• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • jordan barton
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Liv Smith
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Beau Davidson
  • Heather Sharpe

Trying to quit Amazon - alternatives please

 
gardener
Posts: 1121
Location: Dutchess County, New York
543
kids home care foraging trees books cooking food preservation bike fiber arts writing woodworking
  • Likes 24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pre-amble - this is a rant about how hard it is not to use Amazon when you’re fresh off the boat in New Jersey, USA. It’s not required reading for you to post awesome practical alternatives to Amazon.

A bit of background - I moved to New Jersey in the USA from Singapore two years ago, before that I lived in the UK.

I came here with high hopes. I would shop locally supporting the local economy. I would shop organic or better. I wouldn’t default to Amazon.

Well, shopping locally is a joke. I’m surrounded by strip malls, hairdressers, nail-bars and coffee shops. The pandemic and floods shut the few independent shop keepers.

For food shopping, if I want to buy organic, it’s wrapped in plastic and grown thousands of miles away. A new grocers opened near by, they call themselves ‘Green Way Market’ and will ‘focus on delivering fresh, natural foods and organics, gluten-free products as well as traditional groceries’. Total BS . . . Ten shelves of fruit and veg and one shelf of mostly plastic wrapped organic with little or no variety, seasonality or choice - zero focus.

So I end up shopping at Wholefoods which is owned by Amazon. It’s far from perfect but their choice for organic is excellent, hardly anything is wrapped in plastic and I can bring my own veg bags.

Now I am fortunate that I’m married to a high achieving workaholic who gets paid a descent salary. We want to buy our own place but turned up with a zero credit score. In the US, everything to do with your finances is linked to credit scores. The higher your score, the cheaper products become, you get more choice and more availability. The scoring system is opaque. There are guild-lines which we followed. You need some history - ideally more than two years, which is why we had to rent for two years - no mortgages available for zero credit score. You also have to have a lot of credit available and then not use it. This is a bit of a catch 22 as you need a credit score to get a credit card. We solved this buy preloading a card and then the agencies think you’re spending against the banks money not your own. The only exception was Wholefoods who not only gave me a card, gave me a huge limit and I get 5% back every time I shop with them. And it’s an Amazon owned business.

Today I spent ages trying to find material for home made curtains. It was fruitless and I ended up sending out a plea here which has solved my problem because this place is inhabited by awesome people! I put up some examples of my findings which were all Amazon and the suggestion was to not use Amazon . . . Which got me thinking and now writing.

I really wish it was that easy. And Amazon is soooo easy.

So these are my alternatives to Amazon:
1) Don’t buy stuff in the first place, which for me is a bit like saying, don’t eat that half tub of ice-cream in the freezer.
2) Ask here, which makes me feel a bit guilty. I have spent times in forums that questions like that get links to a patronising site explaining how use google.
3) Etsy
4) Spend a fruitless morning / afternoon cycling twenty miles to a new area to discover the shop you researched is a great disappointment, inexplicably closed that day or no longer exists.
5) Make it yourself - but that can lead you straight back to Amazon
6) Move - yep - that’s what I’m doing. I’ve done a huge amount of research and found a walkable town in NY state with proper independent shops.
7) Well done for getting this far - I’m also trying to degoogle my life and nearly there . . . But that’s another story
8) Start a thread on Permies asking for Amazon Alternatives! Please post away . . .
Staff note (Jay Angler) :

Edward's thread that spawned this one is:
https://permies.com/t/169504/fiber-arts/good-layered-winter-curtain-system

 
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like to comparison shop so I look at my options before making a purchase.

Since I used to sell on eBay that is my number one choice.

Have you thought of joining Sams Club or Costco?

I don't know about Costco though Sams Club has a membership that offers free shipping.

I order from Walmart, Dollar General, and from various options.

I don't like paying shipping costs and look for ways to get free shipping. If I get free shipping with over $25.00 then I find something to add to my order so I get free shipping.  The way I look at it I am almost getting the item free.

Looking forward to hearing other great options!
 
pollinator
Posts: 389
Location: Virginia
146
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I’ve been using misfit market for organic fruit and veg I can’t grow or fail at growing. Some things like Brussels sprouts do come in plastic but most items are loose in the cardboard box. I can pick items on sale which keeps my cost close to grocery store regular produce. They have some pantry items that are always changing.

They do not have free shipping but it is a flat rate of $5.50. I try to place larger order to reduce how often I order by picking sturdier items that last longer or process myself to store. They require a minimum spend of $30. I’m not affiliated, I just like them. I have used their service about a year now and the couple problems I had were quickly resolved.

Hope you find some good solutions!
 
pollinator
Posts: 196
Location: Southern Utah
43
chicken building homestead
  • Likes 25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Amazon is an excellent search engine for finding something you need.  Once you find it copy the name and product and model and paste it into your preferred search engine and see who else is selling it.  Many times you can find it from retail stores that also sell on line, and some times you can even buy from the manufacturer.  If I can find it for a comparable price elsewhere I will not purchase from Amazon, sometimes if I need it and can't find it elsewhere I have to settle for Amazon.  Living near a smaller city limits the brick and mortar businesses available and greatly reduces the local selection so far too often I have to settle for online purchases.
 
master gardener
Posts: 6615
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
2894
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Edward Norton wrote:

1) Don’t buy stuff in the first place, which for me is a bit like saying, don’t eat that half tub of ice-cream in the freezer.

