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buying organic in bulk?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am trying to find any way to feed my family healthy, but on a strict budget. So I am wondering where you buy bulk organic goods, like beans and rice, etc.

And how do you evaluate how important for the foods to be organic or not. I am trying to buy animal produts organic, but what about grains?

I am willing to buy in large quantities. We have friends who might go in with us on 50 lb bags of beans and such, but wasn't sure where to start.

Thanks everyone for your help and experience!
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
One thought: I was thinking maybe people had mail order resources that they used and loved and would be willing to share...

Thanks!
post #3 of 18
I buy a lot of my organics in bulk through azurestandard.com. It's so awesome. They have a truck route that covers most states so that you don't have to pay shipping. I can get a 25lb bag of organic black beans for $18, and my favorite thing to buy is 10lbs of organic cheese for $44.30 ($4.43lb). I get a lot of other things, but those are my biggest money savers.
post #4 of 18
Oh, BTW it comes from Oregon so there is no sales tax .
post #5 of 18
I also buy from Azure.

The truck routes cover Washington, Oregon, California Nevada, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and almost forgot Idaho.

You can check online and see if there is a drop out point near you.
post #6 of 18
I don't know if you can do this where you are, but we do a dry goods co-op all year round and this summer are joing an organic CSA (community supported agriculture). The co-op is wholesale/bulk so we often split orders with others and the CSA breaks down to $20/wk for the spring-fall season, which is even less expensive than the farmer's market (not organc and not always even local). good luck!
post #7 of 18
there is a co-op in Arkansas (actually it's in the town not far from where I live - woohoo) that does the same thing as Azure but it covers the souther region. It delivers to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

Website addy is http://www.ozarkcoop.com/

You can buy milk in bulk and freeze it. I was worried abt a diff taste so tested it out and didnt notice any real difference. I know thru this co op that you can buy gallons in groups of 4 and it comes out to the same price of Hiland milk!!!
post #8 of 18
These co-ops sound wonderful. Are there any serving NC?
post #9 of 18
Are there any health food stores in your area? They'd probably be willing to sell you stuff by the sack.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I should have said. I am in North Carolina too. And we have a food co-op that I am looking into joining and seeing if they do bulk (and better prices for bulk), so thanks for that idea. I am also trying to find a local farm that I could join and get produce throughout the growing seasons.

Thanks for your replies!
post #11 of 18
Check out www.localharvest.org to find co-ops, CSA's, farms, etc in your area.

We did a CSA 2 yrs ago & will do one again this year. Ours is $60 for a 6 wks spring season, this is mostly greens and other cool weather veggies. Then it's $320 for the regular 16 wk season (June-Sept), so $20 a week. That's a great deal on organic food compared to what we pay at the stores. They also do eggs, chickens & fresh flowers. Not sure on the prices on those though.

Check www.waltonfeed.com for bulk items.

Also, you can joint www.frontiercoop.com for $10 a year. Join as a "buyers cooperative". You don't need a tax number. Just your SS# is fine. They have pretty good deals on bulk organic herbs, spices, and are partnered with lots of other NFL companies who you get big discounts on.

Good luck!

Holly
post #12 of 18
Azure and the like are called Buying Clubs. They are a wonderful way to get bulk foods for very cheap. Unfortunatly, they are only regional (while you could get it delivered elsewhere, it would be shipped via UPS and end up not very cheap at all!). We were part of a wonderful Southwest regional one when we lived in Colorado called Tuscon coop. I've been looking for one in NC, too! I haven't found one, yet. But I've found other ridiculously cheap sources for organic foods here in Asheville, so haven't pursued it further. You should be able to contact your coop stores in your town and find out what company they buy from, and contact the company directly to ask if they do buying clubs for groups or individuals. Where are you in NC? I'm pretty sure a friend of mine was in one in East VA which may also service east NC. I can find out for you if you need
post #13 of 18
I just went and looked through the Azure website and I'm still not sure I understand it...

Is there a minimum $400 order? Do you order $400 at a time? That's a lot of beans! And how do you know if your town is within 3 miles of their route?

TIA!
post #14 of 18
Click on this link http://www.azurestandard.com/support...f_Publications and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Current Delivery Schedule. It doesn't have to be within 3 miles, just however far you're willing to go. I drive to the next town over to pick up mine, but it's no big deal 'cause I have to go there for all my other groceries too.

Sarah
post #15 of 18
I am a member of the Ozark Co-OP mentioned above. I actually started a buying club b/c there wasn't one in my area. They charge $18 per month to drop off in my town, and I do have a high limit that I have to order, I think its either 300 or 500, but I usually reach that no problem. I have asked a few others I know w/ food allergies, and so far one girl orders w/ me every month (usually $100 or more) and I always seem to have a handful of others that order a few items. I get it all together, call in the order, we all meet the truck at the designated time. I go thru the boxes while the others are unloading them, and inventory everything, to make sure the invoice matches up. Then we divide everything up. I pay for the order myself, and later that night/week I call the others who ordered w/ thier total owed. They pay me. I don't currently make anything from organizing it, and I don't plan to. It is a bit of work, and several have offered to pay a small fee, but I haven't taken them up on it yet. THis is where I buy the majority of my groceries. I usually order about 400 worth per month myself, and then spend about $20 per week for fresh fruits and veggies at the local grocery store. Not bad, IMO, for organic most of the time. That feeds me, DH and DD, and the baby with plenty left over. I do get all of the animal products I can from them (meat, dairy, butter, yogurt) and I try to get the veggie mixes organic, too, and frozen fruit. It is more than buying at Wal-Mart, but I don't live close to one. I am 15 mnutes from the closest grocery store,a nd it's a family owned one, and the prices are in general more than they would be at Super Wal-Mart or a bigger grocery store. I think I noticed about a $40 per month increase in the cost of food when I started buying all organic.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
I just went and looked through the Azure website and I'm still not sure I understand it...

Is there a minimum $400 order? Do you order $400 at a time? That's a lot of beans! And how do you know if your town is within 3 miles of their route?

TIA!
Its a 400 minimum per drop point. For you its $40 minimum order then your order is dropped off at the drop point. They can tell you who the drop off person is for you area and then get the drop off person permission to use them.

Azure raises some of the stuff they sell.

Picking up my order today
post #17 of 18
Quote:
I think I noticed about a $40 per month increase in the cost of food when I started buying all organic.
But you probably saved that in gas and your time, you think?
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a
Its a 400 minimum per drop point. For you its $40 minimum order then your order is dropped off at the drop point. They can tell you who the drop off person is for you area and then get the drop off person permission to use them.
Thanks! That makes more sense!
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