5 Ways to $ave when you Order from the Organic Box

As the song goes, “Little by little, inch by inch! By the yard it’s hard; by the inch, it’s a cinch!” Little choices add up, and you reap what you faithfully sow.  One thing try to do to serve my family is to save money whenever I can (within reason). There are many reasons why we keep getting the Organic Box. The main ones are just that the food is so good and we eat so much healthier and feel better when we’re getting fresh produce delivered regularly. But sometimes it’s easy to have “sticker shock” if you compare supermarket non-organic prices to individual prices in the Organic Box catalogue.

Today I want to share with you some ways that I try to scrimp and save, even while still getting the very best produce we have ever bought in Edmonton.

#1 Shop the Deals

Every week, the good folks at the Organic Box have a link you can access to “DEALS.” (Cue happy thoughts!) Here is a link to the current ones. Every week there are deals on produce, frozen/refrigerated items, grocery, bulk and special sales. Last week, I got nectarines, Red Sangre potatoes (see below), Green Zebra tomatoes, broccoli, Coconut Bliss ice cream bars, Gold Forest Grains whole wheat flour and dairy-free “cheese” all on sale.

#2 Buy Bulk

When you choose your box for the week, you can also look at their “Bulk Cases” category. These are usually add-ons to the regular order for the week. They have bulk that is more for restaurants (20.5 L of Maple Syrup, anyone?), and sizes that sound like what my family can use. At the rate my son goes through yogurt, sometimes it’s nice to get a 2 kg tub of it than to buy several littler containers.

Once there was a mom who doesn’t own a juicer who bought 25 lbs of organic juicing carrots. True story! It seemed like a good idea at the time! We used them for salads, ate them raw, cooked them in stews and soups (including carrot soup–my poor kids!). Then we also tried to give some away to friends. But we enjoyed all those organic carrots for much cheaper than if we had bought them 3 lbs at a time!

Don’t underestimate the value of buying in bulk!

#3 Use the Value-Added feature

Organic Box has one feature that I love that is that its boxes are slightly flexible. Even though the regular box is supposed to be worth $55, there is a little bit of wiggle room. If you have $53 worth of items in your box, but you pick something that is 5.99 to add to it, they will still let you! Each type of box has a predetermined amount of value added. You can see it all on this page. I usually get the Local First Box, and it comes with $5 of wiggle room. Penny pinching!

#4 Buy Local

One reason I get the Local First Box is that I care about supporting our local Alberta farmers. But another reason is that it costs less to ship produce that was raised nearby. So I can get a little more of it for the price than if I got something from Mexico. I love to try new foods, and we have loved some of the variety of foods we have gotten to taste (fennel, Jerusalem artichoke, starfruit, to name a few!). But if I’m just trying to get the most bang for my buck, buying local will help!

#5 Share & Save

Finally, one other way to save is by sharing with your friends how much you love the Organic Box! There is now a feature for anyone who gets a box where they can share a code for their friend to get $20 off. In exchange, you also get $20 off your next box. Win-win!

So if you’d like to try it out, you can save a little and get $20 off your first $50 order by using this coupon code: ORGANICJOY. 

Thank you for listening!

Meg

 

Disclosure: I am a part of the Organic Box Ambassador program. I joined because we enjoy being customers and love the fresh and healthy food they provide. I am not paid for my participation, however, I do receive food credits.

Fresh Strawberries!

The other day one of my friends was mentioning that she bought organic strawberries from one of our local stores here in Edmonton, and they were moldy the very next day. I’ve had similar experiences with organic lettuce or other produce when I buy them from a big box store.

On May 17 I received a delivery from the Organic Box… it had strawberries in it. That weekend was busy with some parties and activities at church. On Monday when I finally pulled out those strawberries to wash and serve them to my kids, they looked like this.

Sweet Organic Strawberries from the Organic Box

These had been in my fridge for a five days and I didn’t have to throw any out or cut off any blemishes. They were very sweet and delicious, too! I think besides the Organic Box, the freshest place to get strawberries in Edmonton is from a farm later in the season!

The Organic Box has lots of great, fresh fruits and vegetables available as well as grocery, meat, bakery and freezer items. If you’d like to try it out, you can get $20 off your first $50 order (that’s up to 40% savings) by using this coupon code: ORGANICJOY.