So you bury that half tub in the *very* bottom of the freezer so it's hard to get to! Seriously, I agree that for many people and in many situations, "not buying stuff" is a challenge. However, developing a system where you force yourself to make a pro/cons/cost/benefit analysis, and possibly set yourself a time limit of "I will review this analysis in 3 days and not buy before then" . It could be shorter or longer depending on what you're buying, but the idea is to build in the "buyer's remorse" risk up front before you actually buy.  
I'm writing ideas for everyone, but you've clearly identified that one of your long-term goals is land. Recently we talked my son's girlfriend out of a poorly thought out purchase, and my immediate reaction when she saw the light was - you were just about to spend $100 - put it into your house saving account! In effect, she rewarded herself for not spending foolishly.

2) Ask here, which makes me feel a bit guilty. I have spent times in forums that questions like that get links to a patronizing site explaining how use google.

I think there's a fair bit of attitude on permies that google is rigged to make google money. Personally, I try to at least share around to alternatives, and sometimes try to seriously mess with their data mining (my name helps - it's amazing how many people assume I'm male as Jay is normally a male name in North America). However, in general here on permies, for all the people who "ask" there are many more too shy to step up and do so, and finding things that fit our standard of environmental stewardship is not always easy. That's why we've got the gear forum!

3) Etsy

I've heard good things about it, but I'll let others give feedback as I've never used it.

4) Spend a fruitless morning / afternoon cycling twenty miles to a new area to discover the shop you researched is a great disappointment, inexplicably closed that day or no longer exists.

Like I tell Hubby, "Call and ask"! That may not help with all the disappointment, but if you can identify a few key parameters, it's worth a shot. It works better for some things than others.

5) Make it yourself - but that can lead you straight back to Amazon

Or grow it yourself if you got land, or barter for it or the raw materials, or buy something lightly used or collect something being tossed out and re-make it into what you want?
I've sort-of covered the next ones so let's go to:

8) Start a thread on Permies asking for Amazon Alternatives! Please post away . . .

Costco has a surprising number of supposedly organic products. We're still dealing with "big ag organics" which is nothing like "small ag organics" from what I'm aware of, but there's at least hope that a minimal level of soil care is happening, and that's better than the alternative. You will still be getting stuff shipped from wherever.
Thrift shops- you were asking on another thread for fabric and old sheets and blankets are a good option for that. Buying older oversized clothing and salvaging the fabric might be cheaper and at least you can see and feel the fabric and read the label.
Dumpster diving - I will admit I've never actually done that with dumpsters, but I have swiped stuff put out for garbage at the edge of the road. Don't just think in terms of what it is - think of what it could be. Solid wood can be built into things you need.
Reuse websites - You can put up requests as well as browse for raw materials. For example the bedroom you mentioned in the thread the triggered this one - have you considered getting old wool carpeting and attaching it to the walls to insulate? We gave some sections to a friend when she was renting and her bedroom floor was mostly over a front porch. Putting the carpet down made a noticeable difference. In the reuse department, my mother made a bunch of shag hooked rugs when that was the rage. My sister put them all on her basement walls as insulation when Mom passed.
Offset your purchase There are programs for this, but I fear many are green-washing. You will have to figure out ways in your current situation. One idea - search for vacant lots in areas within reasonable reach of your location. Make a bunch of seed balls for edible/native/wild-life supporting/other features and set a goal to make and toss a certain number of them. Save and plant fruit seeds in similar spots/along walkways. Many may die, but even if they only live 2-3 years, they've still contributed some organic matter.
Don't buy more than you can eat That might seem like "duh" but the amount of food wasted in North America is huge. Yes, in my house sometimes that "waste" is reassigned as chicken food or worm food, but many people toss a lot of food just by taking more than they can eat. Kids would come here and discover that if they didn't eat what they'd taken, they'd have to walk up to the chicken shelter to give them their leftovers. They learned fast to take less and ask for seconds! (Or they'd find it offered for their breakfast the next day!)
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, Tina

Thanks for suggesting Misfits.

I sign up though I can't look at any items.  Do they have a waiting period when you sign up?

I found this:

If you are a new customer who is part of our first curated box experience, we'll set you up with a specially curated box containing 8-12 of our best-selling items shortly after sign-up. If you need to eliminate one of these items due to an allergy concern, you may do so at any time during your shopping window. Simply remove the item and/or replace it with another item of your choosing. If you do not make any changes to your cart during your shopping window, the items which have been selected will be charged and shipped to you.



So will they send me an email when I can see what is in the box?

 
Tina Hillel
pollinator
Posts: 389
Location: Virginia
146
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Anne. The curated box was their former program that they changed recently.  Now you can choose your own products.  When I first signed up, my shopping window started immediately and I could see everything.  Now that I have a regular shopping window from Friday at 4 pm to Sunday at 8 pm. It’s based on your preferred delivery date which for me is Wednesday.  I can skip weeks as I choose and can changes dates for future shopping/delivery windows. I do try to check when my window starts as stuff can sell out.

When I sign on it automatically goes to my account.  I can’t look at anything until my next window tomorrow because it recognizes my device.  When my husband gets home from work I’ll try signing on from his tablet as if I was a new customer and see what it does.
 
Posts: 61
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
33
duck forest garden foraging trees medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We started a Support Small & Local Businesses spreadsheet online (on AirTable).
One tab shows alternatives to amazon and other large corporations.
The other tab is a list of small businesses. You can add your business by clicking the link at the top. https://airtable.com/shrWIK5XAf9rQf5a1
Screen-Shot-2021-10-28-at-1.03.08-PM.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2021-10-28-at-1.03.08-PM.png]
Screen-Shot-2021-10-28-at-1.01.26-PM.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2021-10-28-at-1.01.26-PM.png]
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Tina

I think I understand now.

When I signed up it asked me to pick a date which was Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday I believe.

I just picked Tuesday as it was highlighted.  So I am assuming I can start my box on Tuesday.  I will keep checking my email or my account though.

I am surprised they deliver to my area so I am really pleased that you recommended them.

