If you have never heard of Bountiful Baskets, you are seriously missing out on a good thing. They are a co-op of regular folks whose purchasing power is staggering. They started out as one small location in a neighborhood in Gilbert, AZ and now have locations around the United States.
Each contribution, $15 for a regular produce basket and $25 for an organic produce basket, is placed into the co-op each ordering period. The co-op then purchases for the entire group…this is thousands of people…and together all the produce is purchased directly from the farmers and then distributed. Each person who contributed picks up their produce basket on the pre-arranged day.
This grass roots effort of all volunteers is a powerful undertaking! I’ve been taking part in this co-op for about 6 years and it has grown tremendously.
An example of a basket purchase:
- 3 mangoes
- 8 green apples
- 1 lb. strawberries
- 6 large oranges
- 1 Romaine lettuce
- 1 Beet
- 1 Turnip
- 10 Red Potatoes
- 6 large Tomatoes
Orders are placed every two weeks. Check out their website to see if there is a location near you! If you do not see a site near you, consider starting one of your own.
Grocery Budgeting Tip
We set aside each paycheck a budget for groceries. Our monthly budget is $100 per person, and remember, I have all adult sized people in my house including a 15 year old boy who eats more than an average person while he’s growing.
For us, our budget looks like this:
I set aside that $200 on pay day and only purchase up to that amount. Couponing (newspapers and Coupon Sense) and our Bountiful Basket purchases are also deducted from that budget. I often have money left over and will then use the $10 or so left over to stock-up on other items.
Over time, you can stock-up quite a lot of food and household items. The key is to set a budget, and stick to it! Then, purchase items at their lowest price when on sale and/or has a coupon.