Current Farm Store Hours: Thursdays 3-6p, Fridays 10-3, & Saturdays 10-1. No appointment needed to come in and shop!
Reserve a whole pig for your freezer in the New Year! View available dates here.

Introducing the Edible Savings Account (ESA)

An exciting new opportunity to save money and support your local farm!

We started our Edible Savings Account (ESA) program in August 2018, and with over a year-and-a-half under our belts, are happy to report that it has gone well and we have quite a few happy ESA customers!

What is the ESA?

It's best explained via example: You buy your chosen amount of store credit (example, $300) using a non-plastic method. Before we load that onto your online farm store account, we multiply it by your rewards percentage (in our example, that would be 3%). So you get $309 to spend on any products in our farm shop. Your farmers save on processing fees. You earn extra "meat money" and keep money squirreled away to spend on products that nourish and taste wonderful. Everyone saves money.

The Edible Savings Account is pre-paid store credit that is purchased with a non-credit/debit-card method (to help us save on transaction fees), and the purchaser earns instant cash rewards via percent increase before we add the credit to your account. We've recently expanded it to apply to whatever amount you choose to "put in," to make it more accessible to those who wish to support the farm n this way but who have limited budgets or needs for our products. Now instead of a $250 minimum, you could purchase as little as $100 store credit. As always, there's still no minimum order when you choose to spend your credit*.

You get to choose how to pay, too. Options include check-by-mail, cash-in-person, or free bank-transfer-by-Zelle. We apply it (and your rewards) to your account and you can shop away. If you use up your credit balance on an order, the remainder is charged to your credit card on file (or, if you elect to pick up on farm, you can choose "pay at pickup," and use the payment method of your choice to cover any remaining balance due). 

There are no membership fees, no contracts, no annual commitment. If you don't want to renew, there's no pressure. You can use the balance when you're ready. It's a simple WIN-WIN arrangement between customer and farmer, with no strings attached. Read on for all the particulars.

*With the exception of orders shipped via FedEx. For shipping, we require a minimum order of $120 as of 2/1/2020. But you are most welcome to use your ESA balance to pay for shipped orders over $120!

ESA Benefits

  • Savings! Instead of paying card transaction fees which are built into our product prices, ESA members get "bonus bucks" every time they reload their accounts, which translate to a minimum of 2% off every single purchase... or as much as 5% off, and that's on everything they buy, even already-discounted items!
  • Non-credit-card payments. So many folks prefer not to run a card for groceries, but since we now require pre-payment for off-site pickup orders, this is a non-card option to utilize with our delivery service. Pay by check-by-mail, cash-in-person, or free Zelle bank transfer. By planning ahead, you can pre-load your account by mailing a check (or dropping it in person). If you happen to use a bank that offers Zelle, you can even do an instant transfer for free!
  • Budget. Employ the "envelope system" for groceries. If you're into Dave Ramsey's debt-free lifestyle, you know how hard it can be to operate in a card-centric economy. By pre-loading your meat money onto your account, you know exactly how much you have left to spend on pasture-raised goodies--PLUS you instantly multiply your money at rates much better than a standard savings account or credit card rewards program. Dave would be proud!
  • Back the farm. Help your farmers bear the load of raising the best meats and eggs in East Texas! Just like a "CSA" (Community Supported Agriculture), customers partner with the farmer to fuel the farm operation with some cash up-front to help pay for the feed, packaging, and processing of the products before they reach the end-user (that's you!). This helps bring home the bacon!

ESA Rewards - Choose Your Earnings!

New! We wanted to make our ESA program more inclusive, so instead of starting the benefits at $250, you can choose whatever amount you wish to put in, and you still earn bonus "meat money." Obviously there is a certain threshold of usefulness, so we respectfully request that you consider starting with at least $100 for efficiency's sake.

  • Up to $249 = 2% instant earnings (better than a savings account and most "cash back" rewards programs!)
  • $250-$499 = 3% instant earnings
  • $500-$749 = 4% instant earnings
  • $750-$999 = 4.5% instant earnings
  • $1000+ = 5% instant earnings 

Example: When you send in a check or Zelle payment for $600, you get $624 to spend in the online farm shop. There's no expiration or minimum monthly order commitment. Spend it when you're ready on whatever you like. If you run out, you can send in more, or simply revert back to normal credit card payments for pickup sites.

So, no catch. No minimum orders. No gimmicks. No membership fees. If you know you’ll be shopping with us and want to save a little cash by paying early and supporting farm production by lightening our production cost load, the Edible Savings Account is for you!

Once your ESA balance is loaded, when you’re ready to place your next order, your store credit is automatically applied to your total due. If you go over your credit, your balance is charged to your card on file. And of course if you don’t spend all your credit, the remaining credit stays on your account until you're ready to use it. There are no fees and no expiration. Simple, huh? Just don’t disappear on us! If a long time passes since your last order, we’ll poke you to remind you that you have meat money to use. :-)