And they even have a "Cold Box" to choose from.

 
master gardener
Posts: 4107
Location: southern Illinois, USA
1298
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Edward,

I lived in my community a couple of years before I learned that our tiny hardware store would order anything I asked for.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 2958
Location: 4b
893
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tina Hillel wrote:I’ve been using misfit market for organic fruit and veg I can’t grow or fail at growing. Some things like Brussels sprouts do come in plastic but most items are loose in the cardboard box. I can pick items on sale which keeps my cost close to grocery store regular produce. They have some pantry items that are always changing.

They do not have free shipping but it is a flat rate of $5.50. I try to place larger order to reduce how often I order by picking sturdier items that last longer or process myself to store. They require a minimum spend of $30. I’m not affiliated, I just like them. I have used their service about a year now and the couple problems I had were quickly resolved.

Hope you find some good solutions!



Tina, could I suggest you go to Misfits and get your referral number?  If you put it here and someone uses it, that person gets $10 off their order and you get $10 off a future order as well.  It sounds like a win/win.

Anne Miller wrote:
Thanks, Tina

I think I understand now.

When I signed up it asked me to pick a date which was Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday I believe.

I just picked Tuesday as it was highlighted.  So I am assuming I can start my box on Tuesday.  I will keep checking my email or my account though.

I am surprised they deliver to my area so I am really pleased that you recommended them.

And they even have a "Cold Box" to choose from.



Anne, maybe you could do the same?
 
gardener
Posts: 2665
Location: South of Capricorn
1186
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Angler wrote:"Call and ask"!


YES, and also use Yelp and maybe local Reddit if you're not sure where to even look. I was in NYC in May after a few years away, lots of things had closed during the pandemic, and I didn't want to go schlepping out 30 blocks in the freezing cold to find the things I needed, Yelp was really helpful.

I also avoid Amazon at all costs, and the last two times I've been up in the US I've been amazed at how ubiquitous it's become. I did order some stuff online, comparing reviews on Amazon but buying off of Ebay (I had a job that paid me via Paypal a few years ago, had some funds to use up), since often things I wanted to buy in a real store just weren't available. Strange times we live in!

Edward, we did precisely the same as you, just the opposite: we left the US 15 years ago, and had to establish the credit score, get the mortage, etc etc (and learn where the heck one buys strange things!). I don't see myself going back there but if I did, my priorities would totally be a bikeable town with a credit union, a food co-op, and a CSA or farmshare, and I'd definitely make use of those tool and resource sharing apps. Good on you for putting your money where your priorities are.
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:

Tina, could I suggest you go to Misfits and get your referral number?  If you put it here and someone uses it, that person gets $10 off their order and you get $10 off a future order as well.  It sounds like a win/win. ...

Anne, maybe you could do the same?



I would be glad to give my referral code to anyone who sends me a Purple Moosage as I am not sure that is something I want to put on a public forum.

Sounds like a win-win situations for someone to get $10 off their Box.
 
Posts: 605
Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
177
trees bike greening the desert
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have nothing relevant to add, but this clip seems to sum up the Amazon addiction.  
Maybe it's because I work in a warehouse (not Amazon) so I'm biased towards finding the clip hilarious.

Give it a chance, it's a good song if nothing else.



 
pollinator
Posts: 987
Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
275
forest garden tiny house books
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John F Dean wrote:Hi Edward,

I lived in my community a couple of years before I learned that our tiny hardware store would order anything I asked for.



I was going to point this out as well. We're so used to looking online, that we forget talking to a human can yield additional options. Sometimes they can get stuff you wouldn't expect, too.  My husband's preferred bike shop around here is a dealership for a particular brand. They can still order in other brands for him, though.

I've ordered a fair bit of stuff from Etsy and have been happy with all of it. A couple years ago I bought a backpack, which is something I usually would want to inspect before buying, but I'm very happy with the construction and quality. When you buy from individuals, they have a personal stake in the quality of their products that you can't necessarily count on from larger companies.

Buying on Etsy is often a little more expensive. But that was my other suggestion. If you're having trouble keeping out of the ice cream, buy the most expensive ice cream you can find and maybe you'll eat less 😁. I actually hate shopping, so maybe I can't relate. I research a lot before buying. So much that I often get fed up and decide I don't actually need the thing after all. However, once I settle on what to buy I've got something that will last, so no need to buy again anytime soon.

I use Amazon quite a bit for research, and then search for companies selling that product. I recently spent a lot of time researching charge controllers for our solar panels. I settled on a product, looked on the manufacturer's website to see who the closest dealer was, contacted them, and they shipped it to me right away.

I looked at your window quilt thread. My opinion was to not bother with the whole thing. You said you're moving soon, so the quilts might not fit in the windows at your new place and then you've just wasted material by making them. Or you've wasted time by now having to pull them apart to repurpose the material. Just throw another quilt on the kid's bed and turn the heat down a bit. I regularly talk my myself out of purchases. Maybe you need to practise😉
 
Tina Hillel
pollinator
Posts: 389
Location: Virginia
146
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anne, when I tried to go into another device, I was going to have to reregister financial info as a new customer.  I don’t currently have a different card available to use under a new name.  A friend was thinking to look into using misfit and I’ll ask her what she runs into.

If someone wants the referral just message me, but I found the site often offers better deals when you sign on than the referral.  See if you get a better offer😀 Trace, thank you for that suggestion!
 
master gardener
Posts: 4332
2009
2
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Etsy has really been my go-to, this year. I love that I'm primarily supporting individuals and small businesses. I've bought everything from plant cuttings and seeds to fiber-working/sewing equipment, to findings for making rosaries - and most anything in between.
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tina Hillel wrote:A friend was thinking to look into using misfit and I’ll ask her what she runs into.



Tina, thanks for checking.

