Best Ways to Save: Cut Costs on Groceries With Community-Supported Agriculture

Best Ways to Save: Cut Costs on Groceries With Community-Supported Agriculture

The average senior spent about $7,300 on food in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number has only gone up since, due to uncharacteristically high inflation that has especially affected agricultural staples like eggs, strawberries, oranges, and steak.

One way that seniors can continue to eat well amidst rising prices—or, save money on groceries at any time—is taking advantage of a Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA.

In a CSA, customers, also known as “members,” sign up with a local farm and purchase a share of that season’s harvest. Members receive a box of fresh produce, eggs, or meat each week, with the contents changing depending on what the farm is currently harvesting.

Some CSAs will deliver the box straight to your door—a huge benefit for seniors who have transportation issues—while others will let you come to the farm and pick out the mix of whatever’s available that best suits your needs.

A CSA usually provides food at a cost far lower  than  the  grocery store.  Prices  vary by

location, share size, and harvest season length, but yearly memberships tend to cost between $400 and $700, according to

It is important to note that participating in a CSA does come with some caveats.

First, you take on a degree of risk—the size of your share is dependent on the farm’s harvest, so you may receive more food in a strong growing season and less in a weak growing season. Second, you don’t get to choose which products you receive each week since your delivery is made up of the current harvest, but that may not pose much of an issue for seniors who enjoy fresh local produce and are accustomed to building great recipes out of whatever’s in season. Third, you still may have to head to the grocery store, at least sometimes, to supplement your CSA share.

If you’re interested in finding a CSA near you, one useful resource is the website Local Harvest ( The site includes a tool for finding a CSA near you. It also includes tips on how to choose a CSA, questions to ask a farmer before joining their CSA, and tips on how to take the best advantage of a CSA program.