Food Ministries Review
Angel Food Ministries ceased operations and closed its doors in September, 2011, below are several alternative low-cost food options.
MidAmerica Foods AR, IN, KS, LA, MI, MO, MS, OH, OK, TN, TX
Good Faith Food Box – AL, CA, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, NC, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
Bountiful Baskets AZ, CO, GA, ID, KS, KY, MT, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY
[WorkingMom does not endorse nor has reviewed these alternative providers. This listing is provided as a courtesy to people seeking low cost grocery options.]
The Challenge: Does Angel Food Ministries really save
money? If so, how much? And more
importantly, is the food any good?
Methods: Angel Food Ministries is a
not-for-profit organization that buys food directly from suppliers at substantial volume discounts. As a result,
they are able to provide consumers with approximately $65 worth of food for just
$30. They have locations in 45 states. Angel Food Ministries does NOT sell out of
date or inferior products. This is quality, nutritious food – just like you’d
get at the grocery store.
Food: Each month's menu
is different. They offer fresh, frozen and packaged food. Because they make a
variety of nutritionally-balanced food available at a significant discount on a
regular basis, budget-conscious consumers can put food on the table and use the
savings to get ahead financially. There are neither purchasing limits for Angel
Food, nor any applications to fill out, nor any other qualifications to purchase through them. You can order online, or in person at the pickup location near you. They also accept food stamps.
Study Design: Our family of 8 usually spends about
$1000 per month on groceries. So I ordered 8 Signature Boxes of Angel Food
containing food similar to the one on the left.
Because one Signature
box is enough to assist in feeding a family of four for a week, I figured our
mega-sized family would need 8 boxes to provide a month’s worth of food. I ordered online and used a coupon code to save an extra 10% off. The coupon for Angel Food reduced the
price of my order an extra $24! So our total cost for a month of Angel Food was just $216
(+ $2 online ordering fee) = $218.
To provide an
incentive for our kids to comply, we told them they could use any money we
saved to plan a family vacation of their choice. With the understanding that any
takeout or restaurant meals would also be deducted from the food budget (which
they renamed “vacation money.”) Incidentally, the Angel Food Budget test had an
amazing effect on the reducing the overall “whine factor” for fast-food and
takeout. Only once, throughout the entire month, did any of our six children
ask for takeout. (Typically at least one
of them will ask every day!) In this case, he was quickly reminded by his siblings
that it would “waste” vacation money. Then they followed up with words I never
thought I’d hear them say “Anyway, there’s food at the house!”
Results: The food was very good. The kids liked
it and so did my husband and I. We tabulated the costs at the end of the month
and we had spent $580 total on food instead of the usual $1000. Angel Food had saved us $420 in just one month! And we still
had plenty of food left over. (Our kids are little and still have small
appetites; in retrospect, we probably could have gotten by with just 6 Signature
Boxes.) Anyhow, it turned out that we only needed to grocery shop to replenish
milk, butter, lunchbox staples, fresh fruits and vegetables. For the first time in years I was able to use the express checkout lane in the grocery store! To make sure I saved as much as I could I also used free printable grocery coupons every time I went. But I suspect we would’ve saved even more if we had ordered the
“Just for Me After School Boxes” and used them to pack the kids lunches.
math, using the After School Boxes for the children’s lunches would’ve cost just 67¢ per lunch! (We’re
definitely ordering those this month! Our
kids liked the food from the Signature Box (and the savings) so much that they actually
asked if we would order again so they could save for a longer, better vacation!
How can Angel Food Ministries afford
to do this?
There are two
major components that explain how they are able to provide restaurant quality
food at such a low price. (Keep in mind, this is NOT Scratched or Dented, NO
out-dated food, NO donated food, this is quality, fresh food like you’d get at
the grocery store.)
Food Ministries is so large, they are able to purchase from manufacturers in
bulk, this reduces costs. Then by utilizing local churches or non-profit
organizations and their dedicated volunteers to distribute the food, they avoid
many of the expenses that grocery stores or discount warehouses incur. (No
mortgage, no payroll, no utilities, etc.) This fact alone significantly reduces
overhead expenses in getting the food to consumers. Angel Food Ministries cuts
out several “middlemen” and buys from manufacturers in bulk so they can pass
along substantial savings to consumers.
Conclusion: Angel Food Ministries is a
great option to reduce the cost of providing food for your family. If you are struggling financially, or just
want to start saving money wherever you can, we found it to be an easy,
affordable option to reduce the amount we spend on groceries every month.
Ways to Save Money
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