|Not my pic, but gives you an idea of what to expect.|
Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op (and it's so awesome I feel like I must sing its praises from the rooftops.) How it works is you pay you $15 (plus $1.50 handling fee and $3 basket fee if it is your first time) on Monday evening/Tuesday morning online and then pick up your produce Saturday morning at the specified time. (What time you pick it up depends on your location.) For your $16.50 you get one small laundry basket of fruits and one small laundry basket of veggies. What you get is a surprise, but we love the surprise and the variety. It gets us to try new things and really makes it easier for us to get more fresh produce into our diet, not to mention it saves a lot of money. And if you are more than 20 minutes late, your produce is donated to a shelter.
Here's what we got last Saturday: 1 pineapple, 1 small container of blackberries, several apples, several asian pears, 2 bunches of bananas, one cantaloupe, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, 1 bunch of celery, 1 spaghetti squash, 3 yellow squash and 4 tomatoes. I dare you to find that much produce for that price. (I would have taken a picture, but by the time I got home from work, several items had already been eaten. :D)The only item I wouldn't have readily bought was the spaghetti squash. I've never tried it or been interested in trying it. But we baked it, pulled out the insides, mixed in garlic, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan and it was delicious! It was like pasta, but tastier.
Other bonus things that I have gotten from Bountiful Baskets: the Mexican pack- fresh cilantro, mexican squash, avocados, green onions, various chiles, garlic, tomatillos, limes and yellow onions, ($7.50, we love this at our house), the Italian pack- fresh rosemary, basil, thyme, Italian parsley and other herbs, eggplant, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes (also $7.50 another winner, except for the eggplant), Ciabatta bread- five loaves for $10, (I was amazed, but we went through all of these in a week) and Tortilla pack- a whole lot of tortillas for $10 and they were better quality than the ones I generally get. Other bonus items that I've seen and not tried, Honey Crisp apple case (still kicking myself for not getting them), Peaches by the case, gingerbread house kit, large bag of Green Chiles, pumpkins, chili bread, pumpkin bread, cookies, cookie decorating kits, granola bars, granola, pickling cucumbers, tomatoes and corn. And every other week you can get your basket in the organic variety for $10 extra.
Bountiful Baskets are available in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. If you live in any of these states, I highly recommend that you check and see if there is a location near you.
I was hesitant about trying this at first because I didn't think my family would eat most of it and I thought too much would go to waste. I will say that there have been items that we got that I just tossed because life was busy and I couldn't get to doing something with it before it went bad, however overall it has been a fantastic experience and very cost effective. And if you feel like it is too much for your family size, try splitting it with a friend or neighbor. Oh, and make sure you bring your own basket/box/bag to carry your produce home in.
(Note, I am in no way being compensated for writing this, I just think that it is something that makes my life better and is worth sharing.)