Cutting My Produce Bill With Bountiful BasketsSaturday, September 8, 2012 17:34
Lousy produce prices are probably my only complaint about living “in the middle of nowhere”. Well, that and not being able to get a Whopper at 2am, but in reality that’s probably a good thing.
Before moving up here, we heard about Bountiful Baskets from several different families in the area. I planned on trying it as soon as we were settled, and we were actually given a box as a welcome gift before I managed to get the whole thing figured out. Basically, Bountiful Baskets is a co-op that pools the money from participants to place bulk buys on produce and other staples like cases of canning vegetable, breads, oils, rice and beans. A conventional basket of produce costs $15, and organic boxes are $25. There is a $3.00 charge the first time you place an order, to cover things like the baskets produce is sorted into, and there is a $1.50 processing fee each time you participate. Items available for the week are posted every Monday, and pick up times vary by location.
So, assuming you make a contribution for one basket, what do you get for your $16.50? Well, it varies, but this is what was in my box this week.
- yellow plums
- leaf lettuce
- sweet corn
I’ve been torn about the value of the baskets I’ve received, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t really do better at stores within 30 miles of here. Back in Colorado, I’d definitely be better off shopping sales at Sprouts, but around here I can’t count on one hand the number of time I’ve found fruit other than bananas for less than $1 per pound. Buying the baskets gives us a good variety of produce each week for a fair price.
I also picked up a case of bartlett pears this week. At around 63 cents a pound, they were less than half of the best price I’ve seen for pears locally. I’ll be back tomorrow to share my meal ideas for using up my produce box, and how ‘ll be using up all these pears!