Eat Ugly Food: An Imperfect Produce Review
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I have a friend who gets organic food so cheap, she practically gets paid to eat it. And rather than let that discourage me from even trying to save money, I use it as inspiration to find new places and resources to find my own cheap organic food.
So when Imperfect Produce finally announced they were going to start delivering to the St. Louis area, I couldn't fill out that sign-up form fast enough.
Imperfect Produce exists to correct an epic food waste problem:
Did you know that up to 40% of produce grown doesn't make it into the stores simply because they aren't considered pretty enough? In fact, The Guardian reported an estimated 50% of all produce grown in the United States is thrown away.
How does Imperfect Produce reduce food waste?
Imperfect Produce buys the produce rejected by stores. This might be due to size (too big or too small), shape (like the carrots with two legs, or the logo of a heart-shaped red potato), or maybe they have a mark on them that makes them look "ugly."
Whatever the reason, Imperfect Produce can buy this produce at a massive discount, and thus pass the savings onto people who don't mind if their produce couldn't grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.
How to Order Imperfect Produce
There are several ways to purchase Imperfect Produce:
- Choose between conventional or organic produce.
- Choose a small, medium, large, or extra large box.
- Choose between all fruits, all veggies, or a mixed box.
- Choose between weekly and every other week.
Undecided? You're never locked into a contract, so you can switch it up at any time to suit your budget and grocery needs. For example, I have bought 2 medium boxes of organic produce, but am going to try an extra large box of conventional produce for the same price this week.
Imperfect Produce Cost
All produce is priced individually, so each box has a range of price points. So while it's not a static monthly charge (like my $11 monthly Mighty Nest subscription), you can budget at the top range, just to be safe.
There is a $4.99 delivery charge that is not included in the cost of the produce box range, so be sure to include that most in your budgeting calculations as well.
Am I Really Saving Money On Organic Fruits And Vegetables?
Absolutely. I have found my savings to be about 25-30% less than the grocery store, even by comparing grocery store prices for conventionally grown produce against organic Imperfect Produce.
I also find I am able to save money and buy more organic produce by shopping through Imperfect Produce than if I were to buy the same produce at my local farmer's market.
I am constantly on a mission to feed my family organic food on a budget. I'm also on a mission to streamline my life as much as possible to allow for more quality time with my family - and for the record, chasing two toddlers around a grocery store or farmer's market where they run - screaming - in different directions, does not count as quality time in my book. Getting to customize my grocery order from my phone, on my lunch break, and have it delivered to me is basically my idea of a dream come true.
I don't know of anywhere else that offers cheap organic food delivery, so I'm a huge fan.
I also love how inclusive they are. For anyone on EBT or food stamps, they have an application to see if you qualify for a discounted rate on your box. Just go to their website and type "EBT" in the search bar to find the application instructions.
Imperfect Produce Box Sizes
There are four box sizes available, and you can change your order size from week to week.
Small: 7-9 pounds
Medium: 11-13 pounds
Large: 17-19 pounds
Extra Large: 23-25 pounds
How to Customize your Imperfect Produce Box
Each week, the "cart" opens up and allows for customization for a few days.
The cart has a default order, based on what they have available that week. You can add as much extra produce as you want (as long as they have it in stock).
You can also add some nonperishable items, including olive oil, some nuts, and chickpea pasta.
You can add or subtract individual items from your cart just like a regular shopping cart until your order is exactly how you like it.
You can choose between all fruits, all vegetables, or mixed box. Of these choices, you can also choose between organic and conventional produce.
Dirty Dozen vs Clean 15
Maybe organic everything isn't your priority, but you prefer to follow the clean 15 guidelines? You can customize your boxes with a mix each week, including adding in organic produce per your preference.
Imperfect Produce Storage Guide
One of the things I noticed first about the Imperfect Produce is how much the company focuses on educating customers on how to best use the produce in each box.
Our first box arrived with a laminated small poster with pictures of how to properly store your fruits and veggies for maximum freshness.
In case you ever lose the poster, the information is printed on every box for easy reference.
Misc Cool Things:
I love that the produce boxes don't arrive with a bunch of extra wasteful packaging. In fact, most of the boxes don't have any packing materials at all, unless absolutely necessary (like grapes or mini potatoes).
I have noticed that this might mean some peaches have a bruise on them, or celery wilts a little faster. Truthfully, I don't mind this at all. I find that it encourages me to eat more produce each day before it goes bad, which is not at all a bad thing for me. I love that it encourages me to eat the produce I buy, instead of buying it from a supermarket to admire until it suddenly rots from the inside.
How To Sign Up:
Click here to see if Imperfect Produce delivers to your area, and sign up to experience the magical goodness for yourself. Sign up today for $10 off your first order!
Have you tried Imperfect Produce yet? Did you find this review helpful? Be sure to share it for future reference!
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