Disclosure: I am a part of the Organic Box Ambassador program. I joined because we enjoy being customers and love the fresh and healthy food they provide. I am not paid for my participation, however, I do receive food credits.

How does the Organic Box work?

I’ve shared with several of my friends here in Edmonton that we have really enjoyed getting produce delivered to us from The Organic Box. Here’s a little bit of how it works!

Choose Your Box

Every Saturday, I get an email from them that says to login to “Choose my box.” Actually, I’ve already indicated many of my preferences. I prefer the “Local First” box, and don’t like to get avocados in my box, for example. (We eat avocado, I just usually get 5 at a time from Superstore!). So they fill my virtual box in my account with fresh, in season produce. I can go on and remove items I don’t want this week and add anything I might want. For example, if I know I’m planning to roast a turkey, I usually want celery, so I might add that. They put broccoli in my box, but I know I just bought some at Costco. So I remove it from my list and select rainbow Swiss chard instead.

The window of time for changing what’s in my virtual box closes (for me) on Monday at noon. So if I forget to check what was put into the box the cutoff time, I might get some surprises on my delivery day! They do work with you and I’ve had wonderful help from the folks in the office there when I needed to add something or make a change. You can also select from grocery, frozen, meat, dairy or bakery items to add to your produce delivery. Some of our favorites we splurge on have been their milk and yogurt, cinnamon buns, BBQ sauce and fair trade chocolate. Or I might notice that they have bulk carrots on sale and add on a 20lb bag! (We did that once and it took me FOREVER to get through them!)

Delivery Day

On delivery day, I get an email when the truck has left the warehouse and is out for deliveries. Usually relatively quickly (within an hour or two), the good folks from Organic Box are at my door. If I haven’t already done so, I rush to put my empty box on the front step so they can take it away with them to use again. Then we get to open our box of goodies and decide what to add to supper!

The Organic Box has lots of great, fresh fruits and vegetables available. If you’d like to try it out, you can get $20 off your first $50 order (that’s up to 40% savings on your first order) by using this coupon code: ORGANICJOY.

Disclosure: I am a part of the Organic Box Ambassador program. I joined because we enjoy being customers and love the fresh and healthy food they provide. I am not paid for my participation, however, I do receive food credits.

Fiddleheads! a special spring blessing

I play and teach violin. But I also eat fiddleheads. Fiddlehead ferns, that is!

I first became acquainted with fiddleheads when I was in grade one. We lived in a little neighbourhood on the side of a hill in Edmundston, NB. My best friend and I would tromp through the few streets exploring. I would always get tan lines on my feet wearing little sailor shoes. One day in the spring I met a neighborhood girl who said she would take me to pick fiddleheads behind her house. She told me a yarn that you had to pick them and then throw away the curled up stem and keep the stalk! Naïvely, I believed her and proudly took a bucketful of useless stalks home to mom!

When I was a teenager in Gaspésie, every spring we would look forward to eating fiddlehead ferns. I think some folks in our church would bring them in. I remember one time going out into some wilder back-country and seeing the baby ferns just starting to poke up through the spring snow, and always close to a stream. My mom, the best cook in the world, would sautée them up and add a bit of soft white margarine and just a touch of vinegar.

Since we’ve been in Edmonton, I thought that eating fiddlehead ferns would be a thing of the past. My family has enjoyed obtaining fresh produce from The Organic Box for over 3 years now, off and on. What a joy it was one spring to discover some fiddleheads in my online box order!

Since I introduced them to my husband, he is now a fan, and even let me send some leftovers in his lunch the other day. When my Sweet Boy was born two years ago, a kind friend brought us a meal made with some farmer’s market produce. One side was fiddlehead ferns with corn and some sweet peppers. It was something like this recipe, but with corn, too. I’m glad Sweet Boy devoured the two fiddleheads I put on his plate last week :). He doesn’t always eat his greens so readily! I’m hoping to make serving fiddleheads an annual tradition—one of the many special blessings of spring!

This year the Organic Box is again offering fiddleheads which are sourced from BC and in a category called “wildcraft.” If you would like to try them out, be sure to check out Health Canada’s safe cooking recommendations.

The Organic Box The Organic Box has lots of other great, fresh fruits and vegetables available. If you’d like to try it out, you can get $20 off your first $50 order (that’s up to 40% savings on your first order) by using this coupon code: ORGANICJOY.

Fiddleheads photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Ɱ (Licensed CC BY-SA 4.0)