Buying clubs/co-ops? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 02-01-2005, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have the opportunity to join a food buying club/co-op here in my area. I went to a meeting about it last night and it seemed very cool. Is anyone else here in one? Do you feel like it saves you money? I feel like the unit prices on things are very good, but do I need 20 pounds of baking powder? The club meets every month to "auction" unbought portions of items, such as someone bought half a case of spaghetti sauce, will any of the other members buy the other half, etc. If they can't find people to buy the entire quantity, they just don't order it. I wonder how often I would be able to get what I want if I don't want the whole case or 50 pounds of it or whatever.

I'm afraid that I would end up spending too much money on bulk amounts of items that I can't use before they go bad.

Can people share their experiences?

Thanks!

Namaste!
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#2 of 10 Old 02-01-2005, 08:01 PM
 
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there are a few here through northeast direct. i got a price list though and it wasn't pretty comperable to whole foods so i didn't join
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#3 of 10 Old 02-01-2005, 08:04 PM
 
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Curious if any one knows of any in MN....the twin cities?

I don't have much advice. Is there a fee to join?

You could try it for a while and see if it is worth it.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#4 of 10 Old 02-01-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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I have been in one for almost two years. When I first joined it seemed alot cheaper b/c I was shopping at Whole Foods. Then they built a Trader Joe's by us and their stuff, if they have it, is always cheaper than the co op. I still order stuff from the co op every month, though. Lots of homeopathic stuff, kid's shampoos/soaps, Dr. B's, this month I ordered flour, yeast, and such in bulk b/c I'm due any time to have this baby and I want the stuff on hand for me. They also have some good specials so I usually buy all of my stuff on sale. We go through "united natural foods" which is located in MN and IA so I'm sure MN has a food co op. You can look online at their website.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-02-2005, 01:19 PM
 
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I'm curious what clubs you all are in/ have had experience with? I'm in TCW now (out of Tuscon, AZ), but when we move to Asheville, NC this Summer - I think our club there will be Ozark?

Anyhow, I love TCW. Mostly b/c you don't have to buy huge quantities. Stuff is cheaper is you buy the #50 lb bag, etc. but you can buy individual things, and they're still usualyl cheaper than our little town natural foods store. One thing I had to buy alot of was soybeans (at 58c/lb, compared to $1.79/lb in town, who could resist?), but I had to buy 50#. I only make soymilk, so I hardly use any beans. I'm going to put up a flier today at the natural foods store to try and sell off some.

Things we buy by the case are: grains (rice mostly), noodles, tofu, peanut butter, oats.

Ours also does a deal that if you buy a case of something (like 12 toothpastes) then you get 10% off each individually.

I know there's a website to find out what buying clubs service your area. Maybe you could google it?

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#6 of 10 Old 02-03-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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We do a buying club here and I definately save the $$$. I have a coldroom and I bake a lot an have yet to have anything go bad.

Good Luck.
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#7 of 10 Old 02-04-2005, 12:24 AM
 
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I just joined one too, but I'm a bit disappointed so far. The products are the same as in the natural food section of my grocery store and the prices aren't much better. Some are even higher. I can buy Stoneyfield WM yogurt for $2.87/32 oz in the grocery store, but through the coop the same product is $3.15 and I'd need to buy 6. I did buy 25# bag of organic flour for breadmaking (I bake a lot too), which was a little pricier than what I normally buy, but it's organic (I typically use King Arthur Unbleached WW). Same for the 25# bag of basmati rice. Not a huge cost savings. I'm actually having a hard time finding stuff I want to buy each month, and dont' want to let down the people who so kindly squeezed me into their closed co-op.

DH was laid off recently so we need to examine our purchases until he decides what he wants to buy. Sadly, I'm wondering if I should lay off the organics until our financial situation is more stable. On one hand, I feel like I'm poisoning my kids when I buy storebrand applesauce, but otoh, it's 1/4 the price.
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#8 of 10 Old 02-04-2005, 12:45 AM
 
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I like being in a co-op because we're in the sticks and I just can't find many of the things I buy without going from store to store, or driving an hour. The prices are not that much greater on many things, but the sales are often good- if you can get them before the item runs out.
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#9 of 10 Old 02-04-2005, 01:30 AM
 
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Rebecca~ Have you thought about just doing the Top 10 organics of fruits/veggies? That has been helpful to us. Like winter squash is really important to buy organic (also an especially good veggie to be eating in the winter) because of all the pesticides that the farmers use.

Anyhow, what coops are y'all in? Is anyone in the Ozark one? I think that's south-east.

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#10 of 10 Old 02-04-2005, 10:17 AM
 
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[QUOTE=dready*mama]Rebecca~ Have you thought about just doing the Top 10 organics of fruits/veggies? That has been helpful to us. Like winter squash is really important to buy organic (also an especially good veggie to be eating in the winter) because of all the pesticides that the farmers use.
QUOTE]
That's a good idea. Ours doesn't offer any fresh produce though. Just prepackaged or bulk stuff. And tons of prepackaged junk/convenience foods I wouldn't have bought anyway.

In the spring I've belonged to a CSA for the last few years, but this year (with the dh's layoff) I may just go to the farmer's market instead. That way I won't have the large up front cost and will be able to pick and choose what I really want. Who really needs 2 pounds of swiss chard a week anyway? :LOL

So with our coop, I really need to price check at my grocery store to see if the deals really are good deals. I haven't met many other members to see if they'd be willing to split a case of something too. That would help.
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