Monday, June 29, 2009

Making Ends Meat

Everybody's cutting back these days.

For some - it means scouting out the best happy hour deals in town, for others - it means buying less fresh produce and more beans and rice.

Months ago I blogged about my childhood misinterpretation involving a common euphemism used to discuss budgeting and stretching a paycheck. I thought Ends Meat was something families had to eat when they couldn't afford steak or chicken breasts or ground beef.

Little did I know that making ends meet does, indeed, involve tailoring your dining and cooking habits to something that is both palatable and practical.

Enter Angel Food Ministries.

I first heard about AFM a couple months ago at an office retreat. I work at one of Cincinnati's largest non-profit organizations, a place that is committed to financial stability among other priorities. I have aspirations for financial stability of my own, and was grateful our organization invited an expert to share ways we can all save money and grow wealth. (ed. note: AFM is not related to my employer in any way and does not receive funding from my employer).

AFM happens to be a place where anyone of any income level can buy a hearty supply of groceries for $30 or less.

The non-profit, non-denominational organization is dedicated to providing grocery relief and financial support to communities across the country. There are no qualifications, minimums, income restrictions, or applications to participate.

Participants call up a host church to place an order. Orders include perishables, dry goods, meats, dairy, produce - enough food to feed a family of four for a whole week - and a box of food costs only 30 dollars. AFM says they're providing the average family $65 worth of food for less than half the cost.

Sounds great, huh?

The July menu Signature Box includes ribeye steaks, a lasagna dinner entree, boneless chicken chunks, broccoli, rice, milk, eggs and other items.

AFM also offers a Seniors/Convenience Box with pre-packaged meals ($28) and an Allergen-Free Box ($25). You can even buy a Seafood Box with six pounds of seafood for $35.

What a deal.

Sometimes I am looking to stretch a buck, and the continuous rising prices of groceries have me considering which sacrifices I'll make as I cruise through the aisles toward the checkout register.

I checked online to see if I had any host sites near my neighborhood, and was thrilled to learn there's one less than two miles away from my home.

Angel Food Ministries accepts food stamps and features recipes and cooking instructions right on its website. It also says it offers its clients "restaurant grade" food items, never seconds or day-old products.

I've already scouted out the options and plan on ordering a "Signature Box" and am eyeing the "Latin Flavors Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box."

Who's coming over for dinner?

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Vicki Zwart said...

Thanks so much for sharing this Kate! I live in Illinois and there are plenty of host churches around us. We'll definitely be checking it out - we're always looking to save!

WestEnder said...

Pardon my pith but this is a highly significant post.

Angel Food Ministries said...

Angel Food Ministries is so great. I have been using them for a few months now. I still can't believe all the groceries I have. The people are so friendly, and the atmosphere is contagious. I guess that is what happens when people start giving back, and saving money. The july menu is over, but the August Menu looks just as good.