I am always looking for ways to save money and this is especially true for our food costs. Feeding a family of four can be pricy! My attempts to save money on the grocery bill have taken many forms over the years ranging from couponing to list-making & budgeting! We have cut out junk food and recently, thanks to our homesteading journey turned to hunting and raising our own meat. Of course, growing our own garden would be a great way to reduce our vegetable costs at the grocery store… but our garden is not yet producing and it’s going to take some time before it can come even close to supplying our family with the vegetables we need! In the meantime, I decided to give a vegetable subscription box a try!
Vegetable Subscription Box, Can They Save You Money?
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What is a Vegetable Subscription Box?
We all know that I love subscription boxes! It’s a lot of fun to receive a box of goodies in the mail and it’s great to have something to look forward to on a regular basis. There are many different vegetable subscription boxes to choose from on the market. Some allow you to pick specific vegetables, others are more of a surprise but they all follow the same basic model. You sign up for a reoccurring shipment of vegetables and/or fruit that come directly to your door on a set schedule.
For our subscription box I choose to give Misfit Market a try.
Why Did You Pick Misfit Market?
There were several reasons that I choose Misfit Market! One was that the produce is all organically sourced and while I don’t always buy organic at the grocery store (it’s too expensive) I do prefer it. The chance to get all organic produce for a discounted price seemed like a great idea. I also liked that they had several options when it came to box size and frequency, some boxes I looked into were either too small for our needs or far too big which would just lead to food waste (although I’m sure the chickens would have loved the extra). Misfit Market let me pick a decently sized box on a schedule that matched my husband’s pay schedule – which also matches our typical grocery shopping which is convenient for budgeting purposes.
But the biggest reason I ultimately choose Misfit Market was because I liked their ideals. Misfit Market specializes in buying perfectly edible food that would otherwise be thrown away just because it doesn’t match the grocery store’s perfect ideals. A massive amount of fresh vegetables and fruit are thrown away every year just because grocery stores only want perfect-looking food on their shelves. Personally, I don’t care if I have a funky-looking squash or a misshapen carrot in my fridge! I love knowing that the food I eat was ‘rescued’ and if it can also save me money then that’s even better!
Did The Box Save You Money?
When I first ordered the box I admit to being kind of skeptical. I assumed we would get a few small portions of each vegetable. However after receiving and unpacking the box I was more then happy! It was a pretty big box and packed absolutely full! However to see if it was truly worth it I weighed and wrote down exactly what was in the box and wrote it down so I could compare the overall price of the box with what it would have cost me if I have gone to Walmart or Publix to buy it.
There were a few flaws with this – in some cases, I could not find organic versions of the vegetables (so I wound up using the price for the regular versions) I received, and in the case of one vegetable I couldn’t find it at all in Walmart. However, here are the results
|Organic Broccoli||$2.88 x 2||Organic Broccoli||$3.29 x 2|
|Organic Zucchini||$2.96 x 2||Organic Zucchini||$4.41 x 2|
|Radish – Non-Organic||$1.18 x 2||Organic Radish||$2.53 x 2|
|Yellow Squash – Non-Organic||$0.89 x 2||Organic Yellow Squash||$4.41 x 2|
|Oranges – Non-Organic||$0.68 x 6||Oranges- Non-Organic||1.6Ib @ $1.65 Ib|
|Plum – Non-Organic||$1.01 x 6||Plum – Non-Organic||1.1Ib @ $3.29 Ib|
|Bell Pepper – Non-Organic||$.74 x 4||Organic Bell Pepper||$3.29 x 4|
|Red Potato – Non-Organic||$0.39 x 4||Red Potato – Non-Organic||$0.59 x 4|
|Organic Butternut Squash||$4.13||Butternut Squash – Non-Organic||1.3Ib @ $1.65 Ib|
|Mango – Non-Organic||$0.92 x 2||Mango – Non-Organic||$1.63 x 2|
|Apple – Non-Organic||$1.49 x 6||Organic Apple||$2.44 x 6|
|Organic Collard Green||$2.48 x 2||Organic Collard Greens||$4.41 x 2|
|Organic Cherry Tomatoes||$2.46 x 2||Organic Cherry Tomatoes||$3.87 x 2|
|Rainbow Chard||N/A||Rainbow Chard – Non-Organic||$4.41 x 2|
Since I paid $40.50 for my box which includes the shipping I’m pretty happy with the results. We kept the subscription and have now received 3 boxes in total with similar results! Of course, your mileage may vary based on the grocery stores near you and the prices for your area.
Are There Any Cons to Misfit Market or A Vegetable Subscription Box?
There are pros and cons to every purchase no matter what it is. Misfit Market has definitely saved us money while grocery shopping but we are a family of adventurous vegetable eaters. If your family is extremely picky and unwilling to try new things then this may not be the box for you. While you are given the opportunity it select items for your box its not guaranteed and some substitutions may occur. I personally don’t consider this a flaw because I like surprises and we love trying new recipes. If we find we really hate something then it’s fed to the chickens so it’s never really wasted either way since anything extra I feed them saves on their food bill too.
Since it’s organic produce it may not last as long as grocery store produce (I recommend eating leafy greens first) and shipped without the extra packaging found in grocery stores there may be shipping casualties. In the box listed above one of the Zucchini’s arrived with a crack in it. It was otherwise fine so I washed it and we ate it first. I don’t mind the lack of packaging because I feel the extra plastic found in stores is both wasteful and annoying to deal with, however it does mean the vegetable box in your fridge might need cleaning out a bit more often.
Overall I have found any cons to the box firmly overridden by the pros of saving money AND being better for the environment. We will definitely be keeping our subscription and if the garden starts to produce we will likely just lower the frequency or size of the box to match!