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The weekly fresh produce challenge 
26th-Aug-2010 08:09 pm
After we were married and first started living on our own, like most families, we bought most of our fruit and vegetables from the nearby Woolsworth supermarket. However I was never 100% happy with the produce they brought in or their prices, especially when we only had the SO's income to live by, so I was always on the lookout for alternatives.

We now shop at the Westend Davies Park weekend market for our fresh produce, which has been pretty good. Our weekly grocery bill for fruit and vegetables fluctuates between $10 to $35, depending on how impressed with the week's crop I am. But I'm not very good with buying fruit.

Since first learning of online grocery services and food boxes, I've been wanting to try them out and see if they would suit our lifestyle. I like the idea of convenience and the element of surprise with receiving a box of what's in season every week, rather than making up a grocery list every week and hunting down what we need, only to realise the quality of the produce is crap.

So to add a little more spice, I am starting a weekly challenge over the next few months to compare the value of fruit/vegetable boxes against what we can get at the Westend Davies Park markets.

But to ensure we compare apples with apples as much as possible, here are a couple of controls:

  • The spend must be $30 a week.
    This won't include delivery charges, if any. Just $30 on the produce.
  • There must be fruit AND vegetables every week.
    That'll force us to eat more fruit, which should be a good thing.

But how am I going to assess value?
  • Of course the quality of produce. If they're organic, I'll mention that too.
  • Whether the total purchase is enough to feed 2 adults 2 meals (lunch and dinner) a day over 7 days. On the reverse, was there any wastage at the end of the week?
  • The convenience (ie. how easy is it to order, receive, etc)
  • The service (ie. are they friendly? Are they willing to assist me with my undoubtedly stupid questions?)

And I already have the first contender lined up for the next post. Talk about being efficient! (^0^)/

Is there anything else you'd like to know during this challenge?
27th-Aug-2010 03:55 am (UTC)
Ah woolie's fruits and veges are pretty unstable. Sometimes it is AWESOME, and sometimes it's.. horrible.
27th-Aug-2010 05:11 am (UTC)
Considering they are supposed to be supplied with the better produce than the seconds the Davies Park markets get, I often find the produce at the markets fresher than at Woolies.
27th-Aug-2010 07:00 am (UTC)
When I lived in Brisbane I tried a couple of online box orders. Can't remember the companies but both were as much of a muchness. I was thoroughly impressed with the results and got far too excited when unpacking the box (I did a weekly special order) All fruit was in perfect condition, delicious and the fruit lasted a lot longer before it rotted or degraded. The veggies too were absolutely excellent. It's one of the things I miss most since coming back to the uk!
29th-Aug-2010 11:40 am (UTC)
Do you remember which services you used? A friend in Melbourne uses Aussie Farmers' Direct, but they don't deliver to my area.

Doesn't parts of the UK have this service too?
30th-Aug-2010 10:40 am (UTC)

used these guys twice, can't seem to find the website of the other one.

The UK does have this service, alas fruit here is rediculously expensive, but it is something I am considering starting again in the future. Also the fruit options are not half as exciting ;)
27th-Aug-2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
I buy from Publix. Average/Decent produce, but at least it's consistant.
29th-Aug-2010 11:41 am (UTC)
They are just a supermarket? Do they have a delivery service?
30th-Aug-2010 03:06 am (UTC)
I think in some places they might deliver, but not in my area.
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