Angel Food Ministries: Does it Save on Groceries?

Many of you have asked if the Angel Food Ministries program is a good way to save money on groceries. With grocery prices on the rise everyone is looking for ways to cut back and Angel Food Ministries is a nonprofit program that provides a box of food for a set price each month.

If you go to the Angel Food Ministries website you can see the menu for the month and choose a box size. You can even order online. (The current menu is unavailable, check back soon for July’s menu)

Here’s a sample menu taken from the website:

  • 4 lb. IQF Leg Quarters
  • 4 oz. Beef Back Ribs
  • 1 lb. 80/20 Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 lb. Breaded Chicken Tenders
  • 1.5 lb. Bone in Pork Chops (4 x 6oz.)
  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey
  • 18 oz. Stuffed Manicotti (Cheese)
  • 12 oz. Smoked Sausage
  • Betty Crocker Seasoned Potatoes
  • 7 oz. Cheeseburger Dinner
  • 16 oz. Green Beans
  • 16 oz. Baby Carrots
  • 2 lb. Onions
  • 1 lb. Pinto Beans
  • 1 lb. Rice
  • 7 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 10 ct. Homestyle Waffles
  • Dessert Item

Here’s my opinion. In some parts of the country this is a good deal, but the only way you will know for sure is if you have a price book and compare the prices with your local store.

After comparing this month’s menu with my local commissary prices (I had to guess on a few because I don’t buy them) it would be cheaper for me to buy the same food at the commissary. But compared to my local Publix, the Angel Food Ministries box is cheaper.

The other thing to consider is if you will eat the food provided for the month. If you aren’t going to prepare the vegetables, or don’t like the meat then it isn’t a good deal to buy food you won’t eat.

June’s food box contains 16 pounds of meat for a family of four. If I’m looking to cut back on the grocery bill one of the first things I do is cut out the meat and replace with beans. If your family eats a lot of meat then the food box might be worth it for you.

Angel Food Ministries help a lot of people every month. Most military bases participate in the program through the Fleet and Family Service Center. There are no qualifications, minimums, income restrictions, or applications to participate in the program.

While it is a good program, it might not save you money. Check your price book and compare before you buy.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments

  1. Amber says:

    People should have a look here before deciding whether to support this organisation or not:

    http://ministrywatch.org/pdf/donoralert2010.pdf

  2. Dana says:

    The big thing for us when I looked into was that it generally provides more and better cuts of meat than I normally buy. It would save me money on those particular things, but though we’d be happy to eat them we don’t buy those things. So in the end, we’d end up spending a bit more.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I found these guys the year before last. I thought that it was a wonderful ministry, but like you said you have to look at your price book. I could get a lot of it cheaper if I just watched when things went on sale. In our area most of it seemed like premade items. Many of the premade items you could make yourself.
    The one thing I do like about it is that you can send a box to people to help them out. We’ve done it around the holidays as a project to help those in need.

  4. Sarah Howk says:

    We’ve been doing Angel Food for about a year on and off- when we can afford it. We think that for the value of money you do get a lot of food. I do agree with having a price book, I just haven’t done that yet! Sometimes we get so much food we don’t know where to put it all- we’ve even bought a box for a family friend of ours and helped them out when they didn’t have a lot of food in the house or money to buy food. It’s a great ministry, and we like that we can order online, and pick it up at a site close to our home (less than 2 miles away). It helps to alleviate the weekly food budget of staples like beans, rice, and even meat. I’m allergic to milk, so its nice that they have the option of dairy-free frozen foods I can choose from- something the local grocery store doesn’t have- or costs way to much!

  5. Tress says:

    Our church participated in Angelfood Ministries for about 2 years, we also purchased groceries through them, mostly the meat and vegetable boxes but when they started pushing us to market more and work on Sunday’s as well we were started to waiver a bit from them. The final straw came on a summer weekend when no one’s food was delivered and we could not get a straight answer from the company as to why and when the food would be delivered. We had volunteers on stand by for distribution and customers waiting patiently for their food. The food finally arrived over 24 hours later. It is alot of work for organizations to help sell and distribute the food as well. Since stopping Angelfood our grocery bill has actually reduced since the steaks were an actual indulgence and I feel like I am no longer wasting food that came in the regular boxes if I got them.

  6. Dandi Bond says:

    I used to do Angel Ministries every month! I would get a regular box and then add on other boxes. But my suggestion would be to order one of the smaller boxes first and see if the quality of food is compatible with what you’re used to eating. We don’t eat a whole lot of meat, so the meat that we do eat I look at and make sure I’m getting the best cuts of meat we can on our budget. I found that after more than one time I cooked a meal and the meat was literally inedible we found that it was more expensive to remake or repurchase things. And the other things that come in the box are complete no name brands…and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you do price it out, we found without coupons at Walmart we could get the food cheaper. So I stopped getting the boxes. From the beginning there were a couple of quality issues here and there, but nothing we couldn’t overlook, but once it became so bad where it was like two or three things per box it was silly to buy! And the place where you could get the boxes here in town had such a big problem with the issues with the food, they stopped doing it completely. Hope this helps!

