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How to Save BIG Money on Fresh Produce

 

How to get Fresh Produce for pennies!

Follow my Frugal Living Board on Pinterest!

This haul even surprised me this week!  I could not believe the amount of fresh produce I received for as little money as I paid.  It was $69 and some change for everything you see on that table. 

That is some good eatin’ y’all!

How did I do it?

I participate in something called Bountiful Baskets in my county.  On a Monday or Tuesday of the ordering week I purchase 1-2 fresh produce baskets and a few of their bonus packs.  That Saturday I arrive at the pick up location and take my order home.  Ordering days and pick up times vary by location.  Pretty simple, huh?

This is not just a local co-op thing.  BountifulBaskets.org is a growing food co-op that is catching fire across the nation.  Many co-ops cost a good chunk of money up front to participate in, but not Bountiful Baskets.  You can get by each week for as low as $15! 

What if you participate once and do not want to do it again, or you need to take a few weeks off?  No worries! You only pay for the week you participate.

Can you participate?

Here are the states where Bountiful Baskets co-ops can be found.  CLICK HERE to search for your county.

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Is your state participating?  Set up your FREE account HERE.

Tell me about the food!

You will not know exactly what will come in your basket at pick-up.  That is part of keeping the cost low for participants.  I have been participating for three years now in the Bountiful Basket co-ops and the fresh produce that I have received has always been high quality and seasonal.  They do try to use local produce whenever it is available, but then regional produce if local is not.

My favorite part of ordering each week is actually the add-on items they have.  Everyone must order at least one conventional basket.  You can choose organic if you like for an extra small fee.  I have personally not had great luck with the organic.  It just didn’t last as long.  The conventional baskets are great though with a nice selection of fresh produce.  When I order one basket it tends to last my family of 7 two weeks.

With the add-on packs you get a small idea usually of what might come in them. At our co-op there is a number of them that come up from time to time, such as a Mexican pack, an Italian pack, Veggie Lovers pack, or even a Juicing pack.  All of these hold extra goodies that go with the theme, so in the Mexican pack you will receive avocado, cilantro, jalapenos and the like.

Other extras for purchase include items like various bread selections, coconut oil, or even honey.

I personally think that it is really fun not knowing exactly what is going to show up in my Bountiful Basket.  It is like Christmas!  It might be all the normal produce one week like cucumbers and carrots and then the next week you get parsnips and bok choy!  It really stretches your imagination in the kitchen and gets you a little addicted to Pinterest recipes!

How does it work?

When you order the money contributed to the co-op through the purchase of a “basket” goes to the overall pool of money used by the owners to purchase the products for that county’s location.

This operation is totally run by volunteers.  If you would like to bring Bountiful Baskets to your county, see how this is possible HERE.

Once you order you cannot change your order, and it is non-refundable.

If you do not pick up your order at the pick-up site in the prescribed time for your location then you forfeit your basket and your money.  Just a little note here … I have friends who have forgotten pick up times, or there has been an emergency, I do think the volunteer workers on site do try to contact those who do not show and try to work out something with them to get their basket to them, however, this cannot be expected of the volunteers. 

If you know that you cannot pick up your basket, try to find a friend who can pick it up for you.  All you are required to have for pick up is your receipt with your order and order number.

Do you want to get started?

I will admit the first time I ordered with Bountiful Baskets I was nervous, but it really is easy once you get going with it.

They do have a guide to how to use the site HERE.  I am a picture person though, so I thought I would give you a little image tutorial to guide you through the process.

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Step 1: When you first arrive check the “Locations” tab on the menu bar to see if your county or a surrounding county is a participant in the Bountiful Baskets program.  If your county is participating you will also find their schedule for ordering, pick up location, and times for pick up.

Step 2: It is important to read the policies and terms of service pages.  Become familiar with these.  Set up your FREE account HERE.

BB2

Step 3: Once you are logged in to your account go to the “Participate Now” tab.  On the weeks your county is participating you can order from them on this page.  Scroll down and find your state and click on “Get my Basket.”

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Step 4: Choose your county and choose your site. Some counties have multiple pick up locations. Choose the one closest to you.

Step 5: Its ordering time!  If you are a first time participant or if you are picking up at a new location for the first time you need to pay the $3 first time basket fee.  You must order at least one conventional basket to participate.  Choose however many you want of the rest of the add-on items. Limits on items will be notated.

Step 6: Review your order before submitting and read any extra verbiage on the page pertaining to the ordering process.

BB4Step 7: Once your order is submitted it gives you the change to review your order again. Once it goes through it is non-refundable!

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Step 8: Enter in your payment information and read the agreement at the bottom and check all the boxes before submitting your order.

Step 9: Make sure to print your order confirmation!  You should also receive one in your inbox but it is better to be safe than sorry by printing it here as well.

