Thursday, April 8, 2010

Organic & Natural Living Thursday


In going toward a more organic and natural lifestyle on a budget, I've realized that along with creativity, it's going to take some buying in bulk. I was super excited when I found Bob's Red Mill. They are local and have a large variety of natural and organic healthy food that are quite reasonably priced. I was just about to go there and stock up on some basics like rice, flour, beans, etc. when I came across Azure Standard.

They are a local company based in Dufur, OR that specializes in natural, organic and earth-friendly products. They deliver directly to customers by UPS and semi-truck. Go HERE to check out their website. You will need to set up an account in order to view their prices.

When I started comparing their prices on the organic products I regularly buy to Bob's Red Mill and the other stores I normally shop at (Fred Meyer, New Seasons, etc.), I quickly realized that they are way less expensive on many things, even without coupons!

Here are some pricing examples:
  • Thai Kitchen Organic coconut milk - $1.50 each when you buy in a case of 12
  • Rumiano Mozzerella cheese - 6 lbs. for $18! (comes from cows fed all natural, vegetarian diet, no antibiotics, hormones, steriods, etc.) I just bought 1 lb. from Trader Joes of non-rBST mozzerella cheese for $4.59, and was pretty happy with that price.
  • Organic oats - 25lbs. for $16.40 (that's $.66/lb!)
  • Organic whole wheat pastry flour - 25lbs. for $12.45 (at Bob's Red Mill it's $25!)
  • 1 gallon raw honey - $30
  • Organic shredded coconut - 5lbs for $2.50 ($2.20/lb.)
  • Natural Value organic peanut butter - $3.50
  • Organic beans (large variety) - all in the range of $1.30/lb.
  • Organic Basmati rice - around $2/lb.

And the catch............

There's always a catch, isn't there? In order to get free shipping, your order must be a minimum of $50. When ordering for the first time, you will need to call Azure Standard, give them your location and they will find a "drop site" that is closest to you where your order will be shipped to.

FYI: I live in Happy Valley. The closest drop site I was able to find was in Boring. I was told that there are also ones in Sandy, Gresham, Fairfield, and NE Portland. I am considering becoming a drop site for the Happy Valley/Clackamas area, but would need to know if there would be enough interest. The minimum total order for a drop site is $550 (you can have lots of orders of $50 to make up the $550 total). Hopefully that makes sense!

Anyways, if you would be interested in putting in an order, and the Happy Valley area would be closest for you, reply to this post or send us an email. The next delivery date is 4/22 with an order cut off date of 4/20. If I'm able to get enough interest to put an order together and become a drop site, I'll let you all know!



Bethany said...

We do a drop in St Johns, N pdx, about every other month.

Brian & Rachel Davis said...

Anybody out west, I believe that there is a drop site in Gaston, OR once a month.

Saving 4 My Family said...

Yes, there are others that I didn't mention, sorry for the confusion and thanks for the info!


Frugal Living Online said...

Erika: I'm interested in ordering from Azure. I also left a link to your post on the New Season's deals on my blog. Hopefully we can find enough people for Azure to come to your house!


bree said...

Great post Erika! I'm interested in purchasing from Azure too, count me in for a Happy Valley drop site.


Rachel said...

I would love to place an order. Thanks!

The Mommy Blog said...

Hi, I have been buying from Azure for four years now and I love the prices and the fact that most things are not only organic but local! Here are some tips I'd like to pass on to you.

#1. They have sales every month. Wait till something goes on sale to stock up on it.

#2 If you are going to buy large bulk amounts (25lb bags of beans, wheat, flour, etc.) then spend the money to buy their 5 gallon food grade plastic pails @$4.35 each (code NF092) and the special gamma seal lids @ $6.50 each (code NF094). These make the bucket easy to get into with a twist top (unlike prying open a regular 5 gallon pail lid.) and the air tight lids keep everything in it fresh for years, and keeps bugs out.

#3 The only thing I do not like about Azure is you are not guaranteed to get what you order. You won't know if you got it till the truck shows up. However, if you order $50 worth of stuff and you only end up getting $45, they don't count that against you in you order max. It's how much you order, not how much you spend in the end that counts. (Hope that made sense.)

All in all we have been very satisfied with Azure. The people who work there are very nice and the family who grows a lot of the food is wonderful. They let our family visit the farm and gave us a guided tour of the facilities. It is nice to know that we are supporting a local family who works so hard to help me feed my family healthy food.

Connie510 said...

Hi, saw your blog in today's Oregonian. Azure is located in Dufur, Oregon, near The Dalles. I have been a customer of theirs for years but have not established a drop site since moving to Damascus from Washington state. Thus, I would be interested in joining your group as a drop site.

Debra said...

I read your article in the Oregonian and I also went to your blog. I have a question for you? Have you ever thought of starting a CO-OP? Years ago, I lived in LaGrande, OR. When I was younger, I was a member of the co-op. It was a great experience/way to purchase and work to recieve great costing/reduced pricing, etc.

I live in Oregon City, near the little town of Redland.
Let me know if you would like to discuss/consider this option. If you are NOT interested in this idea/option, yes I would be interested in the drop site as well.

Thank you, Debbie S

Tiffany said...

Good for you Erika! I buy their oats, beans, brown rice, lentils and black beans.
I also buy monthly:
~25 pound box of Golden Temple Blueberry Flax Granola. We also like the cheery, the new acai berry, gingersnap and pecan and often buy a 5 pound box of one of those in addition.
~ Coconut Oil (Wilderness Family Naturals)
~ Bragg's Olive Oil
~ Bragg's Liquid Aminos
~ Udo's Oil
~ Organic Chicken Broth
and much more!
I haven't been too thrilled with alot of their produce but it is hit and miss.
Do you have the book Nourishing Traditions? If not, Azure has a great price on it and I know you'd like it. xoxo

Tiffany said...

Oh, another idea -- Fred Meyer Bakery no longer saves their food grade pails which come to them filled with frosting. However, if you call regularly and happen to catch them when they have not yet thrown them away, you can score free 5 gallon or 2 gallon buckets. That is what I use. However, I don't strike it right very often so I also buy the ones from Azure.

Saving 4 My Family said...

Debra - I'm not sure how to contact you regarding a co-op. If you read this, please email me!

Connie - Thanks, I just noticed that and will change it.

Thanks also to everyone for the advise and info on what you order from Azure.