Save Money on Groceries Through Food-Buying Programs

Looking for ways to save money on groceries? Are you the type of person who’d rather skip the hassle of clipping coupons?

If so, I’ve discovered a few food-buying programs that will help you cut costs.

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How These Programs Work

These programs buy quality food from first-rate suppliers at big discounts. Because of the discounts, they can pass some of the savings along to you. The food items may come fresh, frozen, or packaged.

Save On FoodOrders and distribution are handled by local host sites, which include churches, schools, and other community-action organizations. You can order as many units as you like, and there are no income restrictions.

The menu varies from month to month, so you can enjoy different foods.

How to Make a Purchase

Making a purchase is straightforward.

  1. You search for a local pickup site and place an order.
  2. The food gets delivered to the host site.
  3. You pick up your order at the host site when ready.

Another great thing about these programs is that if you’re an organization that’s interested in offering these food items to your community, you can partner with these programs by applying to be a host site.

Lastly, check out each program and see if their menu items suit your taste and dietary needs before buying.

Okay, here are three food-buying programs.

Angel Food Ministries


This program is the most widely available, with locations in the U.S. and Canada. They have the largest selections of prepackaged food items, and they accept food stamps. They estimate that you can save $28 in grocery costs if you purchase their signature box.

Sample Menu

  • Signature Box – $35 (feeds a family of four for a week)
  • Golden Cuisine – $29 (ten convenience meals for people on the go)
  • Allergen Free Food Box – $25
  • Premium Box – $55

If you become a host site, Angel Food will donate $1 to your benevolence fund for every box distributed. It’s their way of giving back to you.

Treasure Box


Treasure Box isn’t as widely available as Angel Food Ministries. It’s only available in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

  • The Treasure Box – $32 (over 20 pounds of food that can feed a family of four for a week)
  • The Hearty Proteiin Box – $32 (about 12 pounds of protein items)
  • Quick and Healthy Meal Box – $32 (10 packaged meals that are low in fat and cholesterol)
  • Simply Enough – $24 (a smaller box for people with fewer needs)

Some locations accept food stamps. Treasure Box will also donate money to each host site for every box that’s ordered through that site.

Golden Share Foods


This program is most limited in scope, as it’s only available in Southern California. But if you live in San Diego, you’ll find many available pickup locations.

  • Basic – $30
  • Veggie – $20
  • Mega Meat – $36

They seem to participate in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

I hope this helps you get groceries at much lower costs!

Darren loves to help people learn business skills that they can apply to better their lives. Check out his blog at Gain Business Skills and get free updates via his RSS feed.

Last Edited: 24th July 2013

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  1. says

    We’ve actually checked out the Angel Food Ministries boxes via a local church and the food is good, high quality food. The only caveat I would add in there, however, is that you have to choose one of their pre-set boxes and you get what you get..

  2. says

    There is an Angel Food Ministries pickup site right in my town. I was just looking at the menu and it does seem like a good deal. EXCEPT, I don’t see us using all of the items included…so it might be more of a waste than a bargain.

  3. Larry says

    We have used the Angel Food program in the past for several months. It works as advertised, but there are a few things to be aware of.

    1) You have to pre-pay for the food box 2 – 4 weeks in advance, so the location ordering the food (usually a church or charity) has a enough lead time to get the order into the Angel Food system. Once the time frame to pay has passed you usually cant get a box.

    2) Pre-pay locations are limited. The church we bought from had a member who had two local retail stores; so he allowed people (the public) to pay at the stores. Otherwise the church was the only pay location.

    If you pre-pay at a church, they may have limited hours when there is someone there to take the money and give you the Angel Food receipt. (They may not want for everyone to have access to the Angel Food money so they limit it to one or two people.)

    3) You have to pick up the boxes on the specific delivery date and during a 2 or 3 hour time frame. Any unclaimed boxes are turned over to a local charity (food bank, homeless shelter, food pantry, etc.).

    4) Some location may have a lot of people asking to buy extra boxes each delivery day, so they may over order by 10 or 20 extra boxes; so they may allow you to buy a box even though you did not pre-order it.

    5) You show up and the food is laid out on a long row of tables. You get a box (or more if you pre-paid for more) and start at one end. You slide the box along the tables, one table after another. Every regular box gets the same set of items, e.g. a box of mac-n-cheese, a jar of peanut butter, a 2 lb bag of rice, dry pasta (usually spagehetti, one dessert item (usually either a pie or cookies). They box is usually close to full with the 15 or so items. If it is to heavy to carry or you have more than one box (some people buy multiple boxes for friends, neighbors, needy people, etc.), they will help you get them to your car.

    6) They do not pre-fill the boxes, because the food that is not picked up (people forget the date or drop by to late, etc.) is donated. Pre-filling boxes would crate needless work for the volunteers and for the charity receiving the boxes. having all of the donated food separate by food item, i.e. all the rice in one box, all the mac-n-cheese in one box, etc., makes it easier on the charity.

    7) Lots of the same things are repeated every month, especially breaded chicken, i.e. 5 lbs of chicken nuggets, 3 lbs of chicken planks, 4 lbs of chicken tenders, etc. At one point we had around 30 lbs of breaded chicken in the freezer.

    8) They may also offer other box options, such as a “meat box.” Several steaks, sausage, chops, bacon wrapped steaks, small brisket or roast, etc.

    9) Another option was frozen meals. They looked just like what you get at the store (a frozen meal in a plastic tray with a clear plastic wrap on top. Cost wise it was not much cheaper than what you would pay in the store. In the store you could get them right now

    I suggest you give it a try at least once to see what you think.

  4. Larry says

    Darren & Money Matters Guy,

    Quality – The quality is fine.
    It is not premium, but it is not bad or dangerous, i.e. nothing moldy/spoiled/out of date, etc. They may either be an unknown brand, or a no name product (meaning they contracted with the chicken processing plant so no brand name or store name is on the package).

    Is the amount of food was worth the price?

    Cost – if you were already going to buy the specific items that are in the Angel Food box, you would get them cheaper via Angel Food (they can buy in vast quantities/bulk). But if you only use some of them items, you may be better of buying what you would actually use from the grocery store; and also not have to worry about missing the Angel Food pickup time frame.

    Ex 1: We do not eat a lot of peanut better, so getting a jar of peanut butter in every box, every month meant we had several jar sitting around.

    Ex 2: We got burned out on breaded chicken and that was in most every months box.

    Caveat – We did Angel Food a couple of years ago, so things may have changed since then.

    I suggest you give it a try at least once to see what you think.

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