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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bountiful Basket

 Have you looked into food co-ops? If you haven't you might want to. Here is how they work. There is an organizer of the food co-op who purchases large amounts of food from a distributor at the low prices grocery stores and restaurants are buying at. Then you can purchase a share of the food and pick it up on the specified day. The prices are very low since the middle man (grocery store) is getting cut out of the equation.  I have been participating in the Bountiful Basket food co-op for the last 3 weeks. The picture above is what we relieved for just $15. When Michael and I priced it out, according to the very best prices at the grocery store, we figured we saved about $25. Not bad! Here is what we got:

2 bunches of asparagus
1 bunch of celery
2 heads of lettuce
2 bunches of green onions
1 head orange cauliflower
3 lbs of tomatoes
3.3 lbs of bananas
2 mangos
1 lb strawberries
8 oz. kumquats
2 lbs of apples

This last week we got even more produce than pictured above, still for the same $15 price, it has been just a little different each week. The Bountiful Basket is available in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, and Utah. Their website is terrible, but should be updated in the next few weeks. It is also VERY popular and sells out fast. I set my alarm clock so I don't forget to log on 15 mins. early.  Since I started getting the Bountiful Basket, I have found out about 2 other food co-ops very similar to this, I will be trying them out, one of them offers meat. So, if you don't live where the Bountiful Basket it is available, do a search to see if you can find something similar in your area.

There are some disadvantages to a co-op like this. You don't know what you are going to get. We have to wait until Saturday morning to plan our grocery list and menu for the week. Not knowing what you are going to get does help us eat produce we may not have chosen for the week, and has gotten us to try new things. The produce is not locally grown, so we aren't supporting our local farmers. Here in Utah there isn't much growing in the winter anyways, but come summer, we will be shopping our farmers markets and eating out of our garden. 

Here is the line, see all those people prepared with their basket? I forgot to bring a basket, luckily there was a good samaritan in the line that gave me a box. 

Come looking your best, because their are cute babes in the line. 

 And beware of the weird homeschool kids with boxes on their heads!
 (Reece was blocking the sun glare with the box so he could play his Nintendo DS) 

It makes it so easy to eat healthy when there is so many healthy options in our home, especially when it is so inexpensive. I was worried I wouldn't even get a picture taken of all the produce because the kids were eating it so fast.


Lindsay Burden said...

I have been participating in the Bountiful Baskets co-op in Las Vegas for a couple months now. They recently added the organic option to one of our sites too. We LOVE it! It's so fun to see what will be in the basket each week, and it's really getting us to branch out and try new foods.

Suzanne said...

My friend Kristen is selling beef that they have raised on their property. All organic baby and locally grown (like down the street from me), call me if you want more details. Price is fairly cheap. -Suzanne

Lindsay said...

Suzanne --I want more details! :) We love bountiful baskets also, it is so wonderful to afford things we never would have otherwise! Please keep us updated on the other co-ops!


Lindsay said...

You have beautiful children!

Christy said...

My husband and I have been enjoying Bountiful Baskets for a few weeks as well. We split it with my dad since there are only 2 of us. We tried the Green Bee co-op but we were not to impressed with them. You get a ton more for your money with Bountiful.

Unknown said...


Green Bee was one I was going to try, now I don't have to. Thanks! I kind of figured it wouldn't be as good, it looked like it is supposed to be used as a fundraiser. So someone else is getting a cut of the money.

jim said...

check out cross roads urban co-op. https://foodco-op.net/ it is my favorite one but it is only once a month but not as hard to get into and order as it is for bountiful baskets.

I also didn't like green bee very much. I priced it out and I'm not sure I actually saved any money. I got less food and it cost more. Bountiful priced out around half price from the grocery store and better quality produce as well.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jim,

That was actually the other one I was going to try out. Have you tried the meat?

Katie said...

What prices are you using? Going through the list and using recent sale prices, I'm calculating a savings of about $10. $10 is $10 though!!

These are prices that I've seen at Macey's/Sunflower Market in Provo in the last 2-3 weeks (rounded up to cover tax):
2 bunches of asparagus ($1.5/lb = $3)
1 bunch of celery ($1/ea = $1)
2 heads of lettuce ($1/ea = $2)
2 bunches of green onions ($0.50/ea = $1)
1 head orange cauliflower ($3??)
3 lbs of tomatoes ($1.50/ea = $4.50)
3.3 lbs of bananas ($.60/lb = $2)
2 mangos ($1/ea = $2)
1 lb strawberries ($1/lb = $1)
8 oz. kumquats ($3??)
2 lbs of apples ($1/lb = $2)
Total = $24.50 (guessing on the kumquats and cauliflower)




(The SF Market links will only be valid today -- they change on Thursdays.)

Unknown said...


The picture and produce list was from a basket 3 1/2 weeks ago, the basket last week was much bigger because prices on produce have gone down. 3 weeks ago, tomatoes were almost $3 per pound and strawberries were $3.50 per pound. But like you said, regardless, $10 savings is $10 savings.

Katie said...

That makes sense -- 3 weeks can make a huge difference this time of year!

Jade said...

Hey Marissa. I've been in a produce co-op for a couple of years with people in our neighborhood. We take a turn once a year and drive down town to pick up the called in order and then everyone picks up their produce at that persons house. Ours is $12 and I think it's been a great savings and I've always been very impressed with the quality. Just an idea!

Jade said...

also, we get to make requests for what we want for that week since it's just amongst ourselves!

Amanda said...

That is so cool! We recently started a farmer's market in my town...people have talked about doing co-ops. The only problem is finding someone to organize and get it done!

Unknown said...

Amanda, I would love to hear about the process of starting a farmers market!