Friday, January 27, 2012

Prairie Land Food Review

I'm excited to do this review for all my frugal fans! Prairie Land Food is a great community service that I found awhile back. I had a light bulb moment at the beginning of the month to do a review of it so that I could share this with you guys. They help people in Kansas, and some locations in Nebraska and Oklahoma, get quality food for discount prices. Income doesn't matter, they just want to promote people helping others, and reward them for their good deeds.

I heard about them when I was pregnant with my son; my husband had just been layed off, and things were scary at that time. A lady I worked with told me about this group in Kansas that offered monthly food packages, for a deeply discounted price and a few hours of volunteering. My first two thoughts were: it's a scam, and I don't have time (or energy) to volunteer. She kept talking to me about, and told me to check out their website for myself. I did later that week, and boy am I glad I did.

Now that I've piqued your interest we'll start talking about Prairie Land Food, what they do, and what they believe in. They are a non profit food program for Kansas residents that has been around since 2006. As I mentioned earlier there are NO income guidelines. All they ask is that you do a couple hours volunteer work every month. In return they offer you different food packages (called Prairie Paks) at deeply discounted prices. You can order online, or pay in person. They accept cash, check, debit/credit card payments, and SNAP! If your payday comes after their order by date, talk to one of the great ladies who manage this program, and they will work with you. Generally you order in the first part of the month, and a week or two later they distribute the food. For a full list of their order by, and distribution dates go HERE. You will then go to your local "host site" on distribution day and pick up your order. Simple as that.

I know it sounds a little too good to be true, but it's not. I have personally used this service myself a few times over the last couple years, and I've never been unhappy with it! I've shared this with other friends I know who are struggling, or have friends and family that are struggling, and they've all loved it. The co-worker who shared it with me has been using them for quite awhile.

They are absolutely legit, and you don't need to worry about the food quality. They do not purchase out of date, or, well, shady food :) They have simply worked out deals with local companies to buy bulk food at a discount. Which they then pass on to you!

Next we'll talk about the volunteer service, which I'll admit scared me at first when I heard about it. You don't need a signed statement by your local hospital, or devote hours upon hours to qualify. It's done one the honor system, all they ask is that on your order receipt with something you, or a family member, has done to help out. That's it! If you go HERE and scroll down to the bottom of the page you can find a list of things they consider volunteer. A few examples are: carpooling with coworkers, mowing a neighbors yard, calling to check on someone, being a caregiver, babysitting grandchildren, share Prairie Land Food with others (say with Facebook), helping someone move (if you have a truck like me you've probably done that one a few times;) and the list goes on. They just want to promote people helping people, and really I think most of us already do this without realizing it.

Next we'll talk about their Prairie Paks. Every month they will come out with a list of 13 - 14 items, it depends on the market. This includes 5 meat items, and a package of fresh fruits and vegetables. If there is a downside to them, it's that you don't know know what they will offer until they put out their "menu" for the month. Although, I've never been disappointed with their selection. Sometimes they may be offering things that we don't really eat in my house (like fish, yuck!) but they always have other Paks available that I like.

First they offer their main Prairie Pak that includes the 5 meat items, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (usually around 4 different kinds of each) for $25. You'd usually pay $25 for the meat alone! This is a great way to save on meat and produce, which we rarely see coupons for, and I know I'm always looking for ways to save on these items. If you're afraid the produce will go bad, cut it up, cook it, or can it. There are a lot of great ways to make fresh produce last longer, and you still get that great taste and nutrition. On top of that they offer you the option to purchase "meat only" or "fruit & vegetable only" paks. The meat only one is $14, and the fruit and veggie pak is $12. Again, great value. As if that wasn't enough they then offer "Special Paks" every month.

Again, these vary from month to month, but they're usually great freezer items. I've purchased some of these specials and have been happy. Some examples are themed sets for the time, like the holidays, or superbowl, desserts, individually wrapped freezer items (think little pizzas and breakfast burritos) and more. Many times if something is very popular, and people request it again, they will work to get that item again. Prices on these vary, but as with their other paks they are a good value.

Okay, so I realize this was a long post (honest guys I'm working on not being so long winded) but I wanted to do a thorough job of introducing you all to Prairie Land Food. Check out their website HERE, and take a look around for yourself. I will be posting their Menu for February soon after this one. From this month forward I will also start posting their menus for everyone when they come out. I really believe that this is a great service for us, and I'm going to ask everyone a favor. Please share this programs with others after you try it. I know you'll love it like I do, and they want people to order. If you know someone who could benefit from this right now share this post, or give them this link to check it out for themselves. They also have a facebook page go to to "like" them.

Happy Bargain Hunting everyone!

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