Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gratituesday - Fruit & Veggies

With the economic state the country is in everyone seems to be trying to find ways to pinch their pennies. Usually one of the largest parts of a family budget that you have some control over is the food budget. Coupons, sales, and rebates. There are lots of ways to pinch here and there. However, even with these the dollar just doesn't seem to go as far at the grocery store as it used to. Especially if you want to eat more healthy. I don't often see coupon for fresh fruits and veggies. So what's a family to do?

Well, here in northern New Hampshire we have a wonderful Baptist Church that is the answer. Every Saturday they pick up all the "old" produce, the produce that they feel they can't sell or has reached its sell by date, from our local Hannaford grocery store. Now don't jump to any conclusions and think this NOT rotten food. That was the mind set I had in the beginning until I went one Saturday. Most of what is there looks like the stuff I bought at the beginning of the week and now it is Thursday or Friday. Now I don't know about all of you, but I only shop once a week or less. So produce I pay full price for almost always sits in my house for at least a couple of days. So not only is the produce quite nice, some of it is like factory seconds at the outlets, you just can't find what's wrong with it, but there is usually a wonderful selection. This Saturday I picked up . . .
  • 5lb bag potatoes
  • 5lb broccoli
  • cantaloupe
  • honeydew
  • 4 bananas
  • 2 mangoes
  • 3 pears
  • 8 apples
  • 2 lbs grapes
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 bag hearts of romaine
  • organic fresh basil
  • 3 baby eggplant
  • 1 pt grape tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 12 oz mushrooms
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 4oz watercress

Now the shelf life isn't going to be fabulous on this produce, but there are many ways around that. I brought the broccoli home and blanched and froze it. Now I have enough broccoli for quite a few meals. I also try to plan my menu around what we were able to get. So Sunday we had chicken fajitas and used the peppers. Lunch today was Chicken Salads with the romaine, cucumber and grape tomatoes. We also freeze a lot of the fruit for smoothies and muffins. The watercress is going in our green smoothies for tomorrow's breakfast.

I am so grateful to be able to still feed my family fresh fruit and vegetables without breaking the bank and for the Ness family who opens the doors of their church and give up their Saturday to do this.

The sad part is that if the Ness family didn't pick up this produce it would be thrown in the dumpster behind the store. And there are days of the week that this does happen. With the economy in such bad shape and people struggling, it is sad to see how much waste there is in this country. Have you thought about all that God has blessed you and your family with? Please don't waste it. It is our responsibility to be a good steward and teach our children to be as well.

Head on over to Heavenly Homemaking for more inspiring Gratituesday posts.

5 comments:

  1. How wonderful that your church does that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderful program. That would be a great outreach ministry for any church. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a blessing! There are so many that can use that right now.

    ReplyDelete
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