I am thinking sometime between now and Tuesday I will get to look at the box.  Even if it is Tuesday, I can wait.

No membership fees except the price of the first box and the 5.99 shipping which is a small price to pay to get fresh veggies and fruit.

And the option to get the cold pack of frozen foods is great.

I am really excited about finding this option and that even though it is a subscription I don't have to buy a box every time.

In FAQ, misfits gave some examples of their items that look to be reasonably priced.

Last year and even again this year, I explored my online options for things I want to buy online.  Most don't deliver to my area or are way too expensive.

Does anyone know of a business that sells hamburger buns online?  I can get bread though not hamburger or hotdog buns.

Too bad dear hubby doesn't like homemade buns.
 
gardener
Posts: 920
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
382
hugelkultur kids home care forest garden gear trees books cooking bike woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's Rakuten! It's in the USA now apparently. I use it in Japan when I want to avoid amazon.
 
Posts: 184
Location: East Tennessee
31
forest garden hunting woodworking
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I quit amazon some time ago, I use Walmart.com for the little stuff and Ebay.com for a lot of the other things I order.

I also buy much of my stuff local, and order items from individual companies. I like that I can walk into most of the shops and businesses in my town and they know me, I know it seems kinda old fashioned but I think it is better for the local economy; And I like to see good people do well, so I intentionally do business with the owner-operated places that are local instead of the big corporations if I can help it.
 
Tina Hillel
pollinator
Posts: 389
Location: Virginia
146
books chicken cooking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anne Miller wrote:[

I am thinking sometime between now and Tuesday I will get to look at the box.  Even if it is Tuesday, I can wait.


Does anyone know of a business that sells hamburger buns online?  I can get bread though not hamburger or hotdog buns.
.




If you set up an account, there should be a count down clock when you sign in that tells you how long you have to wait to build your box.  Mine is counting down 6 hr 56 min now.  Another box next to it gives shopping windows if I want to change dates..

If you have problems with your order (happened twice in the year I’ve been a customer) go to the my orders button, then click on view order and there will be a report issue button.  You don’t even have to talk to anyone which is a plus for me😀 I did that once and used the chat button before I found the other way.

As far as hamburger/hot dog buns, I have gotten through glutenfreemall.com. No membership and free shipping with $39 spend on dry goods.  Shipping fee ($15/16 I think) for frozen items. Pantry items but no produce. Prices seem average for gluten free goods but do have sales of different brands. Standard store packaging so no advantage there.  There are discounts of 10% if 5 of same item, so if you catch a sale it’s worth stocking up or finding someone to share order.  If you have food allergies, I recommend the all free brand salted caramel brownie bites.  They are small and not cheap as I like but I’m surprised how good they are. Freeze well too.  Now I want one…
 
gardener
Posts: 462
Location: N.E.Ohio 5b6a
363
food preservation homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have never ordered from Amazon and it is nice to see everyones ideas.  I must be one of the last in the world at most tech things. I am a cash guy.  If I don't have it, I can't buy it.  I like to tinker with fixing others junk, so I need odd little trinket parts all of the time. Like John my local little hardware orders things in for me.  For old garden tractor parts or farm implements Napa orders parts in for me.  Both of them I can call, they know my voice, and just order it.  When I finally get to town it is waiting for me.  My local hardware said they would sell my little designs for me.  TSC is pretty good at ordering for me too.  I have had some things they had at there warehouse and drop shipped to me in a couple days.  I just gave them cash and went home.  I have noticed our farm customer base has changed over to local type buyers in the last couple of years.  I hope this trend keeps up.
 
Jan White
pollinator
Posts: 987
Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
275
forest garden tiny house books
  • Likes 17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Would anyone buying from Walmart as an alternative to Amazon mind sharing what they think is better about Walmart? I was avoiding Walmart long before Amazon, so I'm curious.
 
John F Dean
master gardener
Posts: 4107
Location: southern Illinois, USA
1298
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jan,

I avoid Walmart.   That said, I can see that Walmart provides “local” employment.   Yes, I know, ... at what price?   But I can see how the conclusion might be drawn.
 
Jay Angler
master gardener
Posts: 6615
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
2894
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tricks to using local stores to order things for you:

#1 - plan ahead so you're not in a rush! A small local gardening store has to pay for special seed orders, unless they're part of their regular order. I *always* stress that I'm happy to wait if they would simply add my request to their regular shipment.
#2 - buy stuff from them even when the big-box-store has it a dollar cheaper so they know you're a "regular". (I don't know how many times I tell people that if you don't buy from your local guy, you won't *have* a local guy when you need him.)
#3 - give them free publicity. In other words, tell your friends and enemies to buy from them because they're local, reliable, and a valuable part of your community.

Any more suggestions?
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I order stuff from our local hardware/lumber store, I call and ask for the manager.  Then the manager takes my order and tells me when the item will be at the store.

Anne Miller said, "I order from Walmart, Dollar General, and from various options.



I only order from these as a last resort since they charge shipping fees. Generally, things that I buy are cheap enough that with shipping it is cheaper than anywhere I can buy the item.

I don't really buy from anyone to support a business. I buy to support a need.  I don't buy luxury items. Except maybe chocolate and trail mix.

Of course buying from Misfits might be considered a luxury. I sure hope that bananas, grapes, cauliflower, and broccoli are in my near future.

Tina, I will have to go log in to see if that "count down clock" is there.  I am all ready to check out as soon as I can. Maybe yesterday was too soon for everything to get set up.
 
pollinator
Posts: 150
Location: Piedmont, NC
25
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Instead of ordering from Amazon, try thrift shops.  I find myself asking if I want a certain piece of glass, hardware, etc., what finished item is likely to have that?

