I would probably compare the variety of produce that I bought today, equivalent to a size small share which runs $22/week. However, I would compare the amount of produce to the medium size share which runs $36/week.
The reason why I am comparing these two "methods" is because I am finding out that I am more sensitive to a variety of foods than I thought I was. It is likely that I will not be able to eat some of the vegetables or fruit that CSA provides.
Here are the pros and cons of each "method"
- I can choose what I want to buy. ie: I don't like cabbage, yet I get a ton of it with the CSA. If something is on sale, I can buy it and save money
- I can purchase other non-produce things such as meat and in the future, grains for the same amount of money
- If I am going to be gone on the weekends, I don't have to accommodate my meals when I get back to eat the remaining veggies before they go bad.
- I don't have to worry about having to pick up my package at a specific time and location. I can go to the grocery store anytime I want.
- I have a giant basil plant at home, so I don't need a lot of the herbs the CSA provides... plus, I'm a little sick of cilantro.
- Once the farmers markets are in full swing, I can save more money.
- This is a lot cheaper!
- I have to deal with the crowded grocery stores.
- The produce at the store is organic, but is not as fresh, and not typically local (most things are from Mexico) Perhaps this will change in the summer?
- I'm not supporting a local farm. I am supporting large Mexican farms and contributing to the effects of the transportation of my food from Mexico to Oregon.
- I am not forced to try new things
Don't get me wrong, I love the CSA, but I am also living on a limited budget and have no income. I have felt a little bad for spending so much on the CSA every week. If I can promise myself to stick to the same quality of foods while continuing to eat with variety, I feel more justified shopping at my local grocery store. In the future, when I have a job and am not in law school, I would love to participate in a CSA. But for now, I still have a few weeks left in my subscription but once I am done, I will cancel my membership. (I think)
What are your thought about this? Should I stay, or should I go?