A year ago I would have laughed at the thought of saving money while eating healthier--that is until I found a co-op with the benefits of both worlds! The best part? No pesky coupons to clip or organize.
If you haven't already heard of Bountiful Baskets, a cooperative that began in Arizona, then you are really missing out! Bountiful Baskets started just a few years ago and has made strides in offering high quality, low cost produce to its participants. They are now active in at least 16 states and are constantly growing and adding new pick up sites around the nation. Lewisville has had a pick up site for a while now, and the DFW area number of participants and pick up sites has just now really began to grow. Don't see your city listed on the location tab? We're opening several new sites in the DFW area soon so check back!
With Bountiful Baskets co-op you'll contribute $15 (for a conventional produce basket) or $25 (for an organic produce basket), and you'll typically receive anywhere from $30 to $50 of produce in return! Once you contribute towards a basket, you will then have the opportunity of purchasing limited "extra" items such as cases of apples, carrots, pomegranates, organic breads, cookies, wheat berries, grains, etc. The extra items change every week. For more FAQ click HERE.
Here's a real conventional basket from Bountiful Baskets that I received in February (you don't know what you'll get until Saturday):
8 large oranges
3 yellow onions
4 green bell peppers
6 oz blueberries
1 head cabbage
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 pound green beans
1 bunch asparagus
3+ pounds red potatoes
I also bought 25 pounds of carrots for $8.50 as an add-on/extra item that week
Rule of thumb: One conventional basket will feed a family of 5 for 1 week.
Bountiful Baskets is completely volunteer run which is one of the reasons you end up saving money. I happen to be one of the hundreds of Volunteer Site Coordinators which means I spend 2-3 hours every other week setting up the Lewisville site and running it on pick up day. Lewisville runs both A and B week (that's means every week) with participation time starting on Mondays at NOON and ending Tuesday evening or until all baskets are spoken for (limited number of baskets, usually 96, at each site). Lewisville however has been consistently "selling out" for the past two months Monday afternoon or evening. That's why we need your help!
First, if you are interested in participating in this co-op, go to BountifulBaskets.org, register for an account, and contribute online starting at NOON today.
HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP:
We NEED more Volunteer Site Coordinators in Lewisville! Our current site (LISD Bolin Administrative Center on Garden Ridge and Main) will soon be losing our A week unless someone steps up to run it. That means Lewisville will go back to running every other week again. We could also use additional pick up locations in Lewisville so I've added that information below too.
Some of the benefits of starting your own site or being a Volunteer Site Coordinator with Bountiful Baskets include:
FREE basket! (for your time and hard work); I now contribute $30 for up to $200 worth of produce each month
No more trying to remember to order on your week (BB automatically does this for you!)
Feeling really good because you know you are helping your community save money and eat healthier!
To start your own site or become a Volunteer Site Coordinator, you must:
*Train at an existing site for a minimum of 3 times, plus a 1 hour on the computer or telephone paperwork training session
*Get permission from a business or other venue to host your site at (I'm thinking southern Lewisville, Bus 121 area, but anywhere will work). No churches.
*Be flexible, pick up times change, truck schedules change, trucks are late, etc
*Be patient, participants can get grumpy, volunteers sometimes don't know what they're doing, see be flexible above
*Find a back up person in case you cannot run the site for a weekend and have them train 3 times as well (vacation, work, family, etc)
*VSCs (Volunteer Site Coordinators) spend around 2-3 hours each week, mostly on Saturdays, performing various simple tasks
*Commit to donating unclaimed produce to a local fire station
If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Site Coordinator or starting your own site, please email me at screweduptexan (at) gmail (dot) com. Questions and comments can also be added to this post and I will answer them if I can.