Deal or Frill: Angel Food Ministries

by Mike on April 8, 2010

I haven’t had an idea for the deal or frill series for a while. This was a guest post I received. Not only was it an awesome comparison, it fits nicely into the deal or frill series.

This is a guest post from Crystal of Budgeting in the Fun Stuff: A Personal Financial Blog about the Next Financial Step. It’s an open fiscal diary and a personal finance blog rolled into one…

For anybody who hasn’t heard of Angel Food Ministries, they are a non-profit business that sells pre-decided boxes of food at a discount once a month. Since they get bigger discounts for bigger orders, they welcome absolutely everyone to participate. They make tons of money and pay big wages to the founders, but that is why they are not classified as a charity although they do give some food away.

We started trying Angel Food Ministries this year to lower our overall food budget. Our expenses did fall about $150 a month for January and February, but we liked the January Menu WAY more. Here’s what we received and how much it would have cost from Kroger’s:

Angel Food Ministries January 2010 Menu
Signature Box – $30 from AFM

Kroger’s Prices as of 1/21/10

$5.50 1.5 lb Choice Beef Roast (YUM)

$5.00 2 lb Baby Back Ribs

$5.00 2.5 lb IQF Split Chicken Breast (We don’t like bones)

$4.00 2 lb Mac & Beef Dinner Entrée (So-so)

$3.00 1.5 lb Fully Cooked White Meat Breaded Chicken Patties

$1.78 1 lb Lean Ground Beef

$4.25 1 lb Bratwurst with Cheese

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Sliced Carrots

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Whole Kernel Corn

$1.25 8 ct Frozen Heat and Serve Pancakes

$1.75 10 ct Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

$3.00 3 lb or 4 ct Large Russet Baking Potatoes

$1.00 32 oz 2% Shelf Stable Milk

$1.25 Dozen Eggs

$4.00 Pie

—–

$42.78 Total for Krogers

January Special #17 lb Assorted Meat Grill Box – $23 from AFM

$20.00 2 lb Ribeye Steaks (4 x 8 oz) (YUMMY)

$6.50 2 lb Pork Roast (GOOD)

$3.50 1.5 lb Lean Hambuger Steak Patties (4 x 6 oz) (AWESOME)

$5.00 1.5 lb Italian Sausage with Cheese

—–

$35.00 Total for Krogers

January Special #5Premium Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box – $22 from AFM

$2.50 1 Large Golden-Ripe Pineapple

$3.30 1 3 lb Combo Pack (Washington Apples, Granny Smith Apples, and Oranges)

$0.60 2 Large Tree-Ripened Ruby Red Grapefruit

$1.00 1 Large Premium Haas Avocado

$0.75 1 lb California Carrots (Cello Bag)

$3.00 3 lb North Carolina Sweet Potatoes

$2.50 2 lb New Crop Red A-Size Potatoes

$1.50 2 lb Large-Medium Yellow Onions

$0.70 1 head Large Green Cabbage

$3.30 1 (8 oz) Package New Crop Georgia Shelled Pecan Halves

—–

$19.15 Total for Krogers

Everything tasted as expected and the fresh fruit and vegetables were really fresh. Overall, we were VERY happy with January, so we ordered two Signature boxes in February. Here’s what each box had:

Angel Food Ministries February 2010 Menu

Signature Box – $30 from AFM

Kroger’s Prices as of 1/28/10

$13.00 2 lb Top Sirloin Steaks (Too thin)

$5.50 1.5 lb Boneless Pork Roast (YUM)

$5.50 2 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (disproportional but great)

$6.00 2 lb Lasagna with Meat Sauce (Okay)

$3.00 1.5 lb Fully Cooked Boneless Chicken Drumsticks (YUCK)

$1.78 1 lb Lean Ground Beef

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Baby Lima Beans

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Green Beans

$1.00 1 lb Pasta

$1.11 25 oz. Pasta Sauce

$3.00 4 ct Large Russet Baking Potatoes

$1.00 32 oz 2% Shelf Stable Milk

$1.25 Dozen Eggs

$3.00 Snack Cookies

—–

$47.14 Total for Krogers

Overall, AFM is a good value IF you like everything in the box you want to order. We skipped March since the menu didn’t look very good for us, but we’re trying again in April since that menu looks great. I love the grab-bag mentality, so I think we’ll keep this up whenever the menus look yummy to us.

For those of you who don’t like AFM, there is also Food Share America and several others you could possibly try.

Angel Food Ministries, Yay or Nay?

