Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

My good friend from high school Chantelle Ray turned me on to the greatest thing ever! We all know its important to eat fruit and veggies but as a mom, sometimes I feel like my entire food budget goes to produce. The solution: Bountiful Baskets

Chantelle is uterlly amazing to me and she wrote up some information about this program and how it has made a difference in her family's life. 

Have you heard the news?  The USDA has changed the Food Pyramid to a Food Plate.  It’s a great visual and so incredibly easy to teach your children.  ½ of your plate should be filled with fruits and veggies, ¼ with whole grains and ¼ with low fat protein.  Then add a little dairy on the side.  Easy enough to follow…unless your monthly food budget is tiny.  A few weeks ago a good friend of mine was annoyed that her hubby had dropped her weekly budget.  How could he expect her to ONLY use $150 last week and $200 this week?!?!  I didn’t tell her that her weekly budget was pretty close to my monthly budget.  Because of this, we lived on lots of cheap, unhealthy processed and caned foods.  There was absolutely NO WAY that we could ever use the Food Plate as a guide.

Here is what I got in my first basket. All this for $15? Somebody pinch me!
Back in November a good friend introduced us to Bountiful Baskets and it has completely changed things in our house.  Bountiful Baskets is a produce co-op that brings together the purchasing power of over 15,000 people in 11 states each week. For a contribution of $15 we get a TON of fresh fruits & vegetables.  This co-op changed the way our family eats and we fell in love with it immediately!  Bountiful Baskets has made healthy eating affordable for our family.  Now it’s a piece of cake (heehee) to follow that Food Plate.

Our eating habit is not the only way Bountiful Baskets has changed our lives. We have been blessed by this co-op so much that I wanted to share it with others. I also want to teach my children the value of service and the importance of making good food choices.  BB is an amazing way to do all of this.  It’s run completely by volunteers.  Even the 2 ladies who started the co-op and work a crazy number of hours on it don’t make a penny. So, I got trained, found a site and opened a new drop off location.

Here’s how it works:  On Monday morning each week, people make their contributions online at  A conventional basket is $15, an organic basket is $25 and there are usually 5 or 6 other items you can purchase if you want.  The “add ons” change each week, but you can get things like 9 grain bread, a “tropical pack,” “Mexi pack” or a case of apples.   

Then we wait until Saturday morning.  Under the direction of a Volunteer Site Coordinator a few participants meet the trucks arriving at their pickup location and help unload and distribute the produce evenly into 2 baskets for each participant - one for fruits and one for veggies. About an hour after the truck drop time the rest of the participants show up to get their baskets transferring their share of the food into their own basket or bag and take it home to enjoy.   

My kids LOVE helping with the distribution. They're not old enough to handle the produce, but there's plenty of other things for them to do. One week during my training the boys were busy crushing boxes... but took plenty of time to play in them as well. (We all know boxes make the best cars and planes and trains.)  I love that it’s teaching them service and the value of helping our community.

These are Chantelle's little cuties. Aren't they adorable? I think so!!
Also, BB has changed one of their policies and we wanted to make you aware of it:

"We thank you all for participating in Bountiful Baskets. With the recent growth of the co-op we are now requiring that you provide a printed confirmation or have an electronic copy of your confirmation number before we can allow you to get your produce and extras. We realize some of you may not have brought your confirmations today. We understand and can be more understanding while we implement this new policy but next week we won't be able to release produce or extras without a confirmation number. Thank you for your understanding. This is to protect you and the co-op from any problems and helps us better resolve any possible issues."

To read how BB has changed other people’s lives, go to this post on facebook – prepare to be amazed!

If you want more information, check out the website and click on New Participants.

Here’s to happy, healthy eating!

Thanks Chantelle! I have used BB for a few weeks now and it has been wonderful. The savings are amazing and the produce is a good quality. Have you used BB? What are your thoughts?


  1. Just have to add one little thought... a few weeks ago I took a list of the great produce I got in my basket to my local grocery store. It would have cost me a whopping $46 plus tax!!! I only paid $16.50 (this includes a little processing fee)! AMAZING!

  2. My mom just got her first basket on saturday, and I can't wait until I'm home to do it too!