Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fruits and Veggies on a Budget




Today is one of those days.

With my ice cream truck in the shop, and the hospital being temporarily overstaffed, both of my jobs have come to a standstill. Problem is, of course, my expenses have not. 

With the new session of summer school starting on Monday (and 2 new classes starting with it), I am forced to buy two new textbooks. Granted I'm getting both of them at fantastic deals; one is $75 instead of the advertised $250 in the bookstore (friend is selling it to me), and the other is $74 instead of $150 (online ebook that a classmate and I are sharing), but the fact remains that an additional $149 is still being tacked onto my other bills, when my income is not allowing for it. Therefore, it is time to stretch the budget even further.

So of course, I immediately went to what seems to be my biggest drain of money in our household: groceries. And more specifically, fresh produce. With the cost of a single red pepper at $2.49, and an abyssmal selection of coupons in the produce department, I was beginning to feel slightly depressed over how my diet may have to take a hit for the sake of textbooks. Has it finally come down to this?

Me, as the President, with my finger on the proverbial nuclear red button: "There's no other way. We've tried negotiating. It seems I have no choice but to trade my health for an education." 
Vice President: "Don't do it! There's got to be another way! Maybe we could start at garden?"
Marlee the President: "We've already discussed that, VP, or have you already forgotten? We have no yard and no time. No time! 
Secretary of Defense: "We could rob a fruit stand!"
President: Get a hold of yourself, Secretary of Defense! There will be no robbing of lowely fruit stands, not while I'm in office. I have to do what needs to be done.
House Designated Cleaning Lady: "If I could say something..." 

Thank god for the cleaning lady, as it seems that because of her, I have stumbled onto a nutritional/budget conscious goldmine.

If anyone has noticed, on the righthand side of my blog, under the heading "Links I Love" is a link titled, "Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op". It's available in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. If you live in one of these states, I highly recommend checking it out. It's incredible

Basically, you pay $15 for a laundry-basket-sized basketfull of fruits and vegetables. For anyone who frequents the local produce section of their supermarket, $15 for this much produce is a steal. Okay it's more than just a steal, it's ridiculous. You pay $15 on Monday, via the website, then go Saturday morning (at one of the sites) to pick up your goods. What did I get today? For $15 I paid on Monday?

A head of romaine lettuce, a head of spinach, 4 artichokes, 6 onions, 6 apples, 3 pears, 4 tomatoes, 6 peaches, 3 red bell peppers, 3 yellow bell peppers, 3 ears of corn, 1 watermelon, 1 cantelope, 6 bananas, a bag of about 20 small peppers, and 4 packages of strawberries.

You don't get to choose what's in your basket, instead they fill it with whatever is in season. Personally, I like not knowing; it's the Christmas morning of grocery shopping. You get what you get. If you're one of those people who only wants certain items in the basket, a wise thing to do is split a basket with someone, or even have them buy their own and then swap out what you don't use. Have a friend who loves peppers but hates onions? Offer a trade. This is the first time I did it, and I traded strawberries (since I already have them in frozen form) for additional artichokes (since I almost never get to have them).  My fridge and pantry is packed with fresh fruit and veggies. All for $15.


I'd say that's a pretty good stretch.


So Followed Saturday  Sunday Blog Hop Shibley Smiles 

24 comments:

  1. I'm hopping around! Come follow me too? Weidknecht.blogspot.com

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  2. This sounds amazing! Too bad it's not in my area!

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  3. I would love to try this but it's not available here. I know I spend way more than $15 on produce a week. Thanks for stopping by Pot of Gold Giveaways today! I'm already a follower.

    Donna

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  4. i love vegetables. try planting in the backyard too. =)

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  5. In my part of Wisconsin, several of the local farms do a subscription - for $xxx you get so many deliveries during the season. (This includes meat and dairy in some cases as well as produce.) Maybe check with food coops, farmers' markets, city hall - places like that. You never know what you might find, Donna!

