My First Box from Misfits Market

Last week I told you about a food delivery service for organic, non-GMO produce that is affordable. My first shipment from Misfits Market came on Wednesday, and I’m pleased. I do want to note a few things right off the bat.

  • The company is upfront about the fact that much of what they send would be considered “ugly”. Though, to me, it all looked just fine. Some of the fruit was on the small side. Perfect for me.
  • They also mentioned that some of it might be bruised. A few of the peaches were. I simply made them into a sauce with some of the pears. It worked out wonderfully.
  • I bought the Madness Box, the largest. It is left at your door, but it is heavy. Since I know I have to lug it upstairs, I’ll bring a couple of reusable shopping bags downstairs with me next time to split things up into.
  • You don’t get to choose what you want. You get what you get.

I was impressed by the amount of produce the Madness Box has in it. This is what came in my shipment:

As you can see, it is more than enough to feed me for a couple of weeks.

  • Bok Choy (This will be my first time trying this.)
  • 2 European Cucumbers
  • 4 Zucchini (Kept 2. Gave 1 to each of my daughters.)
  • 1 Romain Lettuce
  • 4 Peppers (Don’t like these. Gave them to my daughters.)
  • 5 Oranges
  • 4 Limes
  • 3 Mangoes (Don’t like these. Gave them to my daughters.)
  • 6 Pears
  • 6 Peaches
  • 2 Bags of Mushrooms (Gave one bag to my parents, the other Zowie.)
  • 2 Bags of String Beans
  • 2 Spaghetti Squash
  • Dandelion Greens (This will be my first time trying this.)

I did buy a few things to go along with this:

  • Meat (I don’t eat much meat, so a pound will last me a while.)
  • So Delicious non-dairy yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Lemons

And I had some things on hand to round everything out.

You’ll notice that I shared a few things with my parents and daughters. While I like most fruits and vegetables, there are just a few things I’m unable to eat. And I haven’t quite been able to talk myself into trying mushrooms yet. Even taking this stuff out, I consider the $38.50 to be a good deal on the food, considering the in-store costs of organic produce in my area.

I planned things out for meals and such as soon as I opened the box. The meat was purchased to go with the spaghetti squash. Yogurt is delicious with orange slices. And pears and peaches make a great sauce which can be eaten as is, or warmed with maple syrup and served over Paleo pancakes. I bought the lemons to make Lemon-Limeade. Orange slices will go well in smoothies with bananas as well.

According to my research Bok Choy is a chinese cabbage, so I plan to make a salad with it, the Romain lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, and string beans. I love salad. The cucumber, zucchini, and string beans can also be snacked on any time.

 

I’m going to try the dandelion greens in salad and smoothies, to see if I like them. If I do, I can flash freeze them for  later use and less waste. Nothing is going to waste, because I shared what I knew I wouldn’t eat.

You could also donate anything you didn’t want, or share them with friends and co-workers.

Here are some tips for what to do with some of the the produce from this box:

  • Once you’ve set aside what you want for salads, chop the rest dandelion greens and flash freeze them. Store in a container in the freezer, taking out some as you need it for smoothies.
  • Use some lovely FreshPapers from Mighty Nest when storing fresh produce. It will help the food stay fresh longer.
  • Only using half that lemon? Mighty nest also has Food Huggers! They come nested, in a variety of sizes in each set, and cover partially eaten tomatoes. oranges, and more.
  • Given that a few things may be bruised, you’ll want to come up with a plan right away to use them up. You can make sauces from fruits to enjoy over Paleo “Ice Cream” or french toast, or to add to smoothies.
  • If anything is “thin-skinned”, check it to see if it needs to be used quickly.
  • Top cereal or smoothies with chopped fruit.
  • Utilize Google or another search engine to look up what types of produce and greens can be frozen and how.
  • And use it to find new recipes to try!

I can’t wait to see what my second box from Misfits Market is filled with. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks. This box cost me $38.50, and should last me two weeks.

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (Affiliate) (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

Note 3: Over a year ago I signed up for MightyNest. I wanted a way to bring healthy products into my home, and I thought this would be perfect. I signed up for their MightyFix and, each month, get a package from them with something new for me to try. (Affiliate)

~ Shannon

Delivery Service – Produce Brought to My Door

I’ve been doing research on delivery services in my area of Maine, without any luck. There didn’t seem to be any. In particular, I’m looking for produce at a reasonable price.

I didn’t just want to order from any old place. I was looking for certain things.

  • That the source would deliver to my door, or at least my work address being that it is in the city.
  • That the food would be organic.
  • That the price would reasonable.

