Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bountiful Baskets (of produce)

Bountiful Baskets is a co-op that offers fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, as well as "specials" that vary by season. We have participated a couple of times and love it. The first time, however, I goofed and bought a basket ($15 for conventional- which we did the first time but now we do the $25 organic) AND an optional $5 fruit salad basket. We received all of this: for $20 (plus an extra $3 since it was our first time).

The result was:
-3 heads of spinach
-a head of Kale? (or some sort of lettuce...)
-3 bundles of celery
-2 yellow peppers
-9 pears
-1 cantelope
-6 apples
-5 peaches
-3 artichokes
-7 bananas
-18 little tomatoes
-4 yellow tomatoes (not sure what they are..)

and for our added-on fruit salad basket:
-huge bag of grapes
-1 watermelon
-huge case of strawberries
-huge case of blueberries

Luckily Charles had a birthday party that day so we made some fruit salad & served some vegetables. The produce lasts.... if you take good care of it & store it properly. It is always extremely fresh because the group of participants all purchase fruit/vegetables in bulk from the distributor. This means that we get it before the grocery store and therefore get super fresh produce at the cost that grocery stores do. And you don't have to pay anything (besides a $1 in handling) because it's a bunch of volunteers that put on the show. You pick your purchases up on the Saturday that you select. It's generally around 7 or 8 in the morning (since heats a huge factor here) and it's wise to bring either a laundry basket or a ton of reusable shopping bags. You do not get to chose what is in the general basket but I've also seen crates of tomatoes, loafs of bread (the $10 for 5 loafs of honey wheat is supposedly amazing... it's bakery style!), grass fed beef, Italian produce baskets, fruit salad baskets (like what I received), summer fruit baskets (pineapple, coconut, etc.) for sale. It's an awesome deal and if your family is small (like mine.... it consists of mommy, daddy & toddler), I would suggest splitting it. This coming Saturday, we are splitting the basket with my mom. I'm curious to see how this goes!!
You can find more information about the one that I participate through here.
You can also check here if you don't live in Arizona or Utah. I would also suggest googling your state/city & the words "produce co op" together and see what pops up.

Happy Savings!!

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