Not too long ago, a friend of mine introduced me to my newest favorite incarnation of the food/deal marriage: our local food co-op. The beauty of the co-op we have up here in Northern Utard is that it is open to anyone who would like to participate. It's not income-restricted, it's not specific to any one church or neighborhood, and they actually want as many people as possible to take part.
The first time we ordered from the co-op, I was skeptical, and not just because I'm a skeptic by nature. It seemed too good to be true, and we all know what that usually means. But, I paid my $5 lifetime membership fee and placed my order. I was pretty certain the food I was going to get was going to be the stuff the grocery stores turn away, but I figured it was worth a shot. Boy howdy (yep, BOY HOWDY), was I wrong. The produce was absolutely loverly- the stuff you'd find in the yuppy grocery stores that I can't afford to shop in (and wouldn't if I could because paying double to shop in a status-market is against my moral code), and the meat and grains were equally good. Whenever possible, the co-op I belong to buys from local growers and producers.
Last week I picked up our order for this month. Here's what I got for $23:
1 pound of top sirloin fajita strips, 2 pounds of chicken drumsticks, a 2-pound sirloin pork roast, a pound of lean ground beef, a 2-lb. bag of carrots, 5 Fuji apples, 5 oranges, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 3 red bell peppers, 2 avocados, 5 pears, 5 tomatoes, a pound of rice and a loaf of wheat bread from a local artisan bakery.
FOR TWENTY-THREE DOLLARS.
I may have died and gone to heaven.