For food, first, try to grow what you eat, second, know your farmer.  Look up farms in the phone book, internet search, etc., that might be near your area.  Join a CSA if you can't grow your own.  I don't know if this is correct, but I have heard there really is no such thing as organic if it comes from another country as they spray it for pests to keep foreign pests out of the country.

As far as curtains are concerned, first I can find rolls of fabric at thrift stores.  If I can't find what I want, I look for used curtains or large clothing items like long skirts, or sheets.  

Learning how to upcycle is key.  Craigslist or some similar program that sells used items.  Or Nextdoor.com if they have one in your area.  In order to upcycle, instead of thinking of an item as the finished piece, you should think of all the parts it's made up of.  For example, before I make a meal, I look at leftovers or food that needs to be eaten before it goes bad.  One example is making muffins with a leftover small jar of jam using it for the fruit and sweetener in the recipe (because it is made of fruit and sweetener.)

 
pollinator
Posts: 383
Location: New Hampshire
165
hugelkultur forest garden chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew up in NJ and I understand your problem.    Bergen county is a very wealthy and densely populated area that doesn't have much in the way of local farms.  Since it is next to NYC it has a lot of chain retail stores  to take advantage of the lower sales tax rate than NYC.  

I would search for produce markets in that area.  NJ has a bunch of independently owned produce markets that get produce on the secondary market from the big wholesale markets in NYC.  I used to shop at one in Plainfield NJ that has a mix of organic, locally produced, various in season  and imported produce. They carried the stuff that is similar to what you would find from a Misfit box.  

Bergen County has farmers markets! including one in Ridgefield.  They only run part of the year but they can help you avoid Amazon and meet regional farmers.  Here is a list of farmers markets.   https://www.mybergen.com/farmers-markets-in-bergen-county/    

I loved shopping at thrift stores, antique shops, used bookstores, consignment shops, and yard sales in NJ.  
For new clothing Century 21 was my go to store to get deals on last seasons better quality clothing.  

Shifting your shopping habits from getting just what you need right now to anticipating what you will need  will give you time to start shopping second hand, in bulk and find the local shops to do business with.  If you are willing to drive NJ has a staggering amount of shopping options.  I don't have a current list of ideas for you because I haven't lived in NH in 25 years and my remaining NJ family is in the south or west part of the state.  
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Edward, do you have local Health Food stores in your area?  While I don't shop them and have non in my area when we lived in town one sometimes had ads for organic veggies.

I am super pleased so far with my Misfits Box. They gave me 7.50 off my first order.  Everything I order was organic, actually for fruits and veggies they were all organic.

The prices were well below what my local grocery sells non-organic produce.

It was a hard choice.  I got the things I saw in my future except for bananas.  Maybe they will have those at some point.

For the price of the box, I got green seedless grapes, grapefruits, haas avocados, baby broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, acorn squash, green cabbage, yellow onions, and a free organic mayo.

The shipping was $5.50.

The Misfits box will be here on Tuesday.
 
Tina Hillel
pollinator
Posts: 389
Location: Virginia
146
books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just finished my box too😀 happy to see starfruit as there are worse things my nephews could love.

Anne, I hate to tell you I think I’ve only seen bananas once. Maybe they don’t travel well? Hope you enjoy it!
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not travelling well could be a factor or maybe they just don't have a source since bananas are tropical.

At least, I got grapes.  And a lot of really good food.

I was pleased to see acorn squash as a choice.

I added and remove so many items as I just couldn't make up my mind.

Some things that were added and removed were persimmons, gala apples, pears, etc.

Some of the items I did not know what they were.  I know what pears are though not Asian pears or the red ones that I am not sure the name, something like starbright.  Never knew there were red pears.
 
Jeanne Wallace
Posts: 61
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
33
duck forest garden foraging trees medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jan White wrote:

John F Dean wrote: ... I regularly talk my myself out of purchases. Maybe you need to practise😉



I have a similar method here:

Step 1: Research the item and—if I can't produce it myself or find someone local to create it—find a company I want to support who produces/offers it.
Step 2: Put the item in my online cart but do not purchase (yet). Step away!
Step 3: Come back days later to see if I have the same interest in purchasing it, or if I've found a different solution.

Quite often, I no longer desire to purchase it or have happened across a different solution.

 
Jeanne Wallace
Posts: 61
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
33
duck forest garden foraging trees medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It might be neat to have a topic on permies for alternative solutions for items people are considering purchasing. A "Don't Buy It, Make It" thread? Do we have this already?
Getting feedback and ideas from other permies could be uber cool, save us all moolah, and keep the creative sap flowing!

Here's a recent one we had at our place. We have a small cider press but not a fruit masher. The ones we looked at online ran $200-500!
After a bit of research, we found Kris Harbour (in the U.K.) had made one by placing stainless steel screws into a rotating log run by a drill/driver, with 2 pieces of lumber to keep the apples in the hopper.

Solved: no need to buy an industrial/commercially made product. And it could be set up to run on human power if desired, either with a handle or via bicycle power.

   See the home-made masher at 4:00.
 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1121
Location: Dutchess County, New York
543
kids home care foraging trees books cooking food preservation bike fiber arts writing woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tina Hillel wrote:I’ve been using misfit market for organic fruit and veg I can’t grow or fail at growing.
Hope you find some good solutions!



Thanks Tina. Misfits got me through the first few crazy months of lockdown. I subscribed at the beginning of 2020 when I was looking for a ‘box scheme’. Box schemes in the UK are a bit like a CSA but more of a middleman between the growers and the buyers. The thing I liked about them was their total lack of plastic packaging and their cardboard boxes were waxed, tough and designed to be collapsed. The delivery vans were owned and run by the box company, so they would drop off the box and pick up the previous weeks cardboard box.