How do I pick up my order?

There are only a couple of things that you will need to pick up your order.

  • Bring a laundry basket or a large tote to carry your produce back to your vehicle. I have a large igloo insulated rolling cooler that I bring.
  • You will need your receipt of purchase with your order number handy.  You can either print this out or if you have a mobile phone with an email app you can bring your receipt up from your email and let them see your order number there.

There is only a short window for pick up.  Usually 20-30 minutes.  Be there on time for pick up or come early and volunteer every once and a while to show your appreciation to those that run the site.  Detailed information for pick up times and volunteer times will be on your receipt and/ or in your location information on the website.

When you arrive one of the volunteers will ask for your order number and receipt.  You will show this to them and they will direct you as to what to do.

It is a pretty simple process and there is so much food to enjoy when you get home!

As I said I have been doing Bountiful Baskets for a number of years now and have never been let down.  I will continue to do it because it is a very frugal option with a lot of benefit.

If you would like to participate or if you have participated I would love to hear your experience with it!  Comment below and let me know how it is going for you!
If you would like to bring it to your area you can see how this is possible HERE.

FeedingMyFamilyof7

FREE Sanctity of Life Unit Study for Ages 5-10

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The month of January is Sanctity of Life month, where those of us who believe that every child no matter his or her age, location, or state of health is a life worth sustaining.

I have very small children, five children six and under, to be exact.  When our church shows media clips talking about abortion, Planned Parenthood, and Right to Life organizations, I am constantly listening for key words that I know I am going to have to revisit with my children later that day in an effort to explain what is going on in an age-appropriate manner.

Our family takes the Sanctity of Life very seriously, and I desire my children to as well.  So how do I teach them in a way that they can understand and that is also age-appropriate?

When you subscribe to The Road to 31 by email you will receive a full lesson plan that can be used with your whole family to help you teach your children about the sanctity of life. I have tried to include both object lessons and printables that will work with various ages while teaching the same lesson.

You will receive in your FREE Unit Study the following:

  • 1 Full Lesson Plan covering everything from how to discuss what abortion is with a small child to how your family can get involved in the Right to Life cause.  This lesson plan goes deeper into greater Biblical concepts such as being made in God’s image, and why God allows sin to be in the world.
  • Traceable Bible Verse Copywork
  • Printing Practice Bible Verse Copywork
  • Image of God Activity Worksheet
  • Family Time Catechism Guide
  • Guide to Baby’s Growth Inside the Womb (great for soon-to-be brothers and sisters!)
  • Your choice of KJV or ESV downloads

SancitityofLifeSamples

I pray that this resource will help you as you traverse this difficult topic with your younger children. Our desire is to show our children the importance of protecting life, but it should also be to show them just how important it is to live a life to its fullest potential, which is being found in Christ and following Him in obedience.

The lessons that proceed will explain the sinful state of mankind, and the glorious salvation that Christ offers. Use this to open up a Gospel-filled ongoing dialogue with your child about the process of salvation and the ultimate glory that awaits those who cling to Christ.

Subscribe below to get your FREE Sanctity of Life Unit Study or
CLICK HERE.

Reuben Casserole

reubencasserolerecipe

This is a family favorite, and I hope that you enjoy!

You can find the Homemade Cream of Soup Recipe HERE.  It is a great dry mix to have on hand – just add some water and you have a healthier made-at-home version of those canned cream of soups from the store.

Reuben Casserole
Serves 8
A casserole version of the deliciously classic Reuben sandwich.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
1005 calories
128 g
104 g
34 g
45 g
16 g
484 g
4714 g
13 g
0 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
484g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1005
Calories from Fat 303
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g
53%
Saturated Fat 16g
82%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 104mg
35%
Sodium 4714mg
196%
Total Carbohydrates 128g
43%
Dietary Fiber 17g
66%
Sugars 13g
Protein 45g
Vitamin A
13%
Vitamin C
32%
Calcium
70%
Iron
48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 box rotini pasta
  2. 32 oz sauerkraut, drained well
  3. 2 cups homemade cream of soup mix
  4. 3/4 cup whole milk
  5. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  6. 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  7. 3/4 pound chopped deli style corned beef
  8. 16 oz cubed Swiss cheese
  9. 2 cups crumbled rye bread
  10. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  11. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. 1.) Cook rotini pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook.
  2. 2.) Combine, in a large bowl, sauerkraut, homemade cream of soup mix, milk, onion, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. 3.) Drain noodles and add to mixture in bowl. Mix well.
  4. 4.) Add noodle mixture to 9x13 baking dish and top with Swiss cheese and chopped corned beef.
  5. 5.) Top with crumbled bread and drizzle with butter.
  6. 6.) Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
beta
calories
1005
fat
34g
protein
45g
carbs
128g
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