Testimonials

I think I was one of the first ones to sign up for the ESA program because it saves me 5%, and I am all about discounts. It turned out to be just plain convenient, so I'm signing up again.
Cynthia S. (Member since 2018)
When I asked Jerica how I could help them avoid those transaction fees that eat away at their profit margin, she told me about the Edible Savings Account. What a great idea... It's convenient for me and helpful for them. I want to do everything I can to help them succeed because I don't know what I'd do without this family and the healthy food they produce!
Nancy V. (Member since 2019)
After finding Shady Grove Ranch and tasting all of their amazing, healthy foods, it just made sense enrolling in the ESA program. I knew I would be making orders pretty consistently and knowing the money is there makes it convenient for me and beneficial for Jerica and Matt.....Win-Win! It’s a great way to support your local farmers. :-)
Lisa C. (Member since 2019)
I'm always looking for a good deal and with the ESA program I can get a 3% savings by putting in $250. I see it as a win/win situation since I can get a discount while helping my awesome farmers save on processing fees.
Peter B. (Member since 2018)
The "Edible Savings Account" at Shady Grove Ranch is a convenient and cost effective way for us to get our meat and eggs every month. It's convenient because I can pay in advance and have that credit balance every time I order. It's like putting my money into a savings account so it's there when I need meat. I love not having the credit card charges and not having to write a check every time I pick up my order. Jerica keeps track of my balance and I can check it any time when I log into my account. When I pay in advance for my meat and eggs, I get a discount, and I know it is cutting down on processing fees and extra paperwork for SGR and me. It's great having an Edible Saving's Account! I'm going to spend my money on food anyway so if this helps SGR and gives me a discount and makes it more convenient for me, it's a win win.
April N. (Member since 2016 under the "Kickstarter" program)
Beneficial in budgeting. I have built up a credit balance so that in months such as December I am able to make my order without expending cash for that month. I can also use it to purchase gifts during the holidays.
Cindy H. (Member since 2018)

ESA FAQ

When will I start seeing discounted prices in the online store?

The ESA is actually simpler than that. Rather than having to maintain two price levels for our customers, we apply the "discount" up front by multiplying your money before you even spend it. That way, even if you use up your ESA balance, you never lost access to the savings it earned for you. And there's no burden of having to enroll or cancel. You can just use the ESA program when it works for you, and choose not to reload your account if it's no longer a good fit. 

Why is the system still asking for a credit card even though I have an ESA credit balance?

All online orders placed for off-farm pickup points and home delivery will require a valid credit card when the order is submitted, even if you have an ESA balance. This is in case your order goes over the total of credit you have on file, but our system always uses all the ESA credit first. Your card will be charged only if your existing credit is not enough to cover the total, and then it would only be for what is needed after the credit is used. That means you can edit or cancel your order all the way up to the deadline, and your card will not be charged until after the deadline passes and any credit will remain intact unless your order is actually fulfilled.

On-farm pickups do not require credit card information at all if you choose "Pay at Pickup," so farm pickup is a good option for folks who are totally card-free. Rest assured, though, our ordering site is powered by Stripe, a reputable and secure online merchant service. 

Do I have to be in the ESA to purchase from you?

No! We typically have around a dozen or two folks enrolled at any given time. It's just a special perks program for folks who know they'll be buying with us regularly and want to save some money by helping us save some money. Regular credit-card payments are perfectly fine and the norm for 95% of our customers. The ESA is just a fun bonus option!

How do I know if all the math is correct?

We use a two-part accounting system to make sure that credits are tracked accurately. We have the online store, which is where you can see your current credit balance, and we use a robust accounting software to track all payments and invoices, which serves as a double-check of all transactions. Plus Jerica has a particular affinity for math, so that helps. :-)

How did you think up the idea for the ESA?

It all started when we chose to begin requiring credit card payment at drops for these reasons:

  • More efficient, safer deliveries.
  • Reduced errors and confusion regarding payment amounts.
  • More time chatting with you and answering questions during drops, instead of having to handle money.

But we didn't especially like the idea of paying credit card transaction fees on every. single. purchase, and neither did many of our customers.

So we came up with this purchasing option that would give us and our customers all sorts of advantages. It's a really simple, voluntary payment option that circumvents the need to pay credit card fees and helps support farm production by "prepaying" for farm products.

How to Check Your ESA Balance

You have 24-hour access to your ESA balance amount. You can find it by logging in to your account and clicking on your Profile. The Store Credit is listed right there, and is automatically applied to any orders you place. 



Your ESA balance will automatically be applied to your order total, and any remaining credit will stay in your account balance until you're ready to use it. If you have enough credit to cover your current order, your card will not be charged.



 


When to Send ESA Payments

To use the ESA program, you will need to send your payment in early enough for us to process and clear it—a minimum of a week before the drop when you intend to use it. If you’re running a little behind when an order deadline is approaching, no worries—just pay with credit card online and drop a check off when you pick up your order. We’ll get your balance set up before the next round. You do NOT have to wait until you use up your previous credit to send in a new one. We'll multiply it as usual before adding it to your account.

Zelle is a fabulous way to get money to us because it's just about instantaneous, and many banks now offer it, totally free. Just use our business email: Jerica@ShadyGroveRanch.net. It helps if you fill out the form below to let us know it's coming, in case your banking name is different than your account name. 

Checks via mail or hand-delivery at drop point are strongly preferred over cash, so we do not have to carry a lot of cash at deliveries. Please do NOT mail cash. You can start any time!

How to Start Your ESA


Below is a simple little form you can submit when you are ready to send in your Edible Savings Account payment. It lets us know to be watching for your payment and helps us make sure your money makes it to your account correctly. When we receive your check and apply your credit, we’ll notify you by email. If you prefer to print and complete a paper form to enclose with your check, please use this printer-friendly payment submission form. There is no need to do both forms.

We are excited about this new program and the possibilities it offers to streamline our work and reward our customers for their continued patronage. Thanks for considering partnering with us in this way!