Tips for Natural Food Buying Club? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-25-2012, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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We've just joined our local UNFI buying club and I'm a bit overwhelmed!  


Anyone else in a similar buying club?  How do you make the best use of it?  What do I need to know to be a savvy food club buyer?  :)


I'm afraid I'll wind up ordering WAY too much of things and/or wind up running out of things before the next order.  Our only local food store is a conventional grocery store that has a tiny selection of seriously overpriced natural/organic foods.


Thanks for your help...


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#2 of 5 Old 09-28-2012, 06:47 AM
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We looked into a buying club a while back and the selection wasn't something we could make much use of - but we live in a big city with lots of local resources. 




I hope you find some good suggestions here! 

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#3 of 5 Old 10-10-2012, 12:18 PM
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I did UNFI for a short while but didn't find the prices to be that great & their bulk items were often not bulk but rather "12 separate bags of pasta" or "6 jars of peanut butter." I finally ended up starting my own group buy with friends through Country Life Natural Foods and I love it! The selection is less than UNFI but I get all my dried beans & what berries & oat groats & dried fruit & on & on. It's worth a look.

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#4 of 5 Old 10-14-2012, 12:11 PM
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I've been in a big UNFI buying club for several years. Just have to watch for sales and stock up. I mostly buy bulk grains, coffee, sugar, oils, and certain spices (ie garlic powder). Also organic taco shells, annies mac'n cheese, tuna fish, and random other stuff as it comes on sale. :shrug: 

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#5 of 5 Old 10-14-2012, 06:16 PM
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I am in a UNFI buying club.  I also have some good local resources for organic foods. It isn't an either/or thing for me, as I utilize both co-op and local stores.  I know roughly what stuff costs, so when it is on sale at my local stores, I stock up through there.  I find their prices are often the same as, or very slightly more than, UNFI.  Rarely, they are cheaper.  There are also items that I may only want one or two of, may not be familiar with, etc. so I will purchase locally rather than buying a whole case of it.  


There are some items I use  a lot of that I purchase through UNFI because it is cheaper and/or more convenient for me to purchase it that way.  Yogurt (32 oz. size and gogurt-type), some breads, frozen fish, frozen turkey bacon, personal care items, bulk flours, sugar, etc. are all things I regularly purchase through UNFI.  I can also do a split order, so sometimes I will select that option if I only want half the case.  Our group is big enough that there is often someone who will take the other half.


I am also part of a group that orders through Country Life Natural Foods (same group PP mentioned).  I use this co-op for dried beans, popcorn, rice, almond butter, dried fruit, etc.  Country Life is actually only an hour or so from where I live.


I do not order oils through either co-op, because my group, along with several other area co-ops, order an enormous quantity of several oils at least once a year.  I'm not sure how the prices we get on our annual oil order compare with CLNF or UNFI.

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