Full Circle Organic Farm Box Prices Versus Local Grocery Store Prices Comparison Review

Have you ever thought about subscribing to the organic produce subscription service, Full Circle? Did you ever wonder how the prices compared to your local grocery store?

I’ve put my Full Circle Organic Farm Box prices head to head with the prices on organic produce from my local grocery store, Fred Meyer (Kroger) to find the most cost effective way to get that nutritious, organic produce.

Full Circle Organic Farm Box Prices Versus Local Grocery Store Prices Comparison Review

Several years ago Todd and I wanted to eat more organic produce, especially fruits and vegetables that are a little more special, fun, and hard to get up here in Alaska. A co-worker told me about Full Circle and I thought it sounded perfect; I subscribed to Full Circle (FC) starting in 2014 until 2017. It was my hope that the FC produce would be a bit fresher than the stuff we get at our stores. Alaska is a long travel for oranges and oftentimes they don’t enjoy the arduous trip from Texas.

As health-conscious vegans (most of the time), Todd and my diet is heavily whole food plant-based. We eat a lot of fruits and veggies so I opted for the FC box that feeds 2-4 people; it ended up being the perfect size. I really loved how you’re able to customize your boxes, switching out apples for blueberries or adding Field Roast Chao ‘cheese slices’, etc. However, I eventually began to see a decline in produce and found myself writing to Full Circle every week about super wilted lettuce or slimy cilantro or rotten avocados and it just got the point that it didn’t feel the price was worth the product any longer. Full circle always kindly refunded me and halting subscription is super easy.

Slimy greens.

Slimy greens.

Rotten avocado.

Rotten avocado.

I appreciate that the poor produce could have been due to many factors. It may have been the produce itself or, more likely, it was the storage of box. At the time, Full Circle was shipping their boxes pre-packed from the States to a location in my town where I picked them up. Right before I halted my subscription they stated they were changing how they shipped and stored the boxes. They would be packaging them locally in Anchorage, Alaska then shipping them to the local locations. As of today, however, I see that you can have the boxes delivered straight to your house and strangely it was slightly cheaper to do so rather than picking up your box at a location in your area!

I wanted to try out FC again, hoping the poor produce/storage issues had been fixed. As signed up it occured to me that that now (as opposed to 2014) I can easily compare prices from Full Circle to my local grocery store, Fred Meyer (FM). Both show their prices on their website for produce. I decided to do a little cost comparison of the Full Circle box I had arranged and the same ‘box’ of organic items at Fred Meyer.

Some items I would have loved to add to my FC box but they were considerably more than the FM items. On the right side of the screen are some examples I would have liked to add to my FC box but reconsidered after seeing the lower FM prices. Full Circle is on the left and Fred Meyer on the right. Cremini Mushrooms are almost double the cost!!

listproduce.pngFull Circle Organic Farm Box Prices Versus Local Grocery Store Prices Comparison Review

Most of the items I put in my FC box were only slightly more expensive than the FM counterparts. Below you can see that the Full Circle total is $44.39. It will be delivered to my house and all the items are organic. Fred Meyer wants $30.26 for those same organic items and in the same quantity. However, if I want to have this ‘box’ delivered to my home I would need to order these items online for a $4.95 service fee then incur a $9.95 delivery charge for a total of $45.16. Alternatively, I can just pick up my ‘box’ of produce pre-shopped from the store, all ready to go, for $35.21.

To conclude, Fred Meyer is a about $15 cheaper than Full Circle (who delivers to my house). If I want to pick up my pre-shopped items at FM then it is still about $10 cheaper than FC. If I want to have FM deliver the items to my house it’s about the same price, $45.

Some items were about the same price and that’s what I added to my FC box. If I had added items to the box that were considerably more, like the mushrooms, there would be an even bigger discrepancy. Is it worth the extra money to have it delivered to your home? That’s subjective. For me, no. Even with a full-time job and a two year old, we still make it to the store every week and usually enjoy the trip as a family outing (yes, we lead quiet lives, lol). Sure, there are times I absolutely do not want to roll through a packed store with a screaming toddler but more often than not, it’s a pleasant-ish affair. If I am ever in a time crunch I can just order the items online, have them pre-shopped for me, and pick-up them up at the store.

In addition, I like to support our local agriculture at small farmers’ markets and stands. FM also carries some local produce like carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. We have a Safeway/Carrs too; it carries a decent amount of local produce, however they have a very limited selection of vegan offerings and those they do offer are really expensive. I don’t shop there often except for local produce occasionally. Alaska has no Whole Foods or Trader Joes. We do have a local natural food store but it’s a 50 mile drive and their prices are truly shocking.