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  6. What a great idea! We have farmers markets here in Australia but nothing like what you describe for only $15. I'm in awe. :)

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  7. That's a super great deal. If only Malaysia had something like that, I'd be a regular. If you're not already doing it, I feel you should write to earn some money, you're a good writer. Also, I think all college students should read your blog. This is good advice and good on you for sharing it. Love the picture of the mice, Haha!

    mom2kiddos
    http://kiddothings.blogspot.com

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  8. Came over from the blog hop and noticed I was already following thru GFC. So, I went on your Facebook and am following that now, too. I would love a "like" back also on Facebook and of course, if you don't follow me already thru GFC that would be great too! Have a great day.

    Mary@http://www.mmbearcupoftea.com

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  9. Following you back from Mommy Who Loves Giveaways! So glad you like my blog & just so you know yours is pretty great too! Thanks Again!

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  10. new follower from the hop.

    great posts!

    http://www.beyourbestmom.com

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  11. Thanks for hopping by! I'm already a follower of your great blog. Now I'm LIKING you on Facebook!

    The fruits/veggies co-op is a great deal and, like you said, so much fun! I love surprises too!

    If interested, I have a great giveaway ending tonight for a designer top by Nally & Millie. $88 Value! If you win, it fits the budget!
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Style-n-Decor-Deals/186732514710323
    Have a great day!
    nancy

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  12. Hi! I am stopping by from today's hops. I am a new follower. Great blog. Blessings...
    Saved By Love Creations

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  13. LOVE it! I've been gardening an am excited to see what I can come up with... hopefully I can stock up on veggies soon like you!


    New follower from the Relax & Surf Hop! Hope you can stop by and return the follow :)

    Cristi
    http://thekingscourt4.blogspot.com/

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  14. LOVED this post! I've heard of these deals, but did not know how to find them. I am your newest follower and can't wait for more!

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  15. Sounds like a great program! Unfortunately we don't have it around here! I'm a new follower via the SSS Blog Hop! Enjoy your fruits and veggies!

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  16. Thanks for stopping by The LiL Gerhardts! Im a follower now! =)
    What school did you play for in college? I did not play at the college level but I did play travel and high school ball!

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  17. That is an amazing steal! I know that there was a local farm that offers doing a co-op too, but you pay X amount for the whole season...I can't remember how much it was, but like you said, you get a whole basket full of whatever is in season. We were already planning a garden and decided against it this year, garden is going strong, but it is a wonderful thing to have fresh produce in the house! ;) Thanks for stopping by www.midnightmommy.com, happy to be your newest follower! ;)

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  18. Thanks for visiting and following me on my blog Just the Two of Us and Deals.

    Came to follow you back but I already do under kport207

    :)

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  19. Hi! I'm following you from YLM
    blog hop!I hope you visit me and
    return the follow:0)

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  20. Very hilarious post. I wish my state had a food Co-op it sounds great; especially for a vegetarian like me. All the best to you with your many life endeavors and your school sessions that are coming up. Thanks for visiting my site Cleverly Changing.

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  21. Hi there!

    Your co-op sounds wonderful. The ones in my area are priced much higher than $15, though we are fortunate to have a produce market which sells at wholesale prices to the general public. That saves quite a bit over purchasing from the big box grocery store.

    Thanks for linking up with Super Stalker Sunday hop. There are so many wonderful blogs participating, I hope you've found a few that you enjoy. Be sure to join us again next week!

    Your Co-Host,
    Emily from Nap Time Is My Time

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  22. Nice writing dude, you are doing great effort, your way of writing is unique, thanks for sharing such nice work. Keep more post dude…
    Custom logo design

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  23. Thanks for linking this up to the NOBH! We have local farmers markets in our area so we can get produce at reasonable prices for most of the Summer and Fall months.

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  24. One of the best things a mother like me can do is budgeting. I want and need that skill.

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