February 09, 2011

The Green BEAN

I recently signed up for Green BEAN delivery, and I just received my first box of groceries today! I wanted to share about my experience and what I got, because I know other people may be interested in a service like this but nervous to take the first step without really knowing how much food you'll be getting (like I was). I've been aware of these produce delivery organizations for a couple of years now and really wanted to give them a try, but only finally made the leap this time because I got a deal through Groupon for a $35 Green BEAN box for only $15! What a steal!

These home deliveries are generally from local, organic farms, but Green BEAN gets food from many different farms (across the whole Midwest region) so you have a larger selection, but are still supporting farmers. Most of the ones I was aware of offered random produce boxes, so you'd be getting different fruits and veggies each time and not necessarily having a say in what's in them. The customizable bins are more expensive. I did not like the idea of getting random produce that I may not like or know how to prepare, like kale or something! But Green BEAN allows customization with all of their different sized bins and options. There were about 40 different things I could choose from, and in the winter I think that's pretty impressive!

Customizing the bin was awesome, as I was able to meal plan for my week, make a shopping list, and then add the items that I knew I would be needing. Having three kids and a deployed husband makes shopping my most dreaded task right now, and since I prefer things organic, but also cheap, in any given week I can find myself shopping at the commissary, Meijer, and Trader Joe's just to get the items I'm looking for! It gets pretty ridiculous running all over town just because the commissary has cheap frozen organic food and snacks, but Meijer has a better selection of fresh organic produce and Trader Joe's has the meat, pasta, and soda I want! It can also be challenging to find organic produce besides apples and bananas in local stores - their selection often is very limited and changes frequently, so when one week I can get organic lemons at Meijer, they may not be back for a number of months.

The other thing that I love about Green BEAN is that you can add onto your produce order other organic products, like meats, soups, sauces, crackers, etc. Things that I have to hunt for in the store I can easily add to my order through Green BEAN and have it delivered to my door!  The prices on these commercially produced organic products is comparable to what I find at the commissary and at Meijer, so I thought it was well worth it to have delivered essentially for free :)

I am not sure about the cost of the produce, though. I feel like I got a good amount for my $35, but I can't really be sure without checking out each item in the store, which I'll probably never have time to do. Here are pictures and information on everything I received today. Let me know if you think the price was reasonable! Remember that all items are organic and were delivered to me.

Everything arrived in a green bin. You do not have to be home for the delivery, as everything is packed with Styrofoam and  ice packs to keep cold things cold (the fact that the weather outside is freezing certainly doesn't hurt at all!).

These are the only "extras" I got this time, but I plan to get more meats next time.
-16 oz Sea Salt $3.95
-19 oz homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (SO excited about this! No funky fake sugars. Made at an Ohio farm and the label says "With God All Things Are Possible") $3.95
-16 oz Organic Alphabet Pasta (colored with vegetables) $3.75
-1.3 lbs Local Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage $5.95 (same price as the stuff I usually get at Meijer but with far fewer ingredients!)

And all of the organic produce:
-2 White onions (they gave me 3 for some reason)
-1 Clove garlic (they gave me 2 for some reason) (I like this because garlic is one of those things that isn't available organic in any store, even Trader Joe's)
-1 lb Carrots
-2 lbs Broccoli
-4 Fuji Apples (these were a little on the small side)
-2 Bosc Pears (they gave me 3?)
-3 Royal Mandarins
-3 lb bag Russet Potatoes
-3 Pink Florida Grapefruits
-8 oz Salad - Mixed Greens (this was more than I had expected it to be)
-1 bunch Italian Parsley
-4.5 oz Green Onions (the same package I get in the store)
-2 lbs Bananas (came out to only 5 bananas, a little less than I had hoped for. They are still light green and waiting for bananas to ripen is annoying because we use them so often)

What are your thoughts? I love the delivery idea. I love the impressive selection of organic products. And I love that the food is coming directly from farmers. I think I may continue to receive boxes every other week (you can customize the frequency with which you want bins delivered, and can always change the size you want). I hope this helped anyone who has been interested in these services but wanted to hear someone else's experience first!


  1. Wow!! Sounds fairly reasonable to me. I would love to buy more organic produce, but my husband is very frugal and pulls the reins on my spending. I would love to try that service. Thanks.

  2. I have never heard of this type of service before today ---- and just today, someone came to the door and sold me on a similar service! Now tonight, I am reading about your service! I love fresh produce, but I hate to go shopping. Once I'm in a store, I'm ok, but getting there is hard. I put off shopping for days, and even end up eating out more often simply because I haven't shopped.

    I'm excited about supporting local farmers here. I would be interested in having ALL my groceries delivered. I know there was a grocery delivery internet service that went out of business a number of years ago. I wonder if it might be more successful now that people have gotten more used to ordering things online.

  3. Ugh, THANK YOU LISA! Remember we had talked about splitting delivery veg boxes what, two years ago? I'm so very glad you gave this breakdown! Don't you think an additional value worth whatever slight price variation is not having to actually walk through the store, hungry and pestered, throwing random, irrational junk into your cart? (even if it's healthy junk, like say, the $3 worth of beets that are turning to mush at the bottom of my crisper?) :-D
    Bravo!!! I shall be using my Groupon soon, with confidence, thanks to you!