How to Save on Produce with Community Supported Agriculture

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Posted on 07/08/2013

Want to fill your fridge with organic produce, but think it's too pricey for your food budget? Community Supported Agriculture, a subscription service for fruits and vegetables, is a great way to access a wide variety of locally grown fresh fruits and veggies at a set price. There are nearly two million farms in the US and roughly four in five are family owned. Many of those farms are getting their crops into the hands of consumers through Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA.


Direct From the Source Discount
When you cut out the middle man on any purchase you save money. With CSA that's exactly what you're doing. You're eliminating the middle man and buying directly from the source: your local farmer.

Find Local Farms
Thousands of farms across the country offer options for people to buy directly from them. Search for available CSA programs in your area with the database at localharvest.org.

Choose Recipes Based on Ingredients
When you choose your recipes based on what shows up in your weekly CSA portion you won't spend as much on ingredients. You'll cook with what's in season rather than accidentally choosing recipes full of ingredients that you'll pay a premium for.

Make Plans for Missed Weeks
What happens when you go on vacation, or if you simply forget to pick up your box of produce one week? You'll want to ask your farmer before you sign up. Missing out on a week of fresh food will diminish the value of the product.

Look for Free Delivery
Some farms will deliver the produce for free every week, which is a great option for busy families. Otherwise you'll need to factor in the time and expense of picking up your produce from the local farm.

Access to Special Deals
If farmers have extra produce they'll pass on special deals to CSA members. You'll have the opportunity to buy end-of-the-season extras or additional quantities of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Try Sharing with a Friend
If you're worried that some of the produce will go to waste try splitting the cost with a friend or neighbor. You'll share the expense and the bounty so you can limit the risk while still taking advantage of this great deal on locally grown fruits and vegetables.

By Alison Storm

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