Misfits in our area before the pandemic  was not great but I gather the service can vary considerably depending on where you are. My main issues were, the delivery often took three days, not one or two advertised. They used generic couriers who would just dump the box out front, sometimes upside down. There’s no return policy for the boxes. There’s almost as much packaging as produce and often lots of plastic bubblewrap. I have no issue with misshapen produce but I’d often get heavily damaged and subsequently rotten produce. The selection was a way, way less interesting than advertised. The added extras available during the ‘top up’ window were mostly sold out even if I went on the site a soon as the email arrived. It just got me down which is not something I want from a box of veg and a very different experience to the box scheme in the UK.

It sounds like people in other parts of the US have had a much better experience with them it’s great to see people signing up. Misfits have a great idea and I love that organic fruit and veg that would otherwise get trashed is being sold and eaten.

My short term solution is Wholefoods where I can buy mostly vegetables as they are sold loose and have a very broad seasonal selection of produce. I’m buying beans and pulses from a refill shop. As for meat and fish, I used Waldens. They are local to me and sell from sustainable farmers and fishers. All their meat is 100% pasture raised from farmers practicing regenerative processes. They deliver and pickup the cold bags. The meat also tastes amazing. My long term solution includes moving to upstate NY where there’s a very good CSA.
 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1121
Location: Dutchess County, New York
543
kids home care foraging trees books cooking food preservation bike fiber arts writing woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael Fundaro wrote:Amazon is an excellent search engine for finding something you need.  Once you find it copy the name and product and model and paste it into your preferred search engine and see who else is selling it.  Many times you can find it from retail stores that also sell on line, and some times you can even buy from the manufacturer.  If I can find it for a comparable price elsewhere I will not purchase from Amazon, sometimes if I need it and can't find it elsewhere I have to settle for Amazon.  Living near a smaller city limits the brick and mortar businesses available and greatly reduces the local selection so far too often I have to
settle for online purchases.



Great suggestion Michael, I’ve been doing this the wrong way round! I’ll search for a product and then buy on Amazon.

I despair at the general state of search engines. I remember the early and heady days of google where you got the answers you wanted in a clean and simple form. I gave up with google because they only returned answers that generated them revenue. I tried duckduckgo but ultimately the answers are still provided by google and geared towards their revenue. Bing wasn’t any better. I’ve settled for Ecosia which still uses Bing but at least some trees get planted. I’m hoping one day that they can find a truly neutral partner to provide results - I’d pay a subscription if the results were aimed at giving me the results I want.
 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1121
Location: Dutchess County, New York
543
kids home care foraging trees books cooking food preservation bike fiber arts writing woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anne Miller wrote:I like to comparison shop so I look at my options before making a purchase.

Since I used to sell on eBay that is my number one choice.

Have you thought of joining Sams Club or Costco?

I don't know about Costco though Sams Club has a membership that offers free shipping.

I order from Walmart, Dollar General, and from various options.

I don't like paying shipping costs and look for ways to get free shipping. If I get free shipping with over $25.00 then I find something to add to my order so I get free shipping.  The way I look at it I am almost getting the item free.

Looking forward to hearing other great options!



Thanks Anne. I haven’t used ebay since I sold all my VHS cassettes, DVD’s and CD’s a decade or more ago. I really admire people who can use it to buy and sell. I found the admin and pressure of packaging and posting too much - just not in my DNA, I’m way to much of a procrastinator and disorganised. I dipped back in a few weeks ago looking for second hand tools but found it all a little bit overwhelming - same goes for Craigslist. Great idea though and if I know exactly what I’m looking for, I’ll give ebay another go.

I’ve never been to Costco which my American friends find so shocking, I’m not sure they believe me. I have a hoarding tendency and my only solution is to stay away from anywhere that sells in bulk. I’m also a bit wary of Walmart . . . I don’t see them as being any different to Amazon.

Anyhoo . . .  Thanks for your suggestions and good to hear you’ve got a purchasing set up you’re happy with.
 
John F Dean
master gardener
Posts: 4107
Location: southern Illinois, USA
1298
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jeanne,

I suspect the copy function got messed up, that quote isn’t from me.
 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1121
Location: Dutchess County, New York
543
kids home care foraging trees books cooking food preservation bike fiber arts writing woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you Jay Angler! I reformatted a bit to avoid quotes in quotes. So the stuff in bold is my question, the stuff in italics is your replay and the rest is my response:

1) Don’t buy stuff in the first place, which for me is a bit like saying, don’t eat that half tub of ice-cream in the freezer. So you bury that half tub in the *very* bottom of the freezer so it's hard to get to! Seriously, I agree that for many people and in many situations, "not buying stuff" is a challenge. However, developing a system where you force yourself to make a pro/cons/cost/benefit analysis, and possibly set yourself a time limit of "I will review this analysis in 3 days and not buy before then" . It could be shorter or longer depending on what you're buying, but the idea is to build in the "buyer's remorse" risk up front before you actually buy.  
I'm writing ideas for everyone, but you've clearly identified that one of your long-term goals is land. Recently we talked my son's girlfriend out of a poorly thought out purchase, and my immediate reaction when she saw the light was - you were just about to spend $100 - put it into your house saving account! In effect, she rewarded herself for not spending foolishly.


Great suggestion. I went down the minimalist path a few years ago to try and curb my hoarding tendencies. I also have an “instant gratification monkey” living in my head. I blame my parents! A grew up an Army Brat and we moved house on average every 18 months, which meant a big clear out. From ten, I went to boarding school. I’d leave home and return for the holidays three months later and there had been another clear-out. That made perfect sense and I understand as parent why they did it. It just left me with an unhealthy relationship with possessions. We’ve moved house every two years for the last decade, so I’m very sensitive to my kids needs. On the plus side, the digital age means they don’t have possessions in the way I did. They don’t own cassettes, records or cds, their games are with their friends online and they both have kindles, so very few physical books (another Amazon product I didn’t even mention in my original post!). They’re both bookworms and read late at night. We all read the same books so in that respect, ebooks make sense. My eldest is a total minimalist.

