Tuesday Tips: Bountiful Baskets

Have you heard of Bountiful Baskets? (Note- there are no affiliate/sponsored links in this post)

If you haven’t, do yourself a favor and go check out the site.  Then, sign up for a basket if they have a location near you.  It is SO worth it.

The way it works is, a bunch of people get together at a location (we have one in our town, some towns may have more- it’s all volunteer run) and contribute money towards produce.  $15 gets you a conventional basket and $25 gets you an organic basket.  The more people that contribute at your site, the more produce you get in your basket. The produce isn’t always local to your state, so this isn’t like a CSA in that respect, but it’s similar to shopping at the grocery store, except you usually get twice as much produce for the money.  It is like a CSA in that you don’t know what you’re going to get in your basket.  So if you don’t like trying new things, this isn’t for you.

Contributions occur on the monday/tuesday before your basket pick-up, and baskets are usually bi-weekly.

I’d actually heard of Bountiful Baskets a couple of years ago, and then didn’t participate until this year.  And I’m so glad I finally did!!  I get SO much produce every week, and I LOVE their bread add-on options (they have lots of items you can add on- bread, granola, coconut oil, cookies…it varies by site, so go check them out!)  The bread is great because there are very few ingredients in it (and I can pronounce every single one of them!)  A lot of store bought bread has dairy/soy in it, and this doesn’t- it was a great way to introduce grains to B without worrying about extra additives.

Blah blah blah- enough about that- want to see my basket this week?

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I didn’t get bread this week because we have a lot still hanging out in the freezer (by the way, the bread is 5 loaves for $10- amazing).  I got the following in my basket:

Vegetables

  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach

Fruit

  • Watermelon
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Coconut
  • Oranges

Not bad for $15, right??  I pick up my basket at 9:30 in the morning on Saturdays (you have a specific window in which to pick up your basket, and you need to bring your own bags or basket to put your produce in), and I head to the grocery store directly afterwards.  It’s nice to be able to cross off a lot of the produce that’s on my grocery list!

Now, sometimes I get things that are a little…odd.  Things I wouldn’t normally buy at the store- but that’s half the fun!!  This time I got a coconut, and the time before I got persimmons and fennel (the fennel I sliced up and roasted with some cauliflower and broccoli and it was very tasty).  A few baskets ago, I got some pomegranates.  Then they sat and sat on the counter, waiting for me to deal with them (luckily they are a patient fruit).

I decided to  get a little creative over the weekend since I had all of this beautiful fruit that was going to go to waste if I didn’t do something about it.  So I chopped up my persimmons, pomegranate, apples and even broke into the coconut and threw them all together to make a crisp (sliced fruit with a crumble topping made out of butter, brown and white sugar, oatmeal, flour and cinnamon):

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All the colors were so pretty together- a perfect fall dish.  I crossed my fingers that it would taste half way decent- and it didn’t disappoint!!  Yum.  It turned out great- I really loved the crunch that the pomegranates added to the dish.  Even B liked it!!  He was a little grumpy towards the end of dinner until I put a small spoonful of this in his mouth- he asked for more a few times.

I’m so happy to have found Bountiful Baskets– if you have a site near you, definitely check it out.  If you don’t like the experience, you never have to contribute again, so what is there to lose?

Tuesday tips: Getting formula covered by insurance

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I’ve talked about how B had acid reflux and MSPI, and how it’s often helpful to try a dairy (and soy) free diet to alleviate some of the symptoms for babies who have this.  I tried a dairy/soy free diet for B, and unfortunately it did not help ease the pain he was having from reflux.  Some moms go on a total elimination diet to try to pinpoint what exactly in their diet is causing baby’s pain/issues.  Because B was in so much pain, I just wasn’t willing to use him as a science experiment and, through trial and error, figure out what exactly was causing his reflux.  So we opted for formula- there are two types of formula that are made to help babies with MSPI- hypoallergenic formulas (like Nutramigen or Alimentum) or amino acid formulas (like Neocate, Elecare, Nutramigen AA).

hypoallergenic formula

Source

A hypoallergenic formula has the milk and soy proteins broken down so that they are easier for baby to digest (and their body doesn’t react to them).  Amino acid formulas have all the proteins broken down into amino acids, so it is as gentle as it can possibly be for baby’s tummy.  A lot of people have great luck with these formulas.  We had the most success with Neocate, and B is still drinking that today.

 

amino acid formula

Source

The downside to these formulas is their cost.  Nutramigen or Alimentum costs up to $30 for a can (which would last us 2-3 days).  Neocate or Elecare costs $50-90 a can, depending on where you buy it (and again a can lasts 2-3 days).  That means you can potentially spend almost $1000 a month on formula.  We all know babies are expensive, but the added cost of these formulas is not always something people expect.

When we realized that B was going to do the best on Neocate, I did everything in my power to figure out how to avoid paying $1000 a month for formula.  Neocate is a prescription only formula, so the first thing I did was I went to our pharmacy to fill the prescription.  They filed the information with my insurance…who flat out denied me.  Ugh.

However, I was a mom on a mission.  After a lot of time on the internet and the phone, I figured out how to get our formula covered by insurance.  Unfortunately, because not everyone has the same insurance, what worked for me MAY NOT work for you- but I say, it’s worth a shot.  The worst thing they’re going to say is no.  (I’m adding in the disclaimer that I am in NO WAY compensated by this company- they have absolutely no idea who I am)

Here is what I suggest to hopefully get your formula covered by insurance:

  1. Have your pediatrician write you a script for the formula (and this can be for Nutramigen/Alimentum, not just Neocate/Elecare) and make sure they state that the formula is medically necessary due to a severe milk allergy.
  2. Call Edgepark Medical, a durable medical supply company- 888-394-5375.  Note: You can go online, but the best way to ensure you get your formula covered is to call.
  3. Set up an account with them, and place an order for your formula of choice- I know for sure that they carry Nutramigen, Alimentum and Neocate.
  4. They will contact your insurance company and your pediatrician.  It can take up to a week to get all of your information verified, but after that, if you haven’t heard back from them, call to check on your order.
  5. Depending on your insurance, they will hopefully cover the formula at least partially, but there is the possibility that they will cover it 100%.

I really hope that this tip helps some moms out!!