No Strings Attached

When I was walking out of work last night, a coworker asked me if I had any plans for the night. I enthusiastically replied, “Well, I am actually pretty excited because I ordered a box of veggies from this company for the first time and its going to be home when I get there!” Then I stopped myself from going any further because of the puzzled slash pitied look I was getting. But you guys can appreciate it, right?? ha.

The company is Washington’s Green Grocer, and they are one I have been eyeing for a while. The basic premise behind the company is that they do delivery service of fruits and veggies, sort of similar to a CSA except that there is no commitment to do it every week, or ever again if you’re not happy. You can do it weekly, monthly, or just as you wish, which is what I did for yesterday. From the website, “Our priority and focus from the start has always been to provide excellent quality produce and locally and regionally produced products as well as stellar customer service to every customer while helping to grow, support and encourage sustainable local agriculture…and to have fun doing it!”

I’ve been toying with the idea of giving it a try for a while now, and this week I finally got around to it. You have to sign up for a box by 8pm on Tuesday, and then Wednesday they deliver the box to your door.

They have small or large, and “mixed” or organic boxes. The mixed box has some organic, some transitional (waiting on organic certification) and some regular produce, and the small box is designed for 1-2 people, so I went with the small Mixed and it cost $31.25, including delivery.

I was so excited to see how everything looked, and I have to say I was impressed that all the produce was in pretty good condition.

Here’s the fruit that was in the box:

  • 4 bananas
  • 1 mango
  • 3 bosc pears
  • 3 fuji apples
  • 3 navel oranges

And the veggies:

  • Butternut Squash
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • White Mushrooms
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • Green Beans
  • 4 Beets

The only item I wasn’t super impressed with was the bananas because they were slightly bruised and a little beat up. One great feature of the service is that you can customize your box each week and have them not give you certain things and more of others based on your preferences. So if I do it again, I’ll opt out of the bananas.

I’m happy to have all this local and regionally grown produce on hand, though a little overwhelmed with the amount! I can’t imagine how much more stuff is in the large box – I’d hope not double! This is SO much more than my CSA had each week, and this was $31.25 v. the $26 for my CSA over the summer, which I had to do each week. I definitely think this is a better option for me than the CSA so I can just get it when I want to, no strings attached.

I wasted no time and broke into the veggies immediately to make a huge salad for dinner. I almost never just have a salad for lunch or for dinner because it’s usually not enough to sustain me, but this one was humongous.

Red leaf lettuce for a base, topped with wheat berries, carrots, sauteed mushrooms and onions, red pepper, green beans, and 1/2 a can of tuna packed in water, topped with 2 tsp olive oil and a splash of balsamic. The veggies from the delivery yesterday (red leaf lettuce, green beans, red pepper) were all delicious and tasted very fresh, so I know the quality is there.

The only thing I can’t figure out is whether that amount of produce is worth $31. I mean when I shop, I always browse the sales and rarely spend $30 on just fruit and veggies. I tried breaking it down based on the cost per item and got a little overwhelmed from trying to add it all up, so hopefully you guys can help me!

What do you think? Do those fruits and veggies look like they are worth $31 to you (also considering they are delivered to your apartment)? Do you have anything similar to this where you are from? Would you try it?

66 Comments on No Strings Attached

  1. Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    February 10, 2011 at 8:37 am (10 years ago)

    That’s a great deal, esp for some being organic! I don’t know of any delivery around here. We have CSA’s and fair shares and the like but most require contracted involvement. I’d like an optional service like this!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 9:54 am (10 years ago)

      It’s tough because I can’t tell what is organic and what is not!

      Reply
      • Liz
        February 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm (10 years ago)

        I use and love WGG, and I can usually tell what’s organic and what’s not by comparing the mixed box to the organic. Anything that isn’t in the organic isn’t organic. And anything with a sticker that has a 9 in front of the PLU (the code cashiers use to enter produce) is organic.

        Reply
        • Beth
          February 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm (10 years ago)

          The only thing that was in both boxes was the red leaf lettuce… hmmm!

          Reply
  2. Cosmic
    February 10, 2011 at 8:45 am (10 years ago)

    Essentials like good, local and organically-grown produce are priceless and like a insurance policy on your health(prevention is better than cure for sure:) so yes it’s a good deal! We have similar schemes in the UK(I know farmaround are very good 🙂 as well as the odd co op, fairshare and farm shops surrounding London and the Home Counties.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm (10 years ago)

      Good point – it is definitely important for health!

