Sometime in the fall, a friend told us they had been using Spud for a while and were liking it. Spud is a grocery delivery service that focuses in on local and organic food. My husband and I have known about Spud for a couple years and have contemplated it a number of times. For a while, we lived in an apartment building and were worried that we didn’t have a good drop off location. (Groceries are a delivered weekly or bi weekly in a big blue bin and if you aren’t home they drop it off in a location you designate.) Which was probably not a big deal. But we also hesitated because of the price.
I firmly believe that buying fresh produce, fresh protein, ect and making your own food is still always cheaper then buying processed food. But buying organic challenges that assertion a little. As much as we love the produce at farmers markets, for example, the cost can add up quickly. So for quite a while, price kept us from trying Spud.
But this Winter, after facing months and months of mediocre produce at Superstore (my grocery shopping location of choice), I really wanted to try Spud.
There are some really really great things about Spud. When you sign up you get to indicate your preferences for fruits and veggies. They use that information and what they have available, to build you a unique selection of fruits and veggies (called a Fresh Harvest Box) each time you order. You can choose delivery every week, every other week or every month. In the week leading up to your next delivery you can login to your account and modify the box that is on its way. Let’s say they put carrots in your box, but you haven’t used them up from the last delivery? No problem. Delete the carrots and add something else.
One of the other features I love is that it has a calculator to tell you home much fruits and veggies you should be buying/eating each week, based on the members of your family. It is actually a really great way to challenge your family to eat more fresh fruits and veggies. (Something I have been trying to work on.) An other cool feature is that it tells you on your invoice about the distances your food has traveled to get to you, which is a great concept to talk with older kids about. It gives you information that you rarely get buying produce from a grocery store.
We have had a few hiccups along the way in the couple deliveries we have had. The first week they delivered cilantro to me, which I really really don’t like and I had set my preferences to “never” for this herb. I am sure it was just an honest mistake. A couple weeks later they forgot my pears- which they credited me back the next delivery.
And while I am all for trying to reduce packaging, delivering lettuce and broccoli without a bag is a bit annoying because they tend to go all limp in my fridge without a bag. I know, I should eat them faster. I have started just re-using other bags for keeping my veggies fresh.
In addition to our bi-weekly harvest box, I also have added a few other things to our standing order. I have whole organic milk, organic cream and eggs delivered. Sometimes these things can be hard to find at Superstore, so I like to have a back up. I have also added a few sale things here and there.
Overall, I like it. I think it is fun to see what you get each week and I love how it challenges us to try new things. I cooked with Swiss chard for the first time a couple weeks ago and made an amazing quiche. It is fun to get out of my fruit and veggie rut.
In terms of cost, yes, it is probably more expensive then buying non-organic, non-local produce at Superstore. And it doesn’t totally replace what I buy there. I still buy oranges, organic apples, onions, sweet potato, ect at Superstore most weeks. The cost of Spud for us is about $75-$80/ month. It actually fits in fairly well to our grocery budget. It would probably be one of the first “luxuries” we would cut if we had to, but it is not outrageous or anything.
I would recommend trying them. Especially if you want you and your family to eat more fresh produce and try new things. Start with the bi-weekly delivery if you are unsure. That way you can test it out and make sure you are eating it all before the next delivery arrives.
*Neither myself or KidsInCowtown are receiving any kind of compensation for this review. I am a customer of Spud and thought I would share my experience and thoughts.
Kathleen describes herself as a thinker, debater, politics geek, lover of ideas, environmentalist, preferrer of natural things, food and wine enthusiast, cook and baker and a self-reflective, self-critical person. She has an almost two year old daughter and works full time. She blogs about parenting, food, society and whatever else gets her thinking…. when she has “a moment 2 think“.