Anyhoo - I like the idea of the three day period. I tried putting stuff in the basket and then not buying, but I’d return three days later having spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the stuff in the basket and then ‘reward’ myself by adding an extra thing.

I also ‘comfort shop’ . . . Shop when I’m stressed on angry, which has lead to massive debts . . . But that was a long time ago. I’m a happier and stronger person for lots of reasons. I gave up Facebook and online gaming and discovered YNAB, budgeting software. YNAB means I have a budget each month with dozens of pots. When the money comes in, I fill up the rent, investments, utilities and other non negotiable pots first. Then I some goes in the long term categories like Christmas, annual fees etc. I have a fixed amount for groceries, clothes, etc. When a pot is empty then I can’t spend anymore in that category or I have to take money out of a different pot. We also have an emergency fund. And the all important ‘buy a house fund’ and every time I save on anything, I bump the amount going into that. Well, that’s the theory and it mostly works. We came very close to loosing everything when we lived in the UK and I’m never going back to those dark days. Most of the time the savings reward is just as good as the buy reward.

2) Ask here, which makes me feel a bit guilty. I have spent times in forums that questions like that get links to a patronizing site explaining how use google. I think there's a fair bit of attitude on permies that google is rigged to make google money. Personally, I try to at least share around to alternatives, and sometimes try to seriously mess with their data mining (my name helps - it's amazing how many people assume I'm male as Jay is normally a male name in North America). However, in general here on permies, for all the people who "ask" there are many more too shy to step up and do so, and finding things that fit our standard of environmental stewardship is not always easy. That's why we've got the gear forum!

Google is 100% rigged to make Google money! Great point, for everyone posting, their are dozens who are reading. I’m pretty battle hardened from my days in less friendly forums. I just want my questions to give as much as take.

3) Etsy I've heard good things about it, but I'll let others give feedback as I've never used it.

I really like Etsy. It still feels small. The site and app is really well designed. The review system is much fairer than Amazon - you actually have to purchase an item to review it. You’re buying direct. It’s heavily craft orientated. A lot of the sellers I’ve dealt with go the extra mile. Etsy are really good at protecting both buyers and sellers. They have carbon neutral shipping. I’m rubbish at selling stuff, but if I ever sort that out, then I‘d go through Etsy.

4) Spend a fruitless morning / afternoon cycling twenty miles to a new area to discover the shop you researched is a great disappointment, inexplicably closed that day or no longer exists. Like I tell Hubby, "Call and ask"! That may not help with all the disappointment, but if you can identify a few key parameters, it's worth a shot. It works better for some things than others.

Why didn’t I think of that! Clearly “Not calling” is a bloke thing! I’ve developed ‘phone phobia’ and I’d love to own a smart phone that didn’t have a phone feature. I haven’t had a landline for eight years and the only people who call my mobile are for extended warranty or my mother-in-law.

5) Make it yourself - but that can lead you straight back to Amazon Or grow it yourself if you got land, or barter for it or the raw materials, or buy something lightly used or collect something being tossed out and re-make it into what you want?

I’m rubbish at bartering - I like pleasing people at my own expense. I have a lovey friend who is awesome at bartering and when I watch her, both sides seem to enjoy the game. I’m finding my feet here, slowly, and the curtain thread that started this conversation has me heading off to a thrift shop in the near future. The town we hope to move to has a thriving second hand / antique / flea market scene.

8) Start a thread on Permies asking for Amazon Alternatives! Please post away . . .
* Costco has a surprising number of supposedly organic products. We're still dealing with "big ag organics" which is nothing like "small ag organics" from what I'm aware of, but there's at least hope that a minimal level of soil care is happening, and that's better than the alternative. You will still be getting stuff shipped from wherever.
As mentioned in a previous reply, I’ve never been to Costco much to the astonishment of my American friends. I even thought about starting a blog called “I’ve never been to Costco dot com”. I’m concerned I wouldn’t be able to help myself and I’d let the hoarder back in. My bartering friend is also an Expat Brit and suggested Costco. We all met up at this weekend. She and her husband told me they only buys the essentials in bulk like paper towels, disposable coffee cups, plastic food wrap, tinfoil food savers, household cleaners . . . But I don’t buy any of those. They are very dear friends I’m concerned that my Permie ways will lead they to thinking my clinically insane and need to be locked up. I can get away with being mildly eccentric for now. So I could have explained about how to make wrap from beeswax and old sheet, etc., but I have to tread carefully. I’m tempted to visit though if I could bulk buy a bunch of fresh organic fruit / veg for a big preservation session.


* Thrift shops- you were asking on another thread for fabric and old sheets and blankets are a good option for that. Buying older oversized clothing and salvaging the fabric might be cheaper and at least you can see and feel the fabric and read the label.
Absolutely! I’m surprisingly excited at the prospect of what I might find.

* Dumpster diving - I will admit I've never actually done that with dumpsters, but I have swiped stuff put out for garbage at the edge of the road. Don't just think in terms of what it is - think of what it could be. Solid wood can be built into things you need.
I’ve done a bit of this. I picked up a stack of 5 gallon food buckets and then grew oyster mushrooms in them. I’m concerned this may lead to hoarding again . . . I like the idea of having a ‘resource’ shed full. It’s a self contained space, not in the house and has no other use. I currently have a basement and a garage but they have many other uses and heavy traffic. In my wife’s words, ‘left alone, you’d silt up’ and she’s right. A resource shed is something different though, no heavy traffic, just one purpose and somewhere only I would visit. Bin days in my neighbourhood are a gold mine . . .

