Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Co-op Produce: 25% Savings

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We were able to get another produce co-op basket this morning. I'm really starting to enjoy this! It's wonderful to have access to a variety of fruits and vegetables without having to step foot in the grocery store. Especially being as this week's grocery sales are less than spectacular.

In our basket this morning was the following: 6 kiwi, 5 Gala apples, 5 pears, 3 grapefruit, 2 bell peppers, 4 tomatoes, 8 oz mushrooms, 6 oz blueberries, a head of celery, a head of green leaf lettuce, 4 oranges, 6 yellow onions, 6 cucumbers, 1 bunch of garlic, 7 bananas and 1 lb of baby carrots.

I paid $16.50 going through our neighborhood co-op. {See more about starting your own co-op here.} Out of curiosity, I decided to price out these items to see just how much savings this basket yielded. I used Grocery Smarts and sought out the lowest sale price from all the grocery stores we have here in Utah. Taking that lowest sale price, had I gone to Walmart and price matched {so I didn't have to run around to 6 different stores!} I would have paid about $22.05 for all of the produce I got this morning. Being as I only paid $16.50, that means I saved 25% on fresh produce- no coupons needed!

If starting a co-op sounds like too much work, another option is Bountiful Baskets. The advantage of starting your own co-op is more control over what produce you receive, as well as a lower price, being as we go through a different produce supplier. It's wonderful!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've only done Bountiful Baskets a handful of times, but it seems to me that I got more than what you are describing for a little less money - $15.

Sakura said...

Hi, I read the info on how to start your own co-op. Do you take turns picking up and collecting money like it says in the information, or do you have a few people in charge of it? Also, can you tell us who the wholesaler is for the produce your are purchasing? Thanks.

Utah Deal Diva said...

Anon- we're able to see how much BB costs per box of produce, being as they go through one certain produce supplier. The supplier we use is less $$. That's how we know it's cheaper for more produce. For instance, this week, our apples cost $21.XX per box, whereas BB's cost $23.xx per box. It all comes down to which supplier you use.

So there is a difference, but really, I don't think it's much. If we didn't have a neighborhood co-op, I'd use BB. I do like getting to vote on what produce we want too- that's fun!

Sak- we have 1 person in our neighborhood who has volunteered to coordinate everything. she gets all her produce for FREE for doing it for us. We pay her and she let's us know when everything's ready. A handfull of neighbors also go over and help separate it all out. It took us about 30 minutes to organize it all.

Nicole W. said...

I have done BB for over a year now. I LOVE IT! I think the co-ops are a great opportunity for people and I feel it has always saved me money! The downside to BB is that you have to take what they offer for the week as compared to the co-op you participate in. Sometimes with BB you end up with strange items, but that also encourages me to try new recipes :)

Claire said...

The produce you get looks so much better than BB's. I stopped getting BB's in July because our garden was producing, and I just started it up again, and now I remember another reason why I stopped: the quality is not great and there is always odd produce that we never eat and I would never buy. So to me, if I'm going to end up throwing it away then it's not a great deal. Your produce looks normal though and like stuff we'd eat. Is there a way to find out if any close to me is already doing the one you are? (I'd just rather not set it up:))

Utah Deal Diva said...

Claire- I've heard that about BB as well. :(

Julie said...

Did you help sort this morning? You had moree in your basket then I ended up with.

Thanks for figuring out the savings. Now I can tell hubby it's worth it and the bread is yummy!

Utah Deal Diva said...

I did help sort, but I think I only came home with a total of 4 additional items- 1 more pear, 2 more tomatoes and 1 extra onion. Minimal differences.

Julie said...

It was more then 4 items difference then what I got in my basket, but that's okay. I had my turn sorting last week.

Julie said...

I'm really just jealous of the extra tomatoes! :-)

Chantelle said...

I've been doing BB for about 3 months and am LOVING it! All my produce has been wonderful and it's gotten us to expand our palate. I don't get why people would throw away something they don't want to eat... share it with someone who will!!!

Claire said...

white asparagus for example: we tried it and it was really bitter. I didn't know anyone else who would want it, so I threw the rest away. Everytime I've gotten the basket there's at least one thing in there like that.

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