Monday, September 10, 2012

Bountiful Baskets Breakdown

I should say that I started this post two weeks ago, but then had the whole hard drive crash thing going on and it never got posted. We've had another Bountiful Baskets pick up since I started this post so you're lucking out and getting two breakdowns.

I've been doing Bountiful Baskets for almost a year now and running a site for about 3 months. Oh yeah, did I not mention that I started my own site back in June? That's how much I enjoy participating. For the amount of fruit and veggies you get and for the price you really can't beat it. I love that I get something different each times. Almost every week I get something that I've never used or don't use that often. I've found new favorite recipes and created new dishes. We're expanding the foods we eat because of it.

This is what we got two weeks ago:

#BountifulBasket this week with added fajita veggie pack, tortillas, & tomatoes: 3 green & 3 red bell peppers, 9 hatch chili's, 5 yellow onions, 1 garlic, 5 dried chili's, 13 lbs of tomatoes, 2 bags of cherries, head of romaine, cauliflower, brussel sprou

and a breakdown on the cost from my local grocery store:

Bountiful Baskets1

Regarding the costs:

We only have one grocery store chain here (HEB)unless I go to a Target or Walmart. I really have no idea how prices compare to other national chains.

A typical basket is $15 plus a $1.50 processing fee.

I forgot about the grapefruit I received so their cost is not factored in.

I added on a fajita veggie pack for $5, usually $8.50 but they contain more veggies in those packs. Mine included the 6 bell peppers, garlic and some dried chilis. I didn't price out the chilis at the store. So there is no cost breakdown for those.

I also bought a 25 pound case of tomatoes for $12 that I split with a friend so my cost as $6.

The only other thing I did not include were the 7 dozen organic tortillas. I forgot to check them out in the store and honestly don't know how much an organic tortilla costs. I usually just buy regular ones, but tortillas are so common here they may be priced lower than elsewhere. An organic one though? No idea. I paid $12.50 for 7 dozen which I know is less than what I would usually pay for regular ones.

As a Volunteer Site Coordinator I receive a basket for free. That is my only form of "compensation" for running a site. It's a savings of $15-16.50 a week. If I purchase additional items aside from the traditional basket then I pay for those and the $1.50 processing fee. So last time I had over $42 in savings.

Here are our baskets from this past Saturday:


The veggie basket was overflowing.


Here is the cost break down:

Bountiful Baskets2

So not as much of a savings which sometimes happens, but pretty much every item was also on sale in my grocery store. I didn't purchase any add ons either. Sometimes the veggie packs contain high priced items.

This is the only produce shopping I do anymore. For John and I, one basket will last us the full two weeks, and I sometimes end up composting things we don't use. I occasionally have 1 or 2 bad items in a basket or things spoil a bit more quickly than I'd like, but that could happen when buying 2 weeks of produce from the store.

You can purchase an all organic basket for an additional $10. I have yet to do that. You do usually get 1-2 organic items in the traditional basket though.

My only other regular purchase is Organic 9 Grain Bread. I LOVE it. I usually get it once a month or so depending on our use. For $12.50 you get 5 loaves.

Bountiful Baskets is nationwide so it's very likely there is a site near you. Check them out at and let me know if you have any questions. There are no catches to participating. You can do it once, you can do it forever, you can do it whenever works for you. There is a $3 fee for the first time though.

If there isn't a site near you and you'd want to open one contact me and I can get you in touch with someone in your area. You will train with an existing site coordinator at least three times and there is not a huge time commitment to it. I pull my paperwork on Fridays and load the baskets in my car. Set up, distribution, and clean up takes about 2 hours on Saturday morning. I have to send in my paperwork and complete a survey by noon on Mondays, but that takes maybe 10 minutes. So in all about 2 1/2 hours every two weeks. If you have someone to trade off with it takes even less.

Let me know if you check it out. I'd love to hear your experiences with Bountiful Baskets!


  1. I made the best potato/leek soup I've ever made in my life - and I've made a lot. I'm going to give my mom the peaches and plums. Very good week!

  2. You need to give me your recipe! I've found a few that look good but I'm not sure which I want to try.

  3. I love Bountiful Baskets and so does the hubs..

  4. Amanda - there's a site over near Rolling Oaks mall. I think that's the closest to you. It sells out fast so you want to get on early. Sign up will be on the 17th at noon.

  5. Here's my standard potato soup recipe with notes on how I used the leeks:

    Sweat in 2T butter (or 1.5 T olive oil for vegan)til onions translucent NOT browned:
    1 large carrot - medium dice
    1 large rib celery - medium dice (save leaves for garnish)
    1 med/large yellow onion - medium dice (substitute 1/4 onion + 3 leeks)
    1/4 t dried tarragon
    1/4 t dried marjoram
    large pinch fresh ground pepper*
    2 large dried bay leaves
    5-6 large russet (or equivalent in size Yukon gold)
    1 quart chicken (or veggie) stock to just cover
    Simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
    Remove bay leaves and ladle out a soup bowl's worth of veggies without broth
    Motorboat (use immersion blender) the remaining veggies and broth until smooth. This is the point at which you can decide to add some dairy, some more broth or just leave it like it is. Add back the reserved vegetables for texture. The leeks added a very silky consistency so I only added 1/4 cup of 1% milk for a little extra creaminess. Sometimes I add half&half if I'm feeling decadent. If I'm making it vegan I sometimes remove some of the broth before blending and only slowly add it back in while blending to get the right texture.
    * Because I almost always serve this with grated cheese I don't add salt during the cooking. I like more pepper than others so I just doctor my own serving. It's also good to serve very hot over finely chopped kale - especially the vegan version.

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