Saturday, January 29, 2011

Angel Food Boxes and the Month of (almost) Nothing

Have you ever heard of Angel Food Boxes?  If not, let me tell you about it.

From the website: Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. The program began in 1994 with 34 families in Monroe, Georgia (between Atlanta and Athens), and has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of families every month across 45 states. Angel Food Ministries crosses denominational lines and has spread the good news of the gospel of Christ through salvation tracts that are placed in each food order.

Blessings by the box

Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

A friend told me about them a few years ago, but I always seemed to miss the cut off date. As one of my New Year Resolutions to be more aggressive about debt, I decided to do a month-of-almost-nothing at the grocery store.  It seems like that is the only place you can really try to cut back.  I have done a pretty good job in recent months of "Grocery Gaming" and doubling up coupons so that the pantry is fairly full.  The deep freeze is also in good shape and we still have most of the chickens butchered from the homestead.  I was looking for menus and recipes in my anticipation for February being "the" month and came across the Angel Food site again.  It just so happened that the night I was looking at it was the cut off night.  SO, I quickly ordered a box to be delivered to the church down the road from us. (OK, it's about 9 miles...)
So here we are.  I got the box today.  I sat down and did what I've always said I wanted to do and planned out almost ALL the meals for the month of February.  (I was bragging that I had planned out all the meals and challenged Man to ask me a day and I'd tell him what we were having...and he picked one of the three days I HADN"T planned....that will teach me to brag!)  We have a few "special" days in February, that's why it is the month of ALMOST nothing.  Our 18th Anniversary is coming up, as is Valentine's Day, and my dreaded milestone know the one with the 0 at the end.  So we've planned a night out with dear friends of ours on the 19th.
Here's what is in our box this month:
  • 1.5 pounds choice beef netted roast with pop-up timer
  • 2.5 pounds IQF split chicken breast
  • 2.5 pounds breaded chicken breast assorted pieces
  • 1.5 pounds fully cooked meatballs
  • 2 pounds fully cooked ministrone soup
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound sweet italian sausage
  • 1 pound yellow squash and zucchini
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas and carrots
  • 5 pounds waffle fries
  • 6.9 ounce beef-flavored rice and vermicelli
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 25 ounces pasta sauce
  • 1 pound Northern dry beans
  • 18 ounces quick oatmeal
  • 32 ounces 2 percent shelf stable milk
  • Dozen eggs
  • One dessert item-Sugar Cookies
After picking up our box, we went over to Kroger and picked up 2 bagged lettuce, 1 of coleslaw, tomatoes, and dairy (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese) and 10 boxes of tissues as Boy was sick most of this week and now Man is getting it.  Oh, and cold medicine.

Come along with us...on this adventure.  I'll post our menu tomorrow.

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