Smart Choice Food Source: Yea or Nay?

Ok – I’m not sure if this is a FYI or if it’s more of a this is what I know, add what you know type of thing.  But here goes.

About 3 years ago I read about a program in the news-paper called Angel Food Ministries.  My ex and I were having a little bit of trouble buying groceries and Angel Food seemed like something that might help us out.  Angel Food was (according to Wikipedia ha) “a scandal-embroiled non-profit organization that provided a monthly food service to over 500,000 families”.  When I was thinking about using it, I saw it as a way for us to put the food on the table for an affordable price.  Well this company apparently was a non-profit but was getting rich off of these families that were trying save money.  Like millions of dollars a year.  Well obviously the government didn’t like this so they shut this company down.  I never bought from them but considered it for years.

Here recently Robbie and I, regardless of our efforts to not have to have had to cut our grocery budget down a bit.  So naturally when we decided this we started looking for cheaper ways to eat.  I googled Angel Food Ministries and quickly found they were no more.  With a little more research I found another program called Smart Choice Food Source.

Smart Choice Food Source first of all does not present themselves like a ministry or a charity even though a lot of the ordering goes through Christian Based Organizations for distribution.  They say that they distribute restaurant quality foods.  So naturally my first question on this was – why are you shipping these to families on a fixed budget rather than to restaurants who are willing to pay full price?  Well they answer that question.  They say: for example that when you order your child chicken nuggets at a restaurant they are all shaped perfectly.  When those are produced the nuggets are not always perfect and the imperfect ones that have the same nutritional quality are the ones who get distributed to Second party distributors like Smart Choice.  Another example was a manufacturer of pies.  Lets say that manufacturer makes 5 million pumpkin pies to be sold to restaurants for Thanksgiving.  But if only 4 million are bought they have another 1 million that needs to be distributed and sold, so Smart Source buys those at a discounted rate and are able to extend their discount to their customers.

So they make this box, with meat, and different types of food designed to feed a family of 4 for a week.  Well this box has enough food to feed us for like 2 weeks at least because we don’t eat like a family of 4 (obviously).  Then they have these little side boxes.  The one that struck my fancy was the pasta box and kid box.  The kid box I figure will be great for Anna and Robbie (who eats like a kid) and the pasta box will be good for all of us (especially me).  So I figure if this is as wonderful as the company says it is, we can eat meals for about 3 weeks on about $81.00.  That’s pretty awesome.  I don’t want handouts.  We aren’t needy.  We are just on a budget.  If this is something that we can get our belly’s satisfied with I think it might be worth a try.  The big kicker and the thing I don’t like about is that you have pre-pay about a week and a half before you actually get the food.  So being on a budget this clearly causes a bit of an issue.  Because— if we are waiting on food to distribute that we already paid for than in the mean time we have to buy more food which ends up costing us a little more.  Once we get started I think it will work ok, but it will cost a little money initially. Have any of you ever used either of these programs?  Your thoughts?

The big difference I see between Angel Food and Smart Source is the food might not suck with Smart Source.  I remember Angel Food used to have crap like powdered milk.  Am I supposed to drink that?

So if I actually commit this month to doing it and the food is good, we might be able to crunch our grocery budget significantly.  I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this.  Anyways, I guess that’s all today.  I hope you learned something new.  Til next time!