Is Bountiful Baskets food co-op a good way to save money on quality fruits and vegetables? Find out as I compare the cost per pound of Bountiful Baskets to the grocery store.
I had a great question from one of my grocery savings course students the other day…
“Have you ever heard of bountiful baskets co-op? You pay $15 for $50 worth of fruits and veggies ($25 for organic) and have to pick it up once or twice a week and volunteer as able. Wondering if you have tried it and if it works with your method…You had mentioned you buy seasonal produce from farms, so I thought this would be similar. It seems like a good way to get quality produce.”
I had heard of Bountiful Baskets and know some people who have used it. However, I hadn’t taken the chance to try it out yet. With the weather turning colder and our local farms soon to be closing, this seemed like a great time to try out this new option to try and save money on groceries.
The very next week, I hopped online and ordered my first bountiful basket.
What is Bountiful Baskets?
As my reader pointed out Bountiful Baskets is a true food co-op. In essence, it is a group of concerned families who purchase a large amount of fruits and vegetables in bulk and then distribute them among themselves in order to save money.
Bountiful Baskets is run by a non-profit organization (not a business), and members can log onto the website each week on Monday and Tuesday to contribute to that week’s purchase of produce. In turn, they’ll get to pick up their share of the goodies locally later in the week.
My Bountiful Baskets Experience
This is definitely a different shopping experience than just walking into a grocery store for sure!
There are organic boxes of produce available for $25 plus a surcharge based on your state, which is around $4-5. There are also non-organic baskets for $15, plus the surcharge.
Here’s how the cost breakdown looked for me.
Cost of Bountiful Baskets Organic Produce Box
$15 basic basket
$10 upgrade to Organic
$4.50 Handling Fee (Idaho)
I also paid a $3 fee that everyone contributes with their first basket. I won’t consider that in our cost, since it’s just a one-time thing and won’t be charged for future baskets.
What I got in my Bountiful Basket Organic box:
1 Head of Green Leaf Lettuce 14.2 oz
Bananas 2 lb 11.4 oz
Grapes (Red) 1 lb 14.8 oz
Pears 3 lb 0 oz
Zucchini 6.65 oz
Limes 1 lb 0 oz
1 Head Raddichio 6.65 oz
Green Apples 3 lb 0 oz
2 Green Bell Peppers 13.25 oz
1 large Spaghetti Squash 3 lb 13 oz
3 leeks 1 lb 10.9 oz
1 bunch of Kale 10 oz
Total 19 lb 4.85 oz
Cost Per Pound for Bountiful Baskets
This works out to $1.53/lb for a great variety of organic produce. That’s pretty good I’d say at first glance, but how much does Bountiful Baskets save compared to the grocery store?
Does Bountiful Baskets save money compared to the grocery store?
I’ll be comparing the price of Bountiful Baskets to the costs of my local natural foods store. All prices are for organic produce.
Azure Standard also has great prices on seasonal organic produce, but you’ll typically only be able to order from them once a month, so I’m not considering their prices for this.
1 Head of Green Leaf Lettuce (14.2 oz) x 2.29 ea = $2.29
Bananas 2 lb 11.4 oz x 0.79/lb = $2.14
Grapes (Green) 1 lb 14.8 oz x 2.29 = $4.41
Pears 3 lb 0 oz x 1.99/lb = $5.97
Zucchini 6.65 oz x 2.29/lb = $0.96
Limes 1 lb 0 oz x 2.29/lb = $2.29
1 Head Radicchio 6.65 oz x 3.29/lb = $1.37
Apples 3 lb 0 oz x 1.79/lb = $5.37
2 Green Bell Peppers 13.25 oz x 2.99/lb = $2.48
1 large Spaghetti Squash 3 lb 13 oz x 0.99/lb = $3.77
3 leeks 1 lb 10.9 oz x 2.29/lb = $3.85
1 bunch of Kale 10 oz x $3.29 ea = $3.29
36.96 x 6% Tax = $2.22
That works out to be $2.03/lb, much higher than the $1.53 with bountiful baskets.
After comparing prices and trying out Bountiful Baskets for myself, here’s what I think. Not only is joining a well-priced co-op helpful for saving money, it also allows you to set a consistent budget for your produce and know that you’ll consistently save money without too much running around, comparing prices.
I don’t know about you, but I really need that set-it-and-forget it simplicity for saving money on groceries in this season of life.
- 33% savings!
- Variety! We loved having a variety of fruits and veggies we might not typically try.
- 100% certified organic.
- Great quality.
- Cost and time to drive to pick up the basket if it’s out of the way. (This is no problem if you have a delivery point nearby.)
- Making time to pick up your basket. (You have to be there within a specific 20 minute window.)
I don’t know if I see myself making time to drive to pick up the box every week, especially because our pick up day is Saturday morning. I think this will be more of an occasional purchase for my family.
However, there is no doubt that it does save money!
If you happen to have a pick up location for Bountiful Baskets nearby your home, then I would definitely recommend it as a great way to consistently save money on natural and organic groceries!