      Reply
  3. jen
    February 10, 2011 at 8:59 am (10 years ago)

    I think it seems like a good deal. Plus, you didn’t have to go to the store to buy it. Your time has a value so I would consider that. I know here in MN where it is 11 below zero right now, delivery seems like a fabulous idea!

    The salad looked yummy too. 🙂

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 9:54 am (10 years ago)

      Wow 11 below zero!?! In that case, it’s definitely a deal! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Amy
    February 10, 2011 at 9:10 am (10 years ago)

    I have used The Fruit Guys in the past. The fruit was tremendous and since we have limited access to organic fruit here in the northern woods/mountains, I really enjoyed it. Would definitely do it again although I have stopped for the time being. They do veggies as well. I paid $25 a week. You may want to look into it.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 9:55 am (10 years ago)

      Hmm I’ve never heard of The Fruit Guys before – I’ll look into them!

      Reply
  5. Amy
    February 10, 2011 at 9:10 am (10 years ago)

    And you can stop Fruit Guys at any time as well.

    Reply
  6. Beth
    February 10, 2011 at 9:18 am (10 years ago)

    I’ve been looking for a good CSA, but I’m worried about the price and commitment. This looks like an excellent alternative!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 9:55 am (10 years ago)

      They deliver to the whole DC Metro area – I say give it a go if you like what you see!

      Reply
  7. Nina
    February 10, 2011 at 9:20 am (10 years ago)

    Beth,
    I’m a bargain shopper and I think you could have gotten that all for $10.00. I live on Long Island and it’s so easy to go to the market and pick all of that in 10 minutes. Hey but if your pressed for time- it’s worth it!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 9:53 am (10 years ago)

      In DC it would definitely cost more than $10! I’m jealous! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Emily
    February 10, 2011 at 9:25 am (10 years ago)

    Since it’s winter, I could see where that would be a very convenient service. If it’s cold, snowy and icy, you may not want to venture out to get healthy foods. However in the summer, I really, really enjoy going to the local farmer’s market. It’s a fun experience and you can get delicious local fruits and veggies for a fraction of that cost.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:41 am (10 years ago)

      Oh man I cannot wait for farmer’s market season!!

      Reply
  9. Amy @ Second City Randomness
    February 10, 2011 at 9:43 am (10 years ago)

    That seems a little steep… but I also am one to search out deals on produce and buy what’s on sale for the week…

    Although if delivery is something that’s important to you, it’s a factor to consider!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 9:52 am (10 years ago)

      see I’m the same way.. that’s why I can’t decide! I actually LOVE grocery shopping, so for me the delivery isn’t that big of a factor, but maybe during some weeks where I have no free time!

      Reply
  10. Holly
    February 10, 2011 at 9:50 am (10 years ago)

    I would love to get a box of veggies like that, but $31 seems a little high — I would think I could go to the grocery store and pick it all up for $20 or so? And I am PICKY about my bananas, so I’d be pissed if they weren’t perfect 🙂

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 9:51 am (10 years ago)

      haha I am really picky about my bananas, too!

      Reply
  11. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    February 10, 2011 at 9:59 am (10 years ago)

    This is SUCH a cool idea, and I just checked them out. I have never signed up for a CSA because I travel for work, coaching, and judging all the time and it just wouldn’t work – but this might.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:01 am (10 years ago)

      yeah the noncommittal aspect of it is definitely one of the best parts!

      Reply
  12. Katie
    February 10, 2011 at 10:03 am (10 years ago)

    I’m not gonna lie– when the post title popped up in my email, I definitely thought that you had gone to see the No Strings Attached movie and were going to review it!! Ah, well– this is just as exciting! That salad looks delish, and the produce all looked like it was in great shape once it got to you!

    My question for you is how do you find these produce deals? Your CSA, this current service… I’m interested but have no idea where I would even begin to look. I live right outside of Boston in a pretty populated area, so I would THINK that options like this would be available… but who knows.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:05 am (10 years ago)

      Still haven’t seen that movie but I want to!!

      Check out localharvest.org to find CSA and farmer’s markets. You can search by zipcode there and find stuff in your area. I just randomly found out about this service from a few people by word of mouth, so I’m not sure where you would find something like this in your area, but local harvest has a lot of info!

      Reply
    • Summah
      February 10, 2011 at 11:39 am (10 years ago)

      And here I thought she was going to be talking about N*Sync!

      Reply
      • Beth
        February 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm (10 years ago)

        hahhaha!!! wow. i haven’t heard anyone mention N*Sync in SO long.