What do I mean by reasonable? Consider that I spent about $100.00 on mostly organic, healthy foods – mainly fruits and vegetables – that would last two weeks only last month. Ouch! That bill hurt. I know there has to be a better way. A way to eat healthy on a budget. My food budget is generally between $30.00 and $40.00 per week. Any more than that and I don’t have the money I need for other important things.

Why did I need to get that food? Sadly, I’ve been sick four times already this year. The shortest sickness lasted just over a week; the longest almost three. Also, I’m having gut issues. I know I need to get back to eating healthy.

So, I did a two-week, mainly fruits and veggies, cleanse. It helped me to feel better, and my gut hasn’t been having as many issues. But there is still work to do.

Previously I’ve done a whole30/Paleo lifestyle that netted some good weightloss results. I also felt so much better eating that way. I had an income change that prevented me from continuing for a number of months and, while I’m still eating about 60% healthy each week, I’m not really back to where I need to be nutritionally. Yet.

Things I know about me: My body does not process dairy well. My body will not function properly if I am eating grains. I don’t want to be dependent on sugar. It does not help with my weight issues. One of my biggest problems is when I feel like I am missing out on old favorites, and that’s when I tend to slip back into old habits.  So I need to allow for the occasional “treat”. Dinner from my favorite restaurant. Cake at the grandkids birthday party. You know what I mean.

I’m switching things up a bit. You see, I find I’m eating less and less meat. I do eat meat, but I feel like doing so less often these days. I don’t want meat substitutes; not the heavily processed stuff, vegan or otherwise. I really do want mainly fruits and vegetables. And organic tastes far better.

A few weeks back I signed up on some sites to be notified of when they start delivering to Maine, and last week I heard back from one of them!

Misfits Market is now delivering in Maine. They will deliver organic, non-GMO produce to my house, and allow me to choose the delivery day. I cannot even express how happy this makes me. There is a mix of fruits and vegetables in each shipment, according to what is in season.

At first I thought, because it’s just me I prepare food for, I should by the Mischief Box. It’s the smaller of the two, with 10 – 12 lbs of produce for $23.75 + shipping. Or, if you decide to get a subscription it would cost $19.00 + tax per box per week or biweekly. This serves 1-2 people for a week.

But then I looked at the information for the Madness Box, and it sounded like a better deal. I want my boxes delivered bi-weekly, figuring that many weeks there will be greens and some fruits that can be frozen, as well as fruits I can turn into sauces. And that items such as potatoes will store longer if done right. The Madness Box will weigh in at approximately 18-20 pounds, and technically serve 4-5 people for a week. These boxes are $42.50 + tax each but, if you want to get a subscription they will only be $34.00 + tax each.

I bought a bi-weekly subscription of the Madness Box for $38.50 per box, including tax, meaning I am spending $19.25 per week on fruits and vegetables. That gives me about another pound of produce for only a quarter, and leaves money in my budget each week to get other things I might need.

Knowing what I know about organic food costs in the stores and at the farmer’s market in my area, this is does not seem like a bad deal. I will be reporting back after each of my first two deliveries, so come back to see if I am happy with what I receive.

The great thing about Misfits Market is that I can cancel any time 🙂 This is huge for me, as I don’t want to be locked into anything if I decide I’m not pleased.

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

Do you order from Misfits Market? What area are you in, and what are your experiences with the company? Let us know in the comments below?

If you decide to order, please report back later with your impressions of your first few boxes. My daughter wants to know if it is a good variety of food, and if the items change from week-to-week. She and my sister are waiting for my thoughts on the boxes so I’ll be reporting my impressions to them, as well as right here!

~ Shannon

Building Memories: Baking with My Grandson

Oh how I love this Little Man. ❤ My grandson is a big helper, and he has mad stirring skills! Just look at him. Little Man likes to help in the kitchen sometimes, so I asked him if he would want to help me bake some chocolate zucchini cake.

I needed to make some for my coworkers, and told him I’d leave a cake at his house as well. He was good with helping so, while his mom was looking for a job not long after they moved to the area, Little Man and I baked.

He was so good about washing his hands. I measured out all of the ingredients and he showed me his crazy good dumping skills.

Little Man was very impatient while spreading the cream cheese frosting. I’d put a scoop on the cake, he’d move the butter knife over it once, then stick his hand through the frosting and into the cake to taste it. What a goober! I had to finish that part on my own.

We chatted about a lot of things while we were making this cake, and we laughed so much. I’ll always cherish our baking time. The memories will, hopefully, stay with me forever.

Little Man is a hoot to bake with. We’ll be making a chocolate mayonnaise cake with peanut butter frosting next. I know these things are not healthy, but they are a nice treat once-in-a-while, and my coworkers appreciate a treat on occasion.

