I’ve mentioned Bountiful Baskets a couple of times now. They are a food co-op made up of people like you and me. You can get baskets of fruit and vegetables, either 100% organic or not, it’s up to you. In addition, they offer breads and other specialty items.
There are offerings in 20 different states, mostly in the Western half of the U.S. Not every city in every participating state has deliveries. However, some of the larger cities have multiple pick up points. If there isn’t a location close to you, you may want to start one!
You see, all of the sites are run by volunteers. Volunteers unload the delivery, sort the yummies into baskets (one fruit and one veg basket per order.) Volunteers monitor the pick up and help newbies if they need it. Volunteering is GOOD because you get to do something worth while, get some exercise, meet new people, and sometimes even get some “extras”!
The cost of participation is nothing… unless you want baskets for a certain week. In other words, there is no weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly fee. It’s a pay-as-you-go system. By pooling resources and using a volunteer system, you get fresh, healthy food at really reasonable prices.
The basic baskets are designed to serve the needs of a family of 4 for one week. Since there are only two of us, we usually get an order every two weeks. DH volunteers those weeks, so we often end up with some extras, too.
You don’t know exactly what you are going to get (unless you’ve added some specialty item to your total) which is fine with us. One advantage is that you will end up eating a wider variety of produce, and try new things that you might not have considered!
Last Saturday our Vegetable Basket contained spaghetti squash, potatoes, cucumber, white mushrooms and green leaf lettuce. We ended up with 4 extra spaghetti squash (not shown in image.) The total veggie weight was about 16 lbs.
Our Fruit basket contained green grapes, bananas, watermelon, plums and apricots. We ended up with an extra pineapple, more grapes and apricots (not shown here). The total fruit weight was about 19.5 lbs.
That’s about 35 lbs of good eating for $16.50 and a couple of hours of work early on a Saturday morning! How often can you get fresh produce at fifty cents a pound?
If you take the 100% organic option, you actually get a box, not baskets. Last Saturday, this is what was in them:
This time, one of the extra options was bulk blueberries.
They almost always have things like bread, tortillas, and granola and they often have things like bulk vegetables, fruit or organic olive oil.
If you have a freezer, it’s wonderful to be able to fill it with extras. Our latest adventure was 15 lbs of organic green beans which we blanched and divided into meal-sized containers for the freezer. We will have great green beans all summer!
Since I am unable to have a garden at the moment, Bountiful Baskets has been fabulous. I’m able to have a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in my diet, I save money, and I’ve learned to prep, cook and eat new things. I would have to say it’s made a huge impact in my life.
Note: If Bountiful Baskets isn’t available where you live another option for you might be Green Polkadot Box. If that isn’t quite what need, or you want additional options, you can go to Eat Well Guides and get a list of places to eat and shop, including farmer’s markets, CSAs, and other options in your area.