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

Review of Tom's Of Maine Luminous White Toothpaste

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom’s of Maine . All opinions are 100% mine.

When Todd and I first went vegan over three years ago, we immediately began to replace our conventional toiletries, housewares, apparel, and accessories with vegan-friendly alternatives. It took some time; we didn't throw out our old products on the spot, but replaced them when they were used up.

For replacing toiletries like face wash, soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotions, etc. this meant finding natural products that did not contain animal products nor were tested on animals. For the most part, we had been buying items such as these long before becoming vegan. However, I still had a few products that didn't fit the bill and on occasion, it was harder than I thought to find cruelty-free, natural, and effective products! Toothpaste happened to be one of the items that I still had yet to find a decent substitution for. 

This is why I was so excited to test and review Tom’s of Maine new Luminous White ™ Toothpaste which is exclusively handpicked by Target for their Made To Matter collection. I don't know why it never occurred to me to check Target for the vegan products I had been seeking! The line's mission is to challenge brands to create products that meet at least one of five criteria: reduced sugar, dietary restrictions, clean label, and/or less packaging & closed loop; all of those are things that I myself look for in products, so I am super excited to support this new collection. It actually includes a ton of vegan brands!

Luminous White ™ Toothpaste is Tom's of Maine's most advanced natural whitening toothpaste. As I'm someone who has been scolded by my dentist to, "Try not to brush so hard..." I'm relieved to know that this toothpaste is completely safe for enamel and everyday use. Luminous White ™ Toothpaste is comprised of biodegradable and mineral-derived ingredients, water, and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.It's also gluten and paraben free, and it's vegan; containing zero animal products. Tom's of Maine never tests on animals either, which is great.

While I haven't been using Luminous White ™ Toothpaste long enough to comment on its whitening ability, I can say that I really appreciate that it doesn't have a strong minty flavor. There was a little 'whitening' aftertaste to it, but what else would you expect from a whitening toothpaste? Subtle in flavor, this toothpaste is a more of a paste consistency as opposed to a gel consistency (I'm anti-gel toothpaste). I can't wait to see the whitening results as time goes by! 

So, if you're like me and searching for an effective, natural, and cruelty-free toothpaste that you can feel good about... look no further. Don't forget Luminous White ™ Toothpaste exclusively at Target. Have you discovered this new toothpaste or any of the items from the Made To Matter collection? With Tom’s of Maine®, there’s something for everyone in your family – Wicked Cool!TM Deodorants, Luminous White ™ Toothpaste, and Men’s Naturally Dry North Woods™ Antiperspirant. Free of artificial dyes, fragrances, flavors and preservatives, Tom’s of Maine products are good for the planet and are Made to Matter® - handpicked by Target. What did you think? I'll be excited to try more. It's great that stores are listening to their consumers and offering an easy way to discover products that matter to them and align with their values and morals: products that are good for the planet and good for us too. 

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Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Classico Riserva for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!

A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!

I just love it when a recipe comes together so, so perfectly. Todd adores vodka cream pasta. Me? Not so much. It's always been way too heavy for me and let's be real, it's obviously not that nutritious; heavy cream, cheese, vodka, and ground meat... it makes my arteries wanna clog up just thinking about it!

It was time something had to be done about this. So, I created my own version! In this healthier take on vodka cream pasta, I use avocado instead of heavy cream, TVP instead of oily ground meat, and added an entire bunch of swiss chard for a boost of nutrition. I couldn't believe what a couple wonderful, creamy avocados could do to kick heavy dairy to the curb. This will definitely be a staple in our house. I'm telling you, wonderful things happen when you have two aging avocados mingling about in your fridge. 

Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!
Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!
Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!

A couple jars of Classico Riserva pasta sauce were eyeing me from the pantry and I knew I wanted to do something fun with them. They Riserva sauce line is free from artificial ingredients and added sugars! I wanted to create a dish that was as sophisticated and delicious as this thick and savory pasta sauce itself and a vodka 'cream' sauce was just the ticket.

Riserva comes in five, slow-simmered flavors: Arrabiata, Roasted Garlic, Marinara, Eggplant Artichoke, and Puttanesca. Perhaps the greatest thing about the new Riserva line (besides everything else I've already listed) is that all the flavors are totally vegan. Yay!! Usually I have to scour the ingredient lists (which is always lengthy for some reason) on the back of pasta sauce jars, but not with Riserva! In addition, these sauces only contains a few ingredients, as they should. 

Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!
Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!

I'm also hosting a giveaway for three full-price coupons for this new sauce. Tell me in the comments what dish you'd like to make with Classico Riserva to be entered to win. Winners will be drawn at random and will close on 6.6.16 at noon EST. Open to U.S. only. Thank you, Classico Riserva for sponsoring this post! Open up a bottle of the good stuff! *** This giveaway is no CLOSED, thank you!***

Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!

Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta

Kathleen Henry @ Produce On Parade

Published 05/20/2016

A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta of choice (I like penne ), dry
  • ⅓ cup vodka
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 28 oz jar of Classico Riserva pasta sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted
  • ½ cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
  • ½ cup vegan shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • 1 bunch of chard, destemmed and chopped

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat for the pasta. Cook according to package until al dente, about 9 minutes; drain and return to pot.
  2. While the pasta boils, simmer the vodka in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until it’s reduced by half.
  3. Add the pasta sauce, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, and avocados to a blender; blend on high until completely smooth. Transfer to the reduced vodka and stir in the tvp. Cover and simmer an additional 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chard to wilt; cover and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Over low heat, stir the sauce into the pasta to combine. Stir in the cheese ; serve hot.

Yield: 6

Produce On Parade - Healthier Avocado Vodka 'Cream' Pasta + Classico Riserva Giveaway - A healthy and modern twist on traditional vodka cream pasta. Avocado stands in for heavy cream, smokey TVP packs a vegan protein punch, and swiss chard gives itself for a nutritional boost. This pasta is everything; creamy, meaty, cheesy, and so darn delicious. Whips up in the time it takes to boil the noodles!

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