Extreme Couponing Tip: Look into Co-Ops for Great Savings on Fresh Food

Food cooperatives (a.k.a. “co-ops”) are worker or customer-based businesses that provide grocery items to their members: usually fresh produce, but breads, honey, milk, eggs, flowers, meat, or herbs may be included. These can be buying clubs or a group of families that works together to obtain fresh and mostly locally grown food at large group discount rates. Co-ops may also be called CSAs–Community Supported Agriculture–where the food is sold directly from the source or farmer.

Cons

  • Many co-ops have a set basket of items each week (or every other week) and offer little to no flexibility in substitutions.
  • If you have a small family, you may not be able to use all the produce in time.
  • Home delivery may not be available, and pick-up times may not match your schedule or be in close proximity.

Pros 

  • You get to branch out and try new foods.
  • Fresh produce on hand encourages healthy eating habits.
  • You have a steady supply of fresh produce.
  • You support local, and often organic, farming.

An example of a popular co-op is Bountiful Baskets currently available in 19 states, or you can look for co-ops in your area at localharvest.org. For other ways to save on produce, including mark-downs, farmer markets, gardening, and pick-your-own, visit this post!

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10 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Look into Co-Ops for Great Savings on Fresh Food”

  1. Samantha Reynolds says:

    some places local to me (VT/NH) allow you to pay for your CSA with work on the farm. for people who like gardening and that kind of work, it’s not a bad way to earn some fresh produce.

  2. BB location is over an hour away for me:( I’m looking into other co-ops, trying to find out how much the boxes weigh, etc.  I have to know if it’s worth it before I buy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here is a great supplier in California.

    http://www.abundantharvestorganics.com/index.html

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here is a great supplier in California.

    http://www.abundantharvestorganics.com/index.html

  5. Anonymous says:

    Here is a great supplier of fresh Organic fruits/vegtables/groceries in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

    http://www.abundantharvestorganics.com/index.html

  6. Bountiful Baskets not available in NY. =( I’ve looked at the other site before too.  But found it easier to just go to a local farmers market and get stuff.

  7. We use BB as well, but PLEASE remember that you should do your part to volunteer to keep the co-op going! you can loose at that as a pro or con ;) also a Friend and I we split the basket between our two families because it is so much! so $7.50 a week for produce and you and your buddy are switching off and one on pick up times makes it much easier!

  8. I started using Bountiful Baskets last week, after my cousin raving on and on about how much you get for $15. We were so impressed with what we got last Saturday, that we ordered another round for this weekend to continue having the fresh produce on hand. I’m all too aware of how expensive produce can be, and how little you can get for $15. Definitely something that I’ll be using on a weekly basis.

    • About how much do you get?  I mean, how much does it weigh?  Still trying to decide if it’s worth driving over an hour to the pick up location to get a box, that’s all.

      •  Its probably about 20lbs give or take plus their are additions you can tack on like this weeks extra veggie pack in my area was mexican themed veggies and a 20lb box of pineapples. I think even spending the gas money to go order and check it out one week might be worth it, if you dont like it its not like you are obligated to do it again :)