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My Grandma passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful cook and I was lucky enough to inherit her recipes. Many date back to the 1940s and 50s. Grandma prepared them in a charming country kitchen with no running water and most of her produce came from her garden, not from the grocery store. These are made-from-scratch recipes. I wish I had spent more time with her in the kitchen and . . . I wish I had spent more time with her for so many other reasons.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Produce Co-op -- What a Great Way to Save Money

About a year ago I read about this produce co-op and I thought it sounded like a good idea.  But . . . I was reluctant to try it out.  I didn't know anyone who had participated and I wasn't sure about the quality of the produce they would provide.  The prices were great, but I had to pay in advance and then pick it up at a particular location within a 15 minute window.  So much pressure!!! :)

I finally gave in and placed an order for the Produce Basket.  With the delivery fee and the required one time $2.00 contribution for coop bags, my total came to $24.25.  Take a look at a snapshot of the Produce Basket.

This picture doesn't begin to do justice to what was in the basket.  There were bananas, plums, nectarines, fresh ginger, cilantro, Napa cabbage, button mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, oranges, apples, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower.  The bag had to weigh about 30 lbs.  Amazingly, everything was very fresh and well worth the money spent.  Some weeks the bag weighs 40 lbs plus.

The co-op delivers every two weeks.  When I arrive at the pick up point, there are probably 50 people waiting in line to get their produce.  Pick up goes very quickly.  Everything is sorted into bags and boxes and our orders are labeled with our names.  I have quite a time carrying all of my purchases all the way to the car.

Check out the co-op when you have time.  Their website is www.communityhelpingscoop.com.  There are groups all over the St. Louis area.  I happen to be part of the High Ridge group.  Be sure to sign up for a group, and they will e-mail you a couple of days ahead to remind you to order, and then send you a reminder to pick up your produce on the delivery date.

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