For anybody who hasn’t heard of Angel Food Ministries, they are a non-profit business that sells pre-decided boxes of food at a discount once a month. Since they get bigger discounts for bigger orders, they welcome absolutely everyone to participate. They make tons of money and pay big wages to the founders, but that is why they are not classified as a charity although they do give some food away.

We started trying Angel Food Ministries this year to lower our overall food budget. Our expenses did fall about $150 a month for January and February, but we liked the January Menu WAY more. Here’s what we received and how much it would have cost from Kroger’s:

Angel Food Ministries January 2010 Menu

Signature Box – $30 from AFM

Kroger’s Prices as of 1/21/10

$5.50 1.5 lb Choice Beef Roast (YUM)

$5.00 2 lb Baby Back Ribs

$5.00 2.5 lb IQF Split Chicken Breast (We don’t like bones)

$4.00 2 lb Mac & Beef Dinner Entrée (So-so)

$3.00 1.5 lb Fully Cooked White Meat Breaded Chicken Patties

$1.78 1 lb Lean Ground Beef

$4.25 1 lb Bratwurst with Cheese

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Sliced Carrots

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Whole Kernel Corn

$1.25 8 ct Frozen Heat and Serve Pancakes

$1.75 10 ct Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

$3.00 3 lb or 4 ct Large Russet Baking Potatoes

$1.00 32 oz 2% Shelf Stable Milk

$1.25 Dozen Eggs

$4.00 Pie

—–

$42.78 Total for Krogers

January Special #17 lb Assorted Meat Grill Box – $23 from AFM

$20.00 2 lb Ribeye Steaks (4 x 8 oz) (YUMMY)

$6.50 2 lb Pork Roast (GOOD)

$3.50 1.5 lb Lean Hambuger Steak Patties (4 x 6 oz) (AWESOME)

$5.00 1.5 lb Italian Sausage with Cheese

—–

$35.00 Total for Krogers

January Special #5Premium Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box – $22 from AFM

$2.50 1 Large Golden-Ripe Pineapple

$3.30 1 3 lb Combo Pack (Washington Apples, Granny Smith Apples, and Oranges)

$0.60 2 Large Tree-Ripened Ruby Red Grapefruit

$1.00 1 Large Premium Haas Avocado

$0.75 1 lb California Carrots (Cello Bag)

$3.00 3 lb North Carolina Sweet Potatoes

$2.50 2 lb New Crop Red A-Size Potatoes

$1.50 2 lb Large-Medium Yellow Onions

$0.70 1 head Large Green Cabbage

$3.30 1 (8 oz) Package New Crop Georgia Shelled Pecan Halves

—–

$19.15 Total for Krogers

Everything tasted as expected and the fresh fruit and vegetables were really fresh. Overall, we were VERY happy with January, so we ordered two Signature boxes in February. Here’s what each box had:

Angel Food Ministries February 2010 Menu

Signature Box – $30 from AFM

Kroger’s Prices as of 1/28/10

$13.00 2 lb Top Sirloin Steaks (Too thin)

$5.50 1.5 lb Boneless Pork Roast (YUM)

$5.50 2 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (disproportional but great)

$6.00 2 lb Lasagna with Meat Sauce (Okay)

$3.00 1.5 lb Fully Cooked Boneless Chicken Drumsticks (YUCK)

$1.78 1 lb Lean Ground Beef

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Baby Lima Beans

$1.00 1 lb Frozen Green Beans

$1.00 1 lb Pasta

$1.11 25 oz. Pasta Sauce

$3.00 4 ct Large Russet Baking Potatoes

$1.00 32 oz 2% Shelf Stable Milk

$1.25 Dozen Eggs

$3.00 Snack Cookies

—–

$47.14 Total for Krogers

Overall, AFM is a good value IF you like everything in the box you want to order. We skipped March since the menu didn’t look very good for us, but we’re trying again in April since that menu looks great. I love the grab-bag mentality, so I think we’ll keep this up whenever the menus look yummy to us.

For those of you who don’t like AFM, there is also Food Share America and several others you could possibly try.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristia@FamilyBalanceSheet April 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm

A friend just suggested AFM to me. I always assumed it was like a food bank. I didn’t know anything about AFM until she gave me their flyer, where it said that “if you eat, you qualify”. The fresh fruit/veg assortment at $22 appealed to me and I think I might try it. I wondered how the price compared to a grocery store and by your comparison the grocery store is a few dollars cheaper. Although maybe you are saving yourself some time and for me saving myself the stress of taking 2 kids to the store with me.
.-= Kristia@FamilyBalanceSheet´s last blog ..$500 Challenge Update and Mr. Linky Test =-.