Shannon

I’d Like to See More Foods Packaged for Singles

I don’t need family size packages of food now that it’s just me at home. An already refrigerated quart of almond or coconut milk would be perfect. A package with just four slices of cheese. One-quarter pound of pre-packaged ground beef. Just enough for one or two meals for one would be perfect, without the jacked up prices because you’re buying less.

There is a little of this going on, but at a cost greater than with the bigger packages. You can get three string cheese for $1.00, but you’re going to spend more per string cheese than if you bought a package of 12. Why? I won’t eat 12 string cheese quickly enough to warrant that purchase; some would go to waste.

Let’s talk spinach. It comes in a big package, and half of it goes to waste before I can use it all. Why not offer the single person half the quantity for half the price. Help a girl out.

Seriously. A girl could eat healthier more consistently if she could get half the amount for half the price. So she can have more variety. How about letting me choose how much fresh spinach I want to buy, like when I buy my cucumbers, apples, and pears.

But please, don’t make me have to pay more to get just what I need. If you can package three cucumbers for a dollar, why do I have to pay $0.68 cents just for one. I mean, it should be cheaper just because there is no packaging.

Just some ponderings from a girl who wants to save money on her grocery bill.

Have a great winter.

Shannon

Happy New Year! I Can’t Wait to Share More with You

2018 went by far too quickly. Did you notice? I didn’t have time to do so many of the things I wanted to do. For instance, I wanted to add a lot more content to this blog, experiment with new healthy recipes, and rearrange my little area. It’s okay. I’ll be doing more of those things this year. Sometimes things just get away from you.

This year’s theme word, or word-of-the-year, is FOCUS – for me, anyway. So I’m going to focus on getting some things finished up and learning more nutritional stuff. I’m going to try out new recipes, and experiment with them, to create more menu ideas for myself. Obviously, I’ll be posting recipes and such regarding the new things I find.

There will be plenty of recipes, more quick tips, and other information you will find useful in the new year.

Thank you for hanging around!

Take a look at the three New Year Goal articles I posted earlier today:

New Year Goal: Try New Recipes (Mostly Paleo)

New Year Goal: Be Healthy

New Year Goal: A New “Kitchen”

 

Shannon

 

$1.99 Sale on eCookBooks + A Freebie

Hello everyone. I’m sure you’re all as busy as I am with holiday activities and spending time with loved ones. I have a shopping trip coming up with Skye, and a Light Up the Night holiday date with Zowie’s family.

Just wanted to be sure you knew about the eCookBooks being only $1.99 right now.

And enjoy a freebie!

Frugal Ways to Save Money in the Kitchen + Frugal Recipes for the Health Conscious

Happy Holidays!

Shannon

Happy November & December! <3

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to check in with everyone, to see how you are doing and to let you know that I am taking a couple of months off from blogging and many of my other writing activities.

In November, I’ll be publishing my last fiction story of the year. I’ll also spend the next couple of months finishing up things from the 2018 to-do lists (a lot is behind-the-scenes blog stuff that I’ve been putting off), and spending time with family and friends. I may even be able to attend the Christmas Eve party my family throws, as I seem to have that night off from The Inn (so rare!).

And I’ll be planning. New material for the coming year! New goals and things to try. Fresh recipes and maybe some tricks to help you in the kitchen. I might even provide some downloadables for you.

I want each of you to enjoy the holiday season, and I’ll be back next year! And spend some time relaxing and taking care of you.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Yule! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Warmest Wishes & Brightest Blessings,

Shannon

Frugal Recipes Happenings Issue #21: Summer Fun & Food

Just a heads up to let you know that the Frugal Recipes Happenings Newsletter Issue #21: Summer Fun & Food is now available for viewing. Full of seasonal stories and memories, and a guide to summer beverages and foods from the blog, and a few offers for readers. Check it out by clicking on the link. Summer will be here in just a couple of days!

Sign up for the newsletter when you get over there!

Shannon

Updates to the Blog

This is my grandson, whom I lovingly call Little Man. He’s enjoying a treat for Valentine’s Day. He’s getting so big! It’s hard to believe he is already more than a year-and-a-half old. ❤

Maybe you’ve noticed some changes to the blog recently. I’ve done a number of things, from cleaning up sidebars and adding a new footer, to changing up some recipes to make them healthier.

This is because I’m doing an audit of the site. Taking out some recipes, updating ones I’ve been successful at making healthier, and adding notes/updates to others. And I changed the way the spotlight posts are shown, and how the other posts are presented in the feed.

I’ve still got work to do:

  • More posts will go by the wayside.
  • Others will be updated.
  • I have plenty of new recipes and articles to share.
  • And you’ll notice a difference in the photographs.
  • I’ll also, later, add photos to posts that don’t have them yet.

It has been a busy 2017 so far, and I’m feeling good about the direction this blog is taking.

