• How to save on produce: Try Bountiful Baskets!

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    So I am not going to lie, it has taken me a good year to write this post!  Kizzie if you are reading this you are probably laughing at me.   Many people ask me how to save on produce and healthy food items. We do get our occasional coupon, there are some great deals at grocery stores and farmers markets are awesome, but seasonal.  But it’s so nice to get fresh produce in one location and at a great price! So FINALLY,  I am really excited to tell you about Bountiful Baskets!

    Similar to Zaycon foods, Bountiful Baskets is a group of people who work together for a great benefit.  They don’t have any employees and are run strictly by volunteers which gives us amazing deals on produce!   Each basket of Produce is $15 + $1.50 handling fee, or $25.00 for organic.  Plus they have some fun extras.  For example this last week I purchased 38/lbs of Pink Lady Apples for $19.50.  That is only $0.51/lb!

    How exactly does it work?

    On Monday or Tuesday you can head over to Bountifulbaskets.org and place your order for the following Saturday.  I do suggest the earlier the better, because baskets are limited.  Some areas are available weekly and some bi-weekly

    Then you will receive your pick up time and you meet at the location pick up.  Be sure to bring you own basket or bags!

    That’s basically it!  The pick up routine is pretty fast flowing and they are very organized.  The only downside, honestly I don’t think it’s a big deal, is you don’t know what you are getting.  But they do give you pretty equal parts of fruits and veggies.   So once you get your basket on Saturday you an create your meal plan for the week with what you have!   Also they have a great FAQ page you will want to check out!

    So today is Monday so go over to BountifulBaskets.org and check out to see if your area is available

    My Basket Included:

    A Bag of Potatoes
    2 Bundles of Celery
    Bundle Asparagus
    bundle of Broccoli
    4 Onions
    3 large Tomatoes
    5+ Apples
    1/lb Strawberries
    2 Chinese Pears
    Potatoes- in addition to
    Bundle of Radishes
    Romaine Lettuce

    *I might be forgetting something.

    All for $16.50!

    I also purchase the 38/lbs of Apples for an extra $19.50 which I am splitting with a friend.

    Have you tried Bountiful Baskets?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

     

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    Author: amber

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    28 Responses to “How to save on produce: Try Bountiful Baskets!”

    1. Kristina H. says:

      I have gotten some great baskets and a few that were okay. It helps to get there early and pick a good basket. The only real trouble I had was when I ordered an extra when it did not come in, and when I upgraded to organic (which was not available after all). In both instances, The company did not give me credit after asking for MONTHS! My local rep (Spanaway) was very nice, but could not resolve the problems either. I was finally able to get my money back by taking copies of my correspondance to my credit union, but it was a hassle. They dont’ have an F rating with the BBB for no reason. Just be careful and YMMV.

      • Alyssa says:

        I recommend using fullcircle.com. I pay ~28 dollars/week for a basket of organic fruits and veggies and their customer service is AMAZING. I’ve only had a couple of instances where there was a bruised piece of fruit or one missing kiwi, etc. and they ALWAYS credit me the entire amount of that particular item. One time I had a slightly bruised apple and they credited me 3.50 (total amount of all four apples I received (I’m guessing)).

        Cheers,

    2. Kathryn says:

      I’ve bought bountiful baskets about half a dozen times. I was always very happy with the conventional (non-organic) product. It was good quality and felt like a good value. I prefer to buy organic so as soon as it became available in my area, I gave it a try. I wasn’t quite as impressed. The box was considerably smaller. I also received lettuce that was completely infested with aphids and peaches that were covered in mold within a day but still hard as a rock. I purchased organic boxes from full circle farms for over a year and really felt that their quality far exceeded the quality of the bountiful basket but it was about $10 more (including delivered to my door). I think I’ll give bountiful baskets one more try and see if the quality and quantity have improved.

    3. Kayla says:

      We don’t have bountifulbaskets, but I just started getting my organic produce delivered from Klesick Farms. They produce is great quality, delivered every week. You can order their baskets or you can create your own!! I do the create your own and its great!

    4. Sarah G says:

      This week will be our 4th week getting Bountiful Baskets and so far it has been pretty good. The tomatoes haven’t been great but I just can them and use them that way. What we do with leftover veggies at the end of the week or any veggies we don’t normally eat is throw it in with my roast chicken bones and make some good stock. Leftover fruits get juiced. I can see myself not getting it as often though when the weather gets warmer and my own garden takes off again for the summer.

    5. Patti says:

      We have been using bountiful for about 18 mos. It has mostly been very good quality, lots of variety, tried new veggies/fruits that we now love. We are eating healthier because the produce is there and available. I do my menu planning for the week after we pick up the basket. Our grocery budget actually dropped after starting with bountiful and we have WAY more produce to choose from. We have not tried the organic baskets.