  7. We have participated in the past but I quickly found that by watching my prices and buying items on sale in quantities that would build a stockpile, my shopping habits provided a better deal. We also noted that the quality of the meat was poor when compared to what we were accustomed to. A piece of meat intended to feed four would shrivel to a serving for one in the crock pot. Then I had to consider adding the extra time into my busy schedule for a pick-up and the round-trip gasoline for the added errand.

    For us, it just doesn’t add up but I think for those who may not have the time to comparison shop it is a better deal than walking into Walmart and buying the same items.

  8. I used to do Angel Food but don’t anymore. I had too many “leftovers” of things we wouldn’t eat and my family didn’t like the quality of their meat. And, it’s (generally) not very healthy…I received frozen southern-fried pork patties, fried this, fried that. By cooking from scratch and getting basics from Aldi, I’ve been able to spend our food budget more efficiently.

  9. Amy Bayliss says:

    We used to purchase from AF Ministries regularly. It has been a couple of years since we bought from them. When we first began the quality and quantity of the food was superb. Not so much now (or when we stopped using them I should say since I can’t vouch for now). After I noticed a decline we began going back to our coupon/sale shopping practices. We’ve been better off.

  10. Michelle says:

    What people need to remember is this was a way to reach out to the poor – the ones on food stamps or falling through the cracks. The ones who don’t have time to do a price book, cut coupons or price match. We’ve done this (and also Share food program), but pick ups weren’t convenient once we moved. You can do things with their food that isn’t what it’s supposed to be for. The fried chicken? You can pop it in the oven. Throw stuff in the crock pot. This is ideal for the people who work and need to simplify grocery shopping. Order, go pick up a week later. No having to lug kids to the store, up and down aisles, deal with tired kids, other people blocking your way, etc.

  11. Karen says:

    I also used to do Angel Food. I also have found prices at the commissary to be better. When we did get a box we sometimes had a problem of what do you do with certain types of meat. It was things I had never cooked before and didn’t know what to do with certain things. Then there was some meat we just didn’t like. We also found certain types of meat were packaged in meal sizes for a family of 4, like pork chops or steak and we have 5 in our family, so sometimes we either had to buy 2 boxes or wait on that meat till we got more of that type of meat or just had smaller portions for each of us.

  12. Amy says:

    We have friends who get a box regularly. We looked at it several times and decided the quality of the food isn’t what we normally eat. Too many processed things and not so great meat. It’s easier to budget and buy our own groceries.

  13. Yvonne! says:

    I really looked forward to reading the comments on this post, thanks Happy!
    When I was a single mom I did Angel Food every now and then – for the 2 of us the food went pretty far and I didn’t coupon or search for sales – when I had money, we went grocery shopping. I think this is primarily what Angel Food is good for.
    The quality of the food is not up to what I want to feed my family now (Chicken based Salisbury steak with meat added?? Seriously??) and we tend to stick with local or organic as much as possible and definitely steer clear of anything with a 30 item ingredient list of chemicals. For that reason, I stopped getting it. Not something I want to feed my family. I do like that they now have produce only boxes that you can buy separately though!

  14. Philothea says:

    We used to get AF. I agree with most of the criticisms mentioned already. I found their produce-only boxes to be expensive compared to prices at the store or farm market. Aldi’s has replaced AF in keeping my food cost down.

  15. Crafty Mama says:

    Great article! I always wondered if it was worth it.

  16. Hoping it Gets Better says:

    My daughter just got her first shipment and she was so excited. She unpacked her box and noticed that the box didn’t have her name on it. It was a different package with a different name. She gave the worker her order form and assumed that he put her box in her car. Now she doesn’t know what to do because the box she ordered costs more and there’s no one answering the phone at the location now. My suggestion was to just live with it this time but the difference in the box she received and what she paid for was $10. For a recent college grad living on a tight budget, $10 is a lot of money.. For that matter, its a lot of money for us all! Bad first experience. Somewhere there is a person with a box….. wrong name but great order. :(

  17. Sarah says:

    I have actually suggested this ministry to home-bound clients who have a difficult time getting out to do grocery shopping. It is much easier to just pick up one box (or have someone deliver it to you) than to trek out to the grocery store regularly, which involves a lot of walking and lifting (which is easy for me, but often difficult for older adults). I think that I can get better deals for my family by shopping frugally, but it also takes a lot of time and effort to do so. I do think this is worthwhile for people who have limitations in health or time in addition to a limited income.

  18. Patricia Ebersole says:

    I cannot find the link as http://www.angelfoodministries.com did not give my any information

  19. sorry, but Angel Food Ministries is no longer in business.

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