Shannon

Using After Christmas Sales, Closing Sales, and Thrift Stores to Score Items for the Kitchen

Yesterday I posted on Single Mom Family: Loving Life Together about a girls day the bestest and I had last Thursday. The article, called  A Much Needed Girls Day, covers the reasons we needed the girls day, as well as what we did: Lunch at Governor’s and shopping!

Because I live in a room, my kitchen belongings are few. All my pictures for this blog use pretty much the same dishes, bowls, etc, and I’ve wanted to switch things up for a while. I’m looking to incorporate different colors and styles, and various size items.

This means some things are going to have to go, which is fine. I don’t have enough space now for everything. My plan is to give away/donate items as I clear them from the shelves, so I know they wont be going to waste. I’m looking for interesting pieces at great deals so I can photograph food with different place settings and whatnot. And I’m allowing myself to mix and match.

I think experimentation is creative, and want that creativeness to show through in my photographs.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 15, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckI love the Pioneer Woman line. While the bestest and I were at Wal-Mart we checked out the clearance section. A four-pack of the Pioneer Woman Adeline Snow 10 ounce embossed sundae cups goes for $13.72. That is $3.43 each. By purchasing a single cup at $3.00, I saved $.43 on it. I only need the one cup, so it would have been wasteful to buy more.

I also found a Pioneer Woman Adeline Snow 13 ounce embossed bowl. Sold in four-packs, these cost $17.52, so one bowl would be $4.38. I paid only $3.00 for my bowl, saving $1.38.

You can somewhat see the design in the picture. They are so pretty! I’ve needed another bowl, and have wanted a sundae cup for photographing upcoming parfait recipes. Watch for the recipes to be posted this coming June.

These will help me to prettify my photographs, for sure. I’ve learned a little more about food photography, and want my photographs to reflect that learning. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised in the coming months.

I’d say my walmart shopping venture was a huge success based solely on those two purchases, and I found other wonderful deals as well.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 14, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThe Macy’s in our area has already started its closing sales, so I took advantage of the deals to get a couple of small plates. These are saucer-size plates, not full size. I think they’ll make great dessert plates.

You can’t really tell by the photo, but the plates are slightly different shades of white. The Cellar White Ware Square plate is interesting, likely because I don’t have much for square items. It caught my eye right away. The plate is usually $3.00, but with the 30% discount I paid $2.10. A $.90 savings.

The round one is a White Elementals Plate. Originally $1.00, I paid $.70, a $.30 savings. Not a bad deal.

I want a number of white items so I can put them in place settings with colored items. The white will stand out from the colored pleasingly, I believe. I’m trying to use a mix of white and colors, hoping for more interesting table settings, and you’ll see me experimenting with this through my photography throughout the year.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, January 14, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckOur last stop was the Goodwill thrift store, and I found a few items I liked while perusing the aisles.

The soup bowl is amazing and, yes, it says “SOUP” right on the front. It cost $2.00 and is well worth the price. A very sturdy bowl, it will hold a good amount of soup. I have another, not exactly the same, that I paid $5.00. The estimated savings on this item would be $3.00.

I love the square bowl, though I’m not entirely sure if it is a bowl or bakeware. Notice the size in relation to the size of the saucer; it isn’t really much bigger. I paid only $1.00 for it, but have no idea how much one would cost normally. If anyone knows if this is just a serving bowl or if it is bakeware, please let me know. For now I’m going to use it for serving.

The small bowl will add some color to a place setting. I paid $1.00 for it, and I think it is the perfect size for cereal or ice cream.

And the saucer is so pretty. The back says Vintage Fine China. I paid $1.00 for this item as well. The saucer will add a splash of color to an otherwise white setting, and I think the round white plate from above will fit over it nicely and still allow for seeing the artwork.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 14, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThe mug has a more interesting design. I like the blue and white, and you can see the yellow ring near the top. This is not a full size mug by any means, but it will be perfect for a little hot cocoa or tea on a cold evening. This mug cost $1.00.

If you look closely at the pictures, you’ll see the burgundy napkins have a design cut out around the edges. Fancy! While these can obviously be used as napkins, I think they would also make good placemats for the place settings that I’ll be creating with the smaller plates, bowls, and cups. The two napkins cost $1.00.

The holiday napkins came as a three-pack, and can also be used as placemats if I want to get fancy at the holidays. The three napkins were $1.00, but I only had to pay $.50.

I can’t tell you exactly how much I saved on these items because I don’t know the regular prices for most of the items I bought at Goodwill, but I can tell you the savings on the items I do know the regular prices for. That savings would be $6.01. But I’m sure I saved quite a bit more by shopping at the thrift store.

Have you found any good deals for kitchen needs since the new year? We’d love to hear about them.

Happy shopping!

Shannon