*Reuse websites - You can put up requests as well as browse for raw materials. For example the bedroom you mentioned in the thread the triggered this one - have you considered getting old wool carpeting and attaching it to the walls to insulate? We gave some sections to a friend when she was renting and her bedroom floor was mostly over a front porch. Putting the carpet down made a noticeable difference. In the reuse department, my mother made a bunch of shag hooked rugs when that was the rage. My sister put them all on her basement walls as insulation when Mom passed.
I didn’t know they existed apart from debop which I used a lot our first year because I had no winter clothes. I recently discovered habitat.org which will be my first port of call when i have my own place.

*Offset your purchase There are programs for this, but I fear many are green-washing. You will have to figure out ways in your current situation. One idea - search for vacant lots in areas within reasonable reach of your location. Make a bunch of seed balls for edible/native/wild-life supporting/other features and set a goal to make and toss a certain number of them. Save and plant fruit seeds in similar spots/along walkways. Many may die, but even if they only live 2-3 years, they've still contributed some organic matter.
I really like this idea. My dreams include:
Fruit and nut trees and bushes on the boundary of my property with a snaking path and signs saying, please trespass and eat what you like.
Having a trail to maintain and plant thousands of fruit and nut trees and bushes.
I’ll include vacant lots etc as suggested.

*Don't buy more than you can eat That might seem like "duh" but the amount of food wasted in North America is huge. Yes, in my house sometimes that "waste" is reassigned as chicken food or worm food, but many people toss a lot of food just by taking more than they can eat. Kids would come here and discover that if they didn't eat what they'd taken, they'd have to walk up to the chicken shelter to give them their leftovers. They learned fast to take less and ask for seconds! (Or they'd find it offered for their breakfast the next day!)
Absolutely! That’s one of the reasons I stopped my Misfit order. I’m fortunate that I learnt to cook from my mum who experienced rationing in post war Britain. I’m a passionate cook and which makes zero food waste much easier. If you can cook, you can upcycle leftovers. Lunch is almost always what ever we had the night before. My son takes hot food to school in a wide mouth thermos flask unless it’s pizza! And my wife does the same when she’s in the office. The financial savings alone are massive.

I believe that 90% of the ‘peasant’ food we love was originally a way to use left overs - pizza, sandwiches, burritos, bowls of pasta, noodles, soups. I used to shop weekly and do a big monthly shop. Now I shop every one or two days and I have limited kitchen storage space. It requires a bit more admin and thinking but it also helps keep costs down. As mentioned in another post, I love Dishing up the dirt website as I can plug in what I want to use up and up pops some great recipes.

So thank you Jay and sorry for not replying sooner. This thread took off and I was a bit overwhelmed on how to reply. I’m also less online at the weekends when I’m spending time with my family. I wanted to sit and process all the replies and write some proper responses.

I laughed out loud when you wrote about your name. I’m very fortunate to be almost impossible to find on the web with my name.
 
Anne Miller
master steward
Posts: 8559
Location: USDA Zone 8a
2573
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tina Hillel wrote:I’ve been using misfit market for organic fruit and veg I can’t grow or fail at growing.
Hope you find some good solutions!



Edward wrote:Thanks Tina. Misfits got me through the first few crazy months of lockdown. I subscribed at the beginning of 2020 when I was looking for a ‘box scheme’. Box schemes in the UK are a bit like a CSA but more of a middleman between the growers and the buyers. The thing I liked about them was their total lack of plastic packaging and their cardboard boxes were waxed, tough and designed to be collapsed. The delivery vans were owned and run by the box company, so they would drop off the box and pick up the previous weeks cardboard box.

My main issues were, the delivery often took three days, not one or two advertised. They used generic couriers who would just dump the box out front, sometimes upside down. There’s no return policy for the boxes....

It sounds like people in other parts of the US have had a much better experience with them it’s great to see people signing up. Misfits have a great idea and I love that organic fruit and veg that would otherwise get trashed is being sold and eaten.



Edward, probably for people in metropolitan areas the service is not of as much value as it is to those of us in rural areas.

So was I am thrilled with the opportunity to get fresh veggies and fruit.

My box is coming by FedEx which is great since we have issues with UPS.

There are issues with any package that is being shipped.  And I have read about all kinds of issues with all kinds of delivery services.

I've gotten chips (for hubby) that the bag was completely open.  I've gotten trail mix with a tear in the bag.

I haven't even said anything to the place I bought them because I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to get those items shipped to me.

I did have one problem that I contacted the place I bought from because they didn't send me the delivery confirmation and I wasn't expecting the package to come early which cause it to sit out in the rain.  The place I bought from gave me a $5.00 credit on a $10.00 order and luckily the contents of the box were okay.

I can't wait for Tuesday when my box of produce arrives.  I am kind of worried about having grapes in a box with a head of cabbage.  So I will wait and see what happens on Tuesday.
 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1121
Location: Dutchess County, New York
543
kids home care foraging trees books cooking food preservation bike fiber arts writing woodworking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anne Miller wrote:
Edward, probably for people in metropolitan areas the service is not of as much value as it is to those of us in rural areas.
So was I am thrilled with the opportunity to get fresh veggies and fruit.



I think you are right about metropolitan areas and I was reluctant to write about misfits as I have heard such great things. I’m really pleased that you and others have signed up. Your enthusiasm  has brought a smile to my face!
 
Water proof donuts! Eat them while reading this tiny ad:
Work/Trade for the 2022 PDC, PTJ, and SKIP events
https://permies.com/t/166040/experiences/Work-Trade-PDC-PTJ-SKIP
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic