Sunday, July 1, 2012

Make My LIfe Easier Monday - Bountiful Baskets

GUYS!  Guys, guys, guys... I founds something not only economical, but yummy too.  What is better than that, I ask you?  Before you get too excited, understand that this is yummy in the good for you sense, not in the cupcake-with-frosting-that-is-120%-butter-and-dripping-with-caramel yummy.  That will be another day.

But I tried something on Saturday that I have never tried before... a food co-op.  And it's kind of all over the place.  Meaning in several states.  Meaning you might be able to try it too.  It saved me money and time last week, but you will have to decide if it's worth it for you in those departments.  It's called Bountiful Baskets, and it's my new best friend.  For today, anyway.

Here is how it works:  Go to the Bountiful Baskets website, and set yourself up with a free account.   Then on Mondays, you log on and buy your baskets.  For $15 you get a fruit basket and a veggie basket, and what you might get in each one each week is a surprise.  Kind of like Christmas, but with perishables.  The downside to that is that you don't ever know what you will be working with for the week.  But the upside is that I am being introduced to vegetables that I might not otherwise buy, and am learning new and semi exciting things to make with them.  I say semi exciting because, really, I'm pretty sure it's only exciting if you don't get out much.

But regardless, I am excited.

Then you go on the specified day, show up at the specified time, at the specified place, and pick up your baskets of goodies!

Now, when I say you get a basket of fruit and a basket of vegetables, think round, white, plastic laundry basket.  Then wipe that "ewwww" look off your face, because I am reasonably certain that the baskets have never held actual laundry.  Just produce.  And they are each about 3/4 of the way full.  And you get all of it for $15!  How great is that?!

Now for a visual.  Here is a poorly taken iPhone photo of everything that I got on Saturday:

Here is the list:

  1 Bunch of Celery
  1 Butternut Squash
  1 Basket of Grape Tomatoes
  3 Onions
  4 Bananas
  1 Cantalope
  3 Green Bell Peppers
  1 Head of Romaine Lettuce
  Approximately 3 lbs Cherries
  Approximately 2 lbs Green Grapes
  4 Mangoes

Around here, just the cherries, grapes and a couple of the mangoes would have cost me $15!  So I feel like I pretty much scored.

Then, they have extras that you can buy in addition to the fruit and veggie baskets.  This week it was mangoes.  I got 9 HUGE, ripe organic mangoes (in addition to the mangoes that came in my fruit basket) for $9.  Here they are:

We love mangoes, so those will get chopped up and some will get eaten, while the rest gets frozen for smoothies or frozen fruit treats.  YUM!

But my husband's cousin's sister-in-law's niece (just kidding.  It was just my friend across town) told me that two weeks ago the extra fruit was cherries, and she got something like six 2 lb bags of cherries for $10!  And the week before that it was blueberries, same amounts!  CRAZY.

Also, maybe keep in mind that my memory is notoriously poor, so the quantities she told me may vary a bit, but it was roughly that amazing.  

They also have bread specials, tortilla specials, and other things, but this was all I got this week.  I'll let you know what next week's basket brings!

Now, to answer the questions that I know you have, because I had them too:

1.  Yes, the $15 is for both baskets.  $15 total, not $15 per basket.

2.  Yes, there is an option to get all organic produce, but it costs a bit more.  And I am cheap.  Which is to say that I didn't try it this week.

3.  Yes, this happens every week.  You don't have to participate every week, but it is there if you need it.

4.  Yes, you can buy more than one.  If you are feeding a small army, as many families in my area are, you can get up to three.

Give me a shout if you have other questions.  Or if you just want to say hi.  I'm good for that too.

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