Money Mondays: Save on your grocery bills

By Liz Hurley - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - What if we told you of a way to cut your grocery bills in half, not just for the summer, but year round?

Would you believe us?

WAFF 48 News spent one Saturday morning learning about a program that's really taking flight.

On the last Saturday of the month a loading dock is a flurry of activity.

Before dawn, before the bees buzz and the chickens rise, Fran Fleuler's army of volunteers is preparing to feed thousands through the Angel Food Network.

The Angel Food Network is a no-fee membership program that buys food in bulk nationally but sells regionally in smaller, affordable sizes.

Anyone can belong and save half the money on their meals.

"This is good food. This is not government commodity 57. It's all name brand like Tyson chicken, the stuff you'd buy at Publix, Wal-Mart, and Kroger," said Fleuler.

"There's my wife, myself and 3 children and we save approximately 600 dollars a year over the last 3 years," said angel food participant Bob Wilke.

The Huntsville warehouse is the main hub for north Alabama and southern Tennessee.

From here, boxes of food staples, fresh fruits and veggies along with frozen meats and seafood, are distributed to the masses through 22 churches.

The process is simple, you place your order from a master list mid-month, and at the end of the month volunteers put your order together.

Then you pick it up at a church close to home.

"So it's a real economic thing you can do for your own budget. But also time (saving). You pull up. You grab it. They load it in your car, and you drive off," said Flueler.

Not before you get a prayer with your pizza.

For Danyel Smith, Angel food is a Godsend. It takes cash and food stamps.

She's a single mom with 3 children who works full time as a lunchroom lady.

"If I went to the grocery store and bought what I bought here, it would be 2 times more than what I get here," said Smith.

Angel food helps the poor and the prosperous.

Income levels don't matter here.

"It blesses my heart to see all different economic levels get blessed at the same time all driving in for the same purpose all going out for the same purpose. It rocks me," said Flueler.

The more people who participate each month, the less each individual or family pays.

"One box will feed a single person for a whole month. They've just got to buy milk and bread," said Flueler. "If you are struggling working a job and all the things have gone up in your life except for your salary, this is a blessing. You can't help but be euphoric and be excited."

Argie Flora is excited, she's on a budget and can order a box of 10 nutritious frozen dinners plus cookies for 28 dollars.

"I think it's wonderful. It's a blessing . It is to me," said Argie Flora.

It's a meal and a prayer for shut-ins, and something special not only for the stomach but also the soul.

If you want to save money on your must place you order by Friday, May 15th.

Pick up is Saturday morning, May 30th. The box that feeds one person for a month and 4 people for a week costs 30 dollars.

To find out more about the Angel Food Network, click here.

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