Full Circle Organic Farm Box Prices Versus Local Grocery Store Prices Comparison ReviewFull Circle Organic Farm Box Prices Versus Local Grocery Store Prices Comparison Review

I won’t delve into the quality comparisons between FM or FC, or the differences in selection (for example FM doesn’t ever offer sunchokes or Maitake mushrooms). That would be difficult to do and suspect to change I imagine, as well as dependent upon personal preferences. I did really enjoy the vast array of interesting fruits and strange veggies Full Circle offered but living on one income and being able to get the same organic staples locally for less… in the end pragmatism won over novelty. For now at least.

However, that doesn’t mean Full Circle isn’t right for you! I really do love what they are doing and their customer service is fantastic. I hope this information doesn’t steer you away from them if you are at peace with paying a little bit more for your organic produce. I hope this helped you, and of course prices for both entities change over the season and depending upon your location.

Anyway you can get your family to eat more produce is wonderful in my book! It’s better for the planet, the animals, and our bodies. <3

Farmers Speak. Is Anyone Listening?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clif Bar & Company for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you visited an organic farm? Do you buy organic foods?

I feel like I might engage myself a little more than the average person with regards to food. I’m all about the food. You probably are too. I mean, who else reads food blogs and nutrition journals for fun? I’m comforted knowing that I take an active role in understanding what I’m eating.

Yet, it wasn’t until I watched this video from Clif Bar & Company titled Farmers Speak – Giving Voice to Organic Oats, that it really made me think about organic farming.

I buy essentially all my produce organic, but I’ve also read skeptical books with regards to how much better it really is versus conventional farming. Check out New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter’s book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives.

I am a very skeptical person by nature and I’d much rather play myself against my inner devil’s advocate than blindly follow the masses. Good grief, I mean I’m vegan for heaven’s sake! Swimming against the current pretty strongly on that one.

The information is out there. Sometimes it’s hard to find, but usually the hardest part is just looking. Take the monestrous and cruel conditions perpetrated against farm animals for example. Not to mention the heart-wrenching destruction of our planet due to said farming practices. I know many truly good people who tell me that they know about all this…but they choose not to open their eyes because they don’t want to face the truth. 

People wrap themselves in their beliefs. And they do it in such a way that you can’t set them free. Not even the truth will set them free.
— Michael Specter

When I watched this video about a Canadian oat farmer, Brian Krumm, discussing how when he was a kid on the family farm, his dad used conventional chemicals like grasshopper poison and all the songbirds left. They lost their songbirds for over 10 years. When the farm turned organic, they slowly started coming back. Now they have “lots of bugs and all the good things in life.” And his beautiful song birds are back.

There seems to be a huge push for people to eat healthier, and I’ve noticed oats are starting to take the spotlight. That makes me quite proud.
— Brian Krumm, CLIF Bar®, Oat Farmer

His old barn that used to house cattle under previous generations is now home to an old barn owl. I’m down with that. Cattle farm turned organic oat farm is a win in my book and it made me literally smile. Hey, those Subaru commercials make me tear-up too…have you seen those? My god, talk about a bleeding heart over here.

Anyways, this is a great video that really puts a face on organic farming. It seems like such an abstract thing. Sometimes it can be difficult to really see the positives, in an everyday sense. Like Brian says, “I’m not saying it’s for everybody, but it’s sure worked well for us. Yeah, I’d never go back to the conventional way of farming, ever.”

It really made me think about buying more organic products, outside of my organic produce CSA box. Packaged products, like bread, vegan butter, etc. Or better yet, make your own bread. I’m working on a new, everyday bread recipe so stay tuned for that! I’m very excited. Using organic flour, nonetheless!

Clif Bar & Company uses all organic oats in their bars. And the best part is that the vast majority of all their products are 100% vegan. Everything is on the table, excluding:

  • CLIF® Builders’ MAX Bars (the regular Builder's Bars are all okay)

  • CLIF SHOT® Protein Recovery Drink Mixes
  • Luna Protein Bars (all others are okay, just not the protein ones)
  • MOJO Sweet & Salty Honey Roasted Peanut and Chocolate Peanut flavor does contain honey, but no other animal derived ingredients.

That is awesome! For a complete allergen table, check it out here. Who knows, maybe we can persuade them to use more soy protein instead of whey in their MAX line?

Todd and I buy CLIF® & Luna® Bars for traveling and our outdoor, Alaskan adventures. It can be hard to find quality, vegan food items that are perfect for backpacking (or traveling out of Alaska, where we literally have to fly across another country the size of the U.S....to get to the U.S…it’s Canada.) It’s super easy to remember the short list of exceptions to their wondrous vegan array.  

So, let’s hear it. Do you buy all organic, some, or none? I fall into the some (most) category, but I might try to increase that a bit now.

For more information regarding Clif Bar & Company, take a look at these links below:

Thank you for supporting the companies that help support Produce On Parade!