Reply

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff April 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm

The stress of shopping with kids would be worth it to me, but we will probably not do the fruit and veggie box again since our grocery stores are convenient and slightly cheaper (no kids too).

BUT, the fruit and veggies were good, so it’s a great value for convenience. :-)
.-= Budgeting in the Fun Stuff´s last blog ..BFS has a Guest Post about Angel Food Ministries at Personal Finance Journey =-.

Reply

PF Journey April 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Kristia,

I think that is an assumption most people have, but it is actually for anyone….as you know by now! There are no income requirements, and its not a hand out, but at the same time can provide relief for those who need it.

Reply

Cathy April 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Our state charges sales tax on food (tax not included in the cost comparison shown here). So there would be additional dollar amounts saved. Making this quite a bargain. My family has been using AFM for 1.5 years and we love it.

Reply

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff April 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Glad to hear you like it so much! April’s menu for the Signature Box looks good to us…
.-= Budgeting in the Fun Stuff´s last blog ..BFS has a Guest Post about Angel Food Ministries at Personal Finance Journey =-.

Reply

Sonia April 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

If you like Angel Food, then you will love The Treasure Box. They pack more items then Angel Food and their boxes are $30 also, last month the March Treasure Box we bought was 32 lbs for $30 definitly a deal for me. They are available in California and Arizona http://www.thetreasurebox.org

Reply

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff April 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm

As a Texas resident, I have limited choices…AFM and Food Share America are the only ones I know about in our area of Houston, TX. Anybody know of any others?

I mean, AFM is great and Food Share America looked like it has good choices too (their location was just further away), but I love options…
.-= Budgeting in the Fun Stuff´s last blog ..BFS has a Guest Post about Angel Food Ministries at Personal Finance Journey =-.

Reply

PF Journey April 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Just wanted to thank Crystal for writing such a detailed comparison! The conference is keeping my hands full so I not reading or commenting as much as I normally would, but I’m peeking every chance I can get! I really appreciate the great post Crystal!

Reply

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff April 9, 2010 at 8:49 am

Thank you too. I love guest posting!

Reply

Birgit April 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

What I like about AFM is that I can order food for my family locally, but I can also order food for our daughter and her family in another state. Helps her out and we know where our money is going.

Reply

Jaime @ Eventual Millionaire April 11, 2010 at 8:36 pm

We just tried AFM in February. I bought a fruit and veg box, and a signature. I loved the fact that I saved money.

I seemed to have an issue with the food going bad quickly, or not being sure how to use some things. I have odd things randomly in the fridge and no recipes to go with them! I had hoped they might have a list of a few recipes in the box that I could use with the ingredients.

Does anyone have a tip on the best ways to use the food? (I found that since I didn’t shop for it, I forgot we had it when I was creating the menu for the week!)
.-= Jaime @ Eventual Millionaire´s last blog ..Millionaire Series Part 1 – The WHY =-.

Reply

Jenn April 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Also, AF has a Gluten Free, Nut Free and I believe Dairy Free box that has convenience foods. GREAT for anyone maintaining that type of diet, but especially kiddos!

Reply

LJ2Blessed April 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

Thanks for this post! There is a church VERY close to my mom’s house that has a big banner for AFM and I’d been thinking about trying it out. The due date is tomorrow, so I needed this reminder to go ahead and order.

Just found your blog today, I’ll be following (and hopefully getting better about blogging myself)!

Reply

Amanda April 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Does anyone know of any other sites that do this? I know of AFM and Food Share America, but only AFM operates in my area-North Carolina. I would love to know of some others to look into. Please let me know. Thank you.

Reply

Chelsea April 21, 2010 at 10:12 am

http://www.HillbillyHousewife.com has a section with recipes from food commonly found in AFM boxes.
I entered “Angel Food Ministries Recipes” into my search engine and several sites popped up. Some looked better than others, but I was able to get an idea of foods to prepare. Hope that helps.

Reply

Lori Felix July 23, 2010 at 11:31 am

Great Food For All is another site like AFM. They operate in 23 states, mostly in the middle of the country. I have many other money saving tips, including resources for the unemployed at More With Less Today. Blessings, Lori
.-= Lori Felix´s last blog ..Resources and Help for the Unemployed =-.

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