Ever since I first heard about bountiful baskets I’ve wondered if it really is a money saver and if so, just how much am I saving? So I conducted an experiment to see. I wrote down everything that was in my bountiful basket a couple of weeks ago and headed to the produce section of Wal-Mart. I calculated the prices for the produce. As you’ll see in my calculations below some of the produce I had to do some guessing and substituting.
- Broccoli $1.48
- 3 heads of garlic $1.34
- Tomatoes $3.48
- Strawberries $1.88 – They were on sale that week.
- Bananas $1.44
- Melon $1.50 – The type of melon we got seemed to be a mix of honeydew and cantaloupe, they didn’t have that at Wal-Mart, so this is just the price of a regular one.
- Pineapple $2.78
- Oranges $4.06
- Nectarines – $4.47 – I couldn’t find a price on these, so I looked at the price of peaches and plums and decided $2.98 a pound seemed reasonable.
- Avocado 68 cents
- Lettuce $1.54
Grand total: $24.65
A bountiful basket costs: $16.50
That leaves me with at savings of $8.15
So, yes, it does save, however I thought it would be more. I also have to keep in mind that this was just one week’s totals, to get a really accurate idea of the savings I would have to do this same thing for multiple baskets and figure out the average savings.
I think you could probably save more money if you only bought produce that was on a really good sale. For example, if you only bought the cheapest produce (say you fill your basket with sale apples, carrots, and potatoes) then you could probably get the same volume of produce for a lot cheaper, but you wouldn’t have the variety that comes in a basket.
Other Benefits of Bountiful Baskets:
- It’s just plain old fun!
- It can help you branch out and get more variety in your diet.
- Get to know others. I often end up chatting while waiting in line. It’s a great place to get recipe ideas and ask about cooking some of the more unusual things in the basket.
One final note: I did show up an hour early last week to volunteer and because of that was able to snag a few of the leftover produce. That would definitely add to the savings, the only extra cost is the time cost. I don’t know if all locations offer the extras to volunteers, or if there even are extras every time.