bin and seeing just how far $35 in produce goes, how great the produce looked, and what a variety we received (pictured left), we were sold. We knew this would be the answer to our family’s budget versus organic grocery struggle.
Here’s how it works: we have a standing grocery order with a $35 minimum, small produce bin which is delivered every other week. In the days prior to my delivery I have from Thursday afternoon until Monday to login to my account, look at what vegetables are in that week’s bin, and make changes to the produce selection as I see fit. I can also add additional groceries and produce on top of my standing order, and they have everything from bread to bulk to frozen natural groceries available. Then on Tuesday afternoons they drop my new bin full of groceries on my doorstep, packaged to keep them cool and fresh, and they take the old bin and packaging materials from the previous week’s delivery with them.
Groceries and produce offered by Green BEAN are natural, sustainable and there is even a large local selection that includes Dogtown Frozen Pizzas, and bread from Companion Bakery. And yes, there are some items that are cheaper to get in the grocery store. However, there are just as many items that are cheaper, and they also have weekly sales just like your neighborhood store. As a savvy shopper, I am able to pinpoint those items that are available cheaper in the grocery store and leave those for a weekly, small grocery run. I now rely on Green BEAN for grocery items we can’t find organic at the local grocery store, and for all of our produce and I couldn’t be happier.
We have had three deliveries from Green BEAN, and we have effectively reduced our grocery bill by at least $40/week while adding more fruits and vegetables to our family’s diet. Yes, it does feel luxurious, however because we are planning our meals two weeks in advance and purchasing based on that plan, not only are we less stressed at dinner time, we also aren’t overbuying while in the grocery store or eating out nearly as much. Luxury isn’t always frivolity.
A few friends of ours have also joined the Green BEAN wagon, and as a special offer for STLFamilyLife.com readers, Green BEAN is offering $15 off your first delivery with code “15STLFLml“. Go create an account, and play around. Check out this week’s sales, see what is in a sample bin, and give them a spin! I can’t recommend them enough.
**Disclosure: Green BEAN delivery provided me with one small produce bin so I could try the service and write this review. All opinions are my own, and were not compensated or otherwise paid.**