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Student living paycheck to paycheck shares a hack to get groceries for ridiculously low prices: 'You've convinced me'

"Thank you for this PSA!"

“Thank you for this PSA!"

Photo Credit: @yeleeestear / TikTok

Every college student or young adult knows the experience of watching your grocery bills rise and rise. One student is taking to TikTok to show how folks can get fresh groceries for less. 

The scoop

TikToker Yel (@yeleeestear) shared a video of the big box of produce she got for $40 with her followers. 

The TikToker explained how she set a $20 per week budget for Farmers Pick. The company sends her a box of fresh produce that is otherwise not properly sized or perfect for grocery stores. Her box, which she shows in the video, was full of several types of potatoes, strawberries, garlic, ginger, apples, leeks, and more. 

@yeleeestear i thought more people should know about this, a way to reduce food waste & hopefully help with the cost of living atm 🥵🙃 #fyp #studenthack #foodwaste #groceryhack #farmerspick @Farmers Pick ♬ original sound - yel‼️

She goes on to note that the company sends boxes straight to her door, and her box lasts about two weeks. "Doing this has made a tremendous amount of difference to my bank account and my diet, all while reducing my waste footprint," she explains. 

Farmers Pick is an Australian company that does not deliver outside of the island, but cash-strapped U.S. shoppers can subscribe to other imperfect food programs, like Misfit Market. Some of these companies will also ship other food items that aren't produce, making it a one-stop shop. 

How it's helping

This TikTok video shows a potential solution for two problems: expensive produce and food waste. According to information from the Government Accountability Office, grocery prices increased by 11% between 2021 and 2022 as the result of pandemic-era supply chain disruptions, high labor costs, and diseases like avian influenza. This shift has led to shoppers looking for more affordable options for their kitchen staples.

Companies like Misfit Market and Farmers Pick divert food that would be thrown away into the hands (and mouths) of people who want it. The user notes in the video that she was skeptical of the program at first because she was curious as to why supermarkets wouldn't want to sell the produce, considering that none of it is spoiled or dented.

The reality is that produce accounts for a majority of the 10.1 million tons of food thrown away at farms — all because grocers and consumers want all of their produce to be indistinguishable. The leftover food is disposed of in landfills, where it emits planet-warming methane gas. And all the energy, fertilizers, and air pollution that went into growing that produce is useless.

What everyone's saying

Australian users in the comments section loved this hack. "You've convinced me," one user wrote. 

"Thank you for this PSA! I need more veg in my diet so desperately but it can be so costly to buy," another commenter noted. 

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