Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bountiful Baskets

Today I wanted to share a great co-op that I have discovered a few months ago. As some of you may know. I am the one always looking for deals and ways to save money. I clip coupons, shop the ads, etc. So, when I came across Bountiful Baskets I had to check it out. Who would be able to get fresh fruit and veggies for only $15? It was to good to be true!

I set up my account and signed up. Spending my $3 for a first time basket, $1.50 for handling and $15 for my basket of produce. I ordered on a Monday. I got my confirmation email, printed it out and hung it on the fridge as a reminder to pick it up on Saturday at the location specified. I was yet to be impressed. Feeding a Paleo family, can be spendy this time of year because so much produce wasn't in season. My kids loved certain fruits and veggie. I spent at least $50-75 a week on produce alone for the family to eat.

Saturday rolls around and I headed up to the location with my receipt and small little bag to bring my produce back home. I get to my destination and there are several people moving about. In a line, looking at produce in baskets, others 'coordinating' everyone and showing them just where they needed to go and what to do. I get in line and wait my turn. Once up to the front, I get asked my last name (and show my receipt) and to initial. Before I can say anything, she says, 'I see you are new to the co-op so let me explain how it is done.'

She explained that the baskets are lined up in groups of 2, fruits and veggies. Browse the line and pick the pair of baskets that appeals to me. I thought, easy enough. But with if I am to take a pair of baskets, I'm going to need a bigger carrying case! My little bag wasn't nearly big enough for the amount of produce that was divided amongst the baskets. She said not to worry they have extra boxes if needed and to grab one, which I did.

I browsed the produced, each one being equally the same in every basket. I picked the baskets that appealed to me and started to load everything into my box. To my amazement I was finding all sorts of goodies! Bananas, pears, apples, a BAG of oranges, bell peppers, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, butternut squash and butter lettuce. This was unbelievable! So much produce and all I paid was $19.50 after all was said and done?
And it looked amazing!!!  I started thinking... Well, the bunch of asparagus runs about 4.99 a pound at Safeway. The bag of cutie oranges run about 5.99 and the butter head lettuce about 3.99. There was my $15 of produce right there. And look at all the rest that I got! This is awesome!! :)

I am still getting my Bountiful Baskets every week. Sometimes I do the 'add ons' that they offer. Herb packs, Asian theme veggie pack, Thai themed pack, etc. There is always something new and intriguing and well worth the money! And as the weather is now getting warmer and produce prices tend to go down, there seems to be more and more in the baskets. We are seeing broccoli and cauliflower now, Anaheim chilies, avocados and this last week mangos and honeydew. :)

The kids, husband and I have been going up there the last few weeks and actually volunteering during the process. It's been a ton of fun and with volunteering we get to choose and 'extra' fruit or veggie for our services! What is nice about a co-op is there are no employees, it's all a volunteer basis, so therefor all the money that is contributed into the produce for the location, goes right into the location site for the produce. It goes no where else!!

Check it out!! It's amazing and well worth it!

Till next time...

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