Feeding your family and saving money during the pandemic : Alternative ways to buy your food

Posted at 11:39 AM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 11:39:07-04

Prices at the supermarket are rising sharply because the Coronavirus has disrupted the food supply chain. In fact, in April, food prices soared to the highest one month increase since 1974. We found look at how some Metro Detroiter's are tapping into alternatives to stay stocked and make ends meet.

Throughout this pandemic, meat producers have had to shutter plants, creating shortages. meantime, panic shopping customers are buying food they don’t need to immediately eat and all of it is pushing grocery store prices way up. but Michiganders tell us they're finding a way to cope.

"Definitely prices have gone up," said Farm Field Table shopper Adriano Evola.

"The more you buy the better price you are gonna get on it," said Evola.

Adriano Evola likes to buy fresh, and buy more to pay less.

"I recently just bought 150 lbs. Yeah, it was a quarter steer," said Evola.

He’s not panic buying from a grocery store, instead he’s tapping into locally sourced beef from a farm through craft butcher, Farm Field Table in Ferndale.

The father of two says buying in bulk gives him a peace of mind that his family will have the supply they need to last through the pandemic.

"Do you even have enough room for all of that meat in your freezer?

"I have a chest freezer, and it’s full, so I’m maxed out for now," said Evola.

"We've had a lot of interest in people buying whole or half or quarter animals," said Matt Romine co-owner of Farm Field Table.

Farm Field Table says it can barely keep up with demand. Meantime at Mclaughlin Farm in Jackson?

"Frankly, we sold out everything was for that opening of the season, we sold it out literally overnight," said John McLaughin from McLaughlin Farm Ltd.

"They're buying between 200 and 800 pounds at a time," said Romine. "It's a better price per pound."

We buy a whole cow, literally a cow," said consumer Beverly Wheelihan.

I go in with my family, my in laws, we pay a flat rate for the entire cow," said Wheelihan. "And then we split it up amongst all of us."

"I pick it up a crop, once a week for the next 13 weeks," said Wheelihan.

A crop share with Blake Farms in Armada, costing her just $21 a week.

It came with onions, tomatoes, two kinds of lettuce, kale, zucchini, said Wheelihan.

"It's the saving of the money for me, honestly, if I could see all the money I've saved, it's probably thousands of dollars," said Wheelihan.

Here’s the Rebound Rundown:

  • Buying meat in bulk is one way to keep costs down
  • Vacuum packaged beef has a freezer life of at least one year as long as the seal doesn’t break
  • Other food sourcing alternatives to consider are crop shares and food co-ops

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Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help businesses and restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

Also, get information about Rebound Mid Michigan, with stories, information and more about coming back from COVID-19

Join the Rebound Mid Michigan Facebook Group.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.