        Reply
  13. Liz
    February 10, 2011 at 10:06 am (10 years ago)

    I think that is probably a bit more expensive than if you went to the grocery store, but your time and effort going to the grocery store might counteract that cost.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:07 am (10 years ago)

      yeah that’s what I’m leaning towards. i do actually love going to the grocery store, so I think this is something i’ll only use on occassion.

      Reply
    • Cassie
      February 10, 2011 at 10:11 am (10 years ago)

      My thought on this though is that it doesn’t replace a trip to the store, since it’s only produce. I would assume Beth probably would have to still hit up the grocery for items like bread and dairy and non-perishables. So if you’re already going to have to go to the store, and you probably could get all of that for about $10 less (I live in the DC area too), I don’t see the deal. Especially because you’re scrambling to eat things you might not want b/c they have a shelf life. It’s like using coupons on things you don’t buy – you’re still buying things you wouldn’t normally purchase, even if you’re getting them on sale. I agree that local food is great and all, it just makes me sad that local food has to be so much more expensive. It really is a deterrent for a lot of people.

      Reply
      • Beth
        February 10, 2011 at 10:14 am (10 years ago)

        Thank you for your input Cassie! I do agree that its frustrating how expensive local food is. Everyone talks about farmers markets being so much cheaper, but around here, they are NOT so much cheaper, at all. Good point about it not actually replacing a trip to the store because I do still have to go to pick up other stuff!

        Reply
  14. Gwen
    February 10, 2011 at 10:30 am (10 years ago)

    That all looks fantastic 🙂 I used to get really wound up about bruised bananas, the second they got a little bruise I’d declare them only good for banana bread! I’ve backed off a LITTLE bit now :0)

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:31 am (10 years ago)

      haha i am touchy about bananas too, but you can always freeze them for smoothies, which is what I’m going to do with most of the ones from yesterday’s box!

      Reply
  15. Jenna
    February 10, 2011 at 10:31 am (10 years ago)

    This is awesome! I would love something like this around the Chicagoland area. Completely worth it – looks like great produce, as well as a time saver (which in my opinion, you sometimes cannot put a price on). Convenience, especially on a -13 degree day like today would be awesome. Looks like a great find Girl!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:33 am (10 years ago)

      – 13 degrees!! and I thought it was cold in DC!

      Reply
      • Jenna
        February 10, 2011 at 10:37 am (10 years ago)

        Darn wind chill is awful. Stay warm!

        Reply
  16. Katie Photiadis
    February 10, 2011 at 10:38 am (10 years ago)

    Haha, Beth!! I love the puzzled/ pitied look!!! I get that sometimes when I tell my coworkers I’m going to spend the night with my cats. Little do they know, how awesome those nights can be.

    The produce looks excellent, but 31 bucks is a bit much (for me) for one week’s worth of produce. Maybe if you can stretch it to two weeks it’d be worth it…? I like that there’s no commitment though!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:42 am (10 years ago)

      I’m sure I can mostly stretch it two weeks because a lot of things do have a long shelf life – the potatoes, beets, and squash in particular. I think I’ll use it in a pinch but not regularly!

      Reply
  17. thekitchenbitch
    February 10, 2011 at 10:51 am (10 years ago)

    Hmm, it seems on the little expensive side for me, but I have a local fruit market where I can get produce (including organic) for cheap, but you are paying for delivery, so I’m sure they include that in there. Whatever, it’s farm-fresh produce delivered to your door in a huge city, I’m sure it’s worth it!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 10:53 am (10 years ago)

      I wish we had little local fruit/veggie markets with CHEAP stuff. In DC it feels like everything is so expensive!

      Reply
  18. Jennifer
    February 10, 2011 at 11:27 am (10 years ago)

    We have a place here that is a year-round indoor farmer’s market, but I haven’t had a chance to check it out. I’m not sure if we have a delivery service like that (other than the typical CSAs).

    I’m with a few of the others…it’s fun to check it out, and use occasionally, but it seems kind of expensive to use regularly.

    I’m like you, I actually look forward to grocery shopping. I just need to go at times where it’s not crowded because all those other people get in my way of leisurely browsing!! 😉

    I’m interested to see what you do with the beets. That’s one item that I’ve never tried to make something with myself.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm (10 years ago)

      I’ve used beets before but they are so messy they scare me!

      Reply
  19. nicole
    February 10, 2011 at 11:33 am (10 years ago)

    Freeze the beat up naners for your green monsters

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm (10 years ago)

      my plan exactly!

      Reply
  20. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle
    February 10, 2011 at 11:40 am (10 years ago)

    I don’t think that looks like $31 of produce. Slightly less probably…but the fact that it gets delivered to your door and saves you a trip to the supermarket, makes the extra cost worth it I think. I would love to do one of these!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm (10 years ago)

      Yeah I’m thinking its just a little less than $31 but in reality would I buy all those things at the store? prob not.

      Reply
  21. anne
    February 10, 2011 at 11:55 am (10 years ago)

    i also agree that it saving you a trip to the store should be part of the cost calculation- i also believe you should calculate in the impact of supporting local organic farmers. you may be paying more than you have to at the grocery store, but you are investing in building up small business capacity, reducing transportation/carbon output, and have the chance to get reconnected to what grows well at what time of year. although im pretty sure those bananas and oranges are not from here!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm (10 years ago)

      good points!!

      Reply
  22. Katy (The Singing Runner)
    February 10, 2011 at 11:56 am (10 years ago)

    Hmmmm interesting! I’ll have to look into that! Such great idea! 😀

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm (10 years ago)

      yeah i was glad to find and try it, thats for sure!

      Reply
  23. megan
    February 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm (10 years ago)

    i’ve been eyeing something very similar to this. and i understand how you’re feeling about trying to get the most bang for your buck. granted it is locally grown, and it’s easy to come right to your door, and it’s winter, but i don’t know.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm (10 years ago)

      That is literally my exact thought process!

      Reply
  24. Lisa
    February 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm (10 years ago)

    It SEEMS okay…maybe a little more than I would spend. But I don’t mind going to the grocery store.

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm (10 years ago)

      I don’t mind it either. Truth be told it makes me happier than it probably should.

      Reply
  25. Lindsay
    February 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm (10 years ago)

    HAHAHA.. I love that you told your coworker you were so excited to get home and get this. Non-foodies do not understand foodies. I think it’s an alright deal for organic, local produce delivered!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm (10 years ago)

      I know. I’m pretty sure she felt bad for me for being excited about it.

      Reply
  26. Ang
    February 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm (10 years ago)

    I don’t guess it’s a bad deal. Hard to guage because I don’t have a source for locally grown stuff anywhere around me so I’m not sure what the prices would be like. We have a so called farmer’s market but the fruit has the same stickers that the fruit at Krogers and Wal-Mart has so what is the point? If my diet was mostly plant based it would probably be worth it for the delivery but I go through tons of yogurt, milk, and cheese, plus a bit of meat weekly so I can’t really skip the store.

    By the way I LOVE to grocery shop too! My family won’t even go with me because I stay in the store so long! They also hate that when we travel I have to check out grocery stores! You can find so many more exciting things in the city than you can in WV!

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm (10 years ago)

      The stickers on the fruit threw me off so much!! And I totally agree – – my boyfriend will NOT go to the grocery store with me because I like it too much and could stay for hours. It’s kind of sad, kind of great. 🙂

      Reply
    • Beth
      February 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm (10 years ago)

      One thing I am sure about is that I’m happy to have all these fruits and veggies!!

      Reply
  27. Fei-fei
    February 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm (10 years ago)

    I found your blog through Carrots ‘N’ Cake and I’ m really excited about it. I moved to the DC area recently and was just starting to research CSAs, but this might be the perfect transition program since there isn’t a weekly commitment.

    Do you think it would be worth it to get the large size and split it with someone? Would that make the cost more reasonable? Maybe I’ll be able to convince my roommate to join me.

    Reply
  28. Lyn
    February 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm (10 years ago)

    I don’t think it’s right to include bananas… they aren’t local anywhere around here.

    The convenience is good and the price is comparable to the local CSA. I wonder how the quality will be when the weather heats up.

    Reply
  29. greensandjeans
    February 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm (10 years ago)

    I really like the convenience of this! I can’t do a CSA because I’m not around enough, but this is actually something I could do!

    Reply
  30. kristisn
    February 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m part of a CSA throughout the summer and fall months. I think I figured it out to be about $8.00 a week which is what I would spend on veggies and fruits anyways. This way it also makes me go out of my comfort zone and try veggies that I might not try other wise.

    Reply
  31. Monica
    February 12, 2011 at 9:11 am (10 years ago)

    I think it does look like a good selection of fruit and vegetables, but here are my two thoughts.

    1. Do you need help to make sure that you eat more fruits and vegetables? If so, then maybe all that produce in your house may force you to use it before it spoils, and thus you eat more produce.

    2. Is grocery shopping sometimes hard for you to get to?

    If you get what you need for less than $30 typically, buy the things you know you will like and use, and have the time for it – my vote would be store. But then again, I love to grocery shop and think it is fun. 🙂

    Reply

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