Friday, April 26, 2013

Frugal Floozie Friday - The People's Food Co-op

It's Ann Arbor Veg Week, so it made perfect sense to feature The People's Food Co-op today. It's an Ann Arbor institution which offers many creative and delicious vegetarian and vegan options both for dining in and for take-out. There are so many, many ways to eat well here while staying within our mandatory Frugal Floozie Friday budget of $5 per person.

As pictured above, there is an entire array of salads, vegetables, pastas, and other dishes to choose from, all charged by the pound so you can select smaller or larger servings and prices to suit your appetite and/or your finances.

I picked one of my favorites, the Sesame Cashew Noodles that are cooked perfectly and offer great spicy flavor, paying only $2.66 for this generous serving. Since the Co-op is part grocery store, part buffet, part deli, and part coffee shop (Cafe Verde), I was able to wander to the produce section and select a lovely organic Braeburn apple to complement my entree; it cost 80 cents. The miniature chocolate bars normally cost $1.29, which would have taken my total to $4.75 if I'd been shopping at a different time; but I happened to be at the Co-op on a day when the treats were on a 2-for-1 sale, which made this an even better deal! So I was able to purchase a nutritious, wholesome meal for a quick take-out - and even a luxurious dessert - and still stay within our limited budget.

You could also choose potato chips, available for only 99 cents; and Blue Sky sodas, if you want something to drink besides water, cost 79 cents. A large bowl of soup can be enjoyed for only $3.99, or a cup costs $2.75. Large handmade cookies tempt you for only $1.99. There are countless ways to mix 'n' match a meal for $5 or less.

The co-op offers Fair Trade, organic, and locally-sourced items, as well as cooking from scratch; so whatever you choose will not only taste good but do good, as well.

Cafe Verde, the coffee shop connected to the co-op, offers coffees, teas, juices, and a beautiful assortment of baked goods and pastries for varying prices. If you're looking just for a luscious treat - particularly if you are on any sort of restricted diet (vegan, gluten-free, allergies, etc.), you will likely be able to find an option. The co-op is very careful and conscientious about its ingredients and about everything it sells. (And when it's not Veg Week, feel free to choose some of the meat-based selections, as well.)

At any time, The People's Food Co-op can be a wonderful local resource for good food and good prices.

The People's Food Co-op
216 N. Fourth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Food Bar:
Salad & Soups: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily
Hot Bar: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. weekends

Cafe Verde:
Monday - Saturday: 7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

View Larger Map

Cafe Verde on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

We had a food co-op that was right down the road from where I work, but they closed it. It was sad to see actually. They have another one but it's about 40 minutes away from me. Great finds.. and lovin' that chocolate bar :)

Cranberry Morning said...

I would love to eat there, especially if they have a GF dish available. We have one nearby (relatively) in Menomonie that has a little restaurant attached with daily dish specials. And that chocolate looks wonderful. :-)

Chris said...

I've never been in a food co-op before. The co-ops that I'm used to deal with feed, seed, and equipment. I guess those were food related in the long run, lol.

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