      The biggest downside for us has been that occasionally (very infrequently) the truck will break down or the roads are bad or whatever and they are late. One time I got tired of waiting and gave my receipt (and name) to a young mother for her to use. Hope she was able to use it!!

      It is a co-op and all volunteer. They ask that you volunteer to help unload the truck and fill the baskets roughly every 7th time you pick up. You get to pick one large fruit or veggie or a a couple small items for doing this, plus you get to choose your basket before they open the lines. I strongly suggest volunteering a few times. It really gives you a better idea of what they do, how they work and an appreciation for what they are doing. Besides I love getting that second pineapple or watermelon!!

    6. lori says:

      I picked up mine this week. I ordered the case of tomatoes. Just finished canning 18 pints of salsa and I still have 10lbs. of tomatoes to go. Trying to decided between just diced or brushetta.

    7. Emily says:

      I love in Oregon in the Portland metro and there are no pick up locations anywhere near me. Bummer.

    8. Rachelle says:

      Also, if you volunteer they let you add an extra item to your basket! So last week I got an extra pineapple and and extra bunch of asparagus for helping out!

    9. Leyah says:

      Amber, I thought I saw you at the Lynnwood pick-up this last week, and I wondered if I’d be seeing a post about Bountiful Baskets this week. :-) I’ve been doing Bountiful Baskets on and off for about two years now. We love it! It forces us to eat more fruit and vegetables because I hate to throw it out when I spent good money on it. Although I must admit, we tossed the radishes from last week. Not a fan. :-) We also love trying new produce that we would never think to pick up at the store. Like oro blancos, kale, and bok choy. We are occasionally frustrated when we have to wait for a late truck, but we just keep our minds open and remember that for such a low price, there are inconveniences we may have to deal with. But overall, we absolutely love it!

    10. Desiree J says:

      I am LOVING this idea!!! Thanks so much for posting, I am trying to get more fresh fruits and veggies in my families diets! I like the element of suprise in not knowing what your going to get!

      • Annette says:

        It’s a hoot…last week we had one chayote squash. We’d never had one before so it prompted an Internet search. We decided to dice it into a salad with tomatoes and olives with vinegar and oil. It’s really like a cucumber with a mild sweet taste.

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    14. Rebecca says:

      Thank-you for sharing about Bountiful Baskets. I got my second basket on Saturday and will start the process to open a site in Bellingham, hopefully by August or September. I have been impressed by the quality of the produce above all. Amazing. They do always say to check your add on stuff to make sure it’s good. If it’s not, then you get a credit on your account. The reason is that when you volunteer, they tell you not to put any produce in a basket that you wouldn’t pay full price for in the store. So even if there is a bad item, it wont end up in your basket. The add ons are not sorted like that.
      I love all of the different things we get to try and we are eating so much more produce. I’ve already lost weight and I didn’t do anything other than adding the produce in.

    15. [...] Sorry this is coming to you late.  Looks like I missed Stephanie’s email this week.  But this meal plan is incredible and I am sure you wills still find it useful.  She plans her meals around the basket she receives from Bountiful Baskets. [...]

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    18. [...] comes up with some great meal plans every week using her produce from Bountiful Basket! Here is what her family will be enjoying this week from the [...]

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    21. [...] 2012in Meal PlansStephanie comes up with some great meal plans every week using her produce from Bountiful Basket! Here is what her family will be enjoying this week from the produceIn the basket: Romaine Lettuce [...]

    22. Annette says:

      Love BB, we sneak bags of potatoes onto neighbors doorsteps. If there is any fruit left over on Friday I put it into the dehydrator and then the cookie jar. You could feed your family on BB and Zycon for $100 a month! Best way to go these days. Also, in the extra themed packs there is often fresh herbs that I clean, dry in dehydrator and pack into my spice jars. So much less than the groceries stores.

    23. Heather says:

      I have been doing BB for almost a year now, have trained to open a new site and am just waiting for the new site to open. There are quirks to anything but overall I love the baskets. More often then not we get about $35-45 worth of produce for $15. Every once in a while a spot check the items versus store prices. The cases of whatever are great.

      I use my dehydrator and freezer for left overs. We have now traveled with dried fruits to snack on. My family now eats 2-3 veggies per dinner and I have a greater variety. We have also received an odd item (like jicama) which prompted the internet search for recipes and new veggie side dishes.

      Every once in a blue moon I will get an odd item that molded quickly… but it is rare. Site coordinators try hard to run smooth and on time.

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