Trying out Bountiful Baskets


I’d been hearing for awhile about the Bountiful Baskets food co-op. For $15 you get a box full of fresh produce, much of which is grown locally or regionally. Each week the selection is different, depending on what the co-op was able to buy for a good price. This past week I ordered the standard $15 basket, plus an additional ‘Mexican’ veggie bundle. With the handling fee, the entire pile of produce above cost me $25 and included:

 

  • 1 head of butter crunch lettuce
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 6 bananas
  • 4 mangoes
  • 4 avocados
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 2.4 lb cherries
  • 1.1 lb grapes
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 5 Anaheim chili peppers
  • 4 jalapenos
  • 4 limes
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • 3.2 lb yellow onions
  • 1 head of garlic

I think I got my money’s worth and am looking forward to using all that yummy produce this week. Have you ordered through Bountiful Baskets?  If so, do you think it is a good value for your money?  Why or why not?

{ 28 Comments }

  1. I haven’t tried it but my Aunt loves it, says it forces her to eat more produce and try new things. I have the perfect recipe for your four liimes, you have just enought to make a keylime pie! :)
    Zest four limes, then juice them to yield 1/2 cup.
    In a mixing bowl beat the zest with four egg yolks.
    Drizzle in one can of sweetened condensed milk and the juice.
    Allow to stand/thicken for 20 minutes.
    You can either bake it in a grahm cracker crust, or just a small pyrex to save some calories (keylime custard). I like to pour individual servings in jam jars to keep myself from eating too much at once. ;)
    Bake at 325 for 15minutes. Serve cold, if you can stand to wait that long!

  2. Angela S says:

    We tried it for the first time last week and got the organic basket. I think it was worthwhile. It gave some variety and got some things we don’t normally splurge on like the cherries.

  3. We don’t have BB here (WI) yet, but this year I was able to barter for a free weekly veggie share from a local CSA by offering to be a delivery driver. At the same time I pick up my box, I pick up boxes for about 10 other people and deliver them all to a more central pickup location. Saves the farm a delivery trip, and it gets us about 3/4 bushel of fresh, local, organic produce for free…all for about 10 extra minutes of my time each week. We LOVE the produce, the kids are getting a great education in where their food comes from, it’s worked out great for our budget, and I’m being challenged in the kitchen! So fun!

  4. We have been getting Bountiful Baskets for over three years now and LOVE IT! It’s hard to have a big/plentiful garden here in HOT Southern Utah, so having BB makes it easy and inexpensive to have access to lots of fresh produce. It does challenge us to try new things, and my SIL, stepdad, and I frequently share and trade items. I like that our food dollars are going to support smaller growers, and that we are able to spend less in the major chains The quality and variety are always good, and it’s fun to see friends and neighbors at the pick-up location on Saturday mornings – what a great way to build community!

  5. I’ve been participating in Bountiful Baskets for about 4 months now in CO. We are eating better, helping keep our budget in check and it’s fun to try the new-to-us produce we sometimes receive. I have been happy with the quality & quantity of every basket I’ve received, and love the add-ons. In fact, I love it so much I am now a volunteer site coordinator. Welcome to the club!

  6. Melissa F says:

    We have participated in Bountiful Baskets for several years now. I love changing up my menu each week to fit in all the fresh produce. I also order extra seasonal items through the coop several times a year for preserving. I find it to be a great deal, and a good healthy addition to our diet.

  7. I tried it a few times and liked it, but the pickup location was a bit far from me. When I calculated out transportation costs, I decided it was not worthwhile.

  8. I tried it once and wasn’t impressed, but it was still getting established in our community. Now that it’s been here a couple years, it’s become much better. I recently picked up a friend’s basket for her and WAS impressed this time around! I may have to give it a try again.

    Oh…and we got the bread package…SO GOOD. :)

  9. There are several groups that do things like this that I have heard recommended, but unfortunately none of them do business in my state. :( Too bad, I would love to participate.

  10. Stephanie B says:

    :( We don’t have one here. I’d love to do something like this!

  11. Mr friend in AZ just posted about this on FB. I just got on and am surprised that there are no deliveries in any counties near me. Booo. Glad you got it where you are! It looks great!!!

  12. I LOVE it! We are fromn Utah. What I like is that it has challenged us to be more creative with our food on the weeks that we get something we’ve never had before. Generally speaking though it is filled with good quality produce that my family loves. I don’t know if they offer it in your area but I really love their bread. Maybe a little pricey but a nice treat and it freezes well.

  13. Gary Coryer says:

    Alas, no Bountiful Baskets in Vermont. I’ll have to check around to see if there is a similar organization. The local food movement is big here so I bet there is something “Vermont-grown” happening on this front.

    • There is a Boston Organics here in Massachusetts(which tries to source locally as much as possible), but I think Vermont is still too far for them. But, they may know of a sister organization closer to you.
      Hope that helps. Nancy

  14. Oooh, I had never heard of this before! I definitely have to try it sometime! The closest pickup location to me is an hour away, but I have to drive “to town” for all my shopping anyway..

  15. i just ordered my first one, but could not find what was going to be in it!!! It will be a surprise for sure!!! Did you volunteer or just pick up? Will you order from them again?

  16. That is a really, really good deal. I need to look into our local co-op. We have farms that have baskets, but they are usually much higher in price, plus, you often have to sign on for a season for the ones with lower prices.

    Allie
    Learningtobefrugal.com

  17. I have done this a few times. They just got started here in Nebraska, and i have had a few great weeks and a couple of not so great weeks. I am struggling a little to adapt my cooking/thinking to use it up quicker. Because it is fresh produce, it doesn’t last like store stuff does, so lettuce has to be used in a couple of days or it wilts. You know, like garden produce! It has been so good for me to be reminded of the difference between actual fresh food and whatever they do it at the grocery store to make it last so long.

  18. We tried it a couple times in May. While I did enjoy the variety, and how it forced me to try new things, we decided it wasn’t the best deal for us. In a month where we were watching every single penny, we felt like we could get the same weight of fruits and veggies for less money, just by buying basic things that are in season.

  19. This picture reminds me of the piles of produce in those What the World Eats photoessays
    http://naturalsociety.com/amazing-photos-show-what-the-world-really-eats/

    • Jane, I LOVE that book. ‘Material World’ is another incredibly interesting book along those lines, by the same authors.

      Mary

  20. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and actually did a price comparison and wrote up a post about it:
    http://purposelyfrugal.com/2012/06/19/is-bountiful-baskets-really-cheaper/#.T_dvt8CsLpE

  21. At first I thought what a great idea and tried it for a few monthers, but I found that Bountiful baskets is a lot of hype. The food is still shipped, just to the drop off site, not to a store, and someone else does my selection for me. I think it does cost a bit less than at the store, but I am not getting to choose what I want. If I want to try something new, I can get something new from the store. I have had fruit that was bad and things my family just wouldn’t eat, and a family can only eat so much lettuce.

    Shares from local farms are a better option than bountiful baskets, or better yet grow it yourself. I think I am a lot better at choosing the vegetables and quantities my family will eat than someone else.

  22. C and D says:

    We used BB a year ago and then stopped due to quality issues. The fruits were great but the vegitables were either close to or at end of life. We found we were throwing out nearly all the vegitables within three to four days. We tried again these last two weeks to find the veggies are even more bruised, withered or worse. The fruit was still great but when your getting to use half of what your paying for it’s no longer worth it to us. Not to mention it’s not so local anymore. We’ll stay with the farmers markets here in Texas.

  23. BB is a no brainer. The quality has always been top notch. Same amount of food at average grocery store would cost at least 3 times as much.