Azure Standard - the what, the where, the why. And dare I say, the how.

You may have seen me mention Azure Standard before in posts.  And you may have asked yourself "what in the hell is Azure Standard".  Well I'm not gonna tell you.

I kid.

Azure Standard is like an online Costco for hippies, per Troy.

So that's that.  A complete explanation.  Got it?

Good night.

Azure Standard is a company/farm out of Oregon that delivers bulk products to pre-determined drop points around the US (mainly the West).  Not all of their products come from Oregon, but they do their best to source locally/west coast.  Signing up is free, and there is never a membership fee.  Here is how it works, in a nutshell.

1) You sign up
2) You call and give them your address and they give you the phone number of the person who is the "coordinator" for the local drop site.
3) You call the coordinator to get the special code for the drop site.
4) You place your order online.  You can pay for it online, or COD.  If your personal order is over $50 and the group order is over $550 (I orignally said $500, but an eagle-eyed reader let me know I was off by $50.  Thanks!), no one is charged for shipping.
5) If your coordinator is like mine, she/he will call you the day that the delivery arrives at her house, and you come pick it up at your earliest convenience.  <----- for the life of me I can't spell that word without spell check

When you're placing orders through Azure, it's important to know the price you're currently paying per pound.  There are some items that are about the same price at Costco or other stores, or even more expensive.  But overall, their prices are much lower than grocery stores, and the products are high quality.  A few examples:

-wheat berries.  I can get 50 pounds of organic wheat berries for $20 soft white, and $25 for hard white.  I grind these in my flour mill and save a buttload over store-bought flour.
-Bac Out at the grocery store even on sale is about $6 for 32 oz.  I can get a gallon for about $17 on Azure.
-Oils; coconut and walnut are 25-30% less on Azure than I find elsewhere.
-Aluminum-free baking soda is $3.50 at my grocery store.  I can get it for $2.45 on Azure.
-Chia seeds are $8.99 in bulk at my local store.  I can get them from $4.85 from Azure.

Some of the products are "generic" and come in huge brown or plastic bags, hence my pantry storage of everything in glass jars.  Many items come in 50 lb, 25 lb, 5 lb, or 1 lb packages.  If there is an item I know I won't use up quickly (like unflavored gelatin), I only buy the 1 lb package.  The difference between the packages per pound is very small, so I only purchase what I truly need, or I split it with a family member.

They have so many products, and I love perusing the catalog that comes each quarter.  That being said, there are a few drawbacks.  Just because you order something, doesn't mean they'll have it in stock.  I've ordered things and haven't had the product show up.  They're either out of stock, or forgot to pack it.  The good news is, if you don't receive it, you're not charged for it.

I highly recommend checking them out, and looking in to the specifics for yourself!

I've shared this over at Real Food Wednesdays and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Note: Azure Standard is not a "club" or anything like that.  I wasn't paid any money to write this post (heck they don't even know who I am), nor will I profit in any way!  It's just an awesome company/service.

Note II: I originally had grass fed butter listed for a very low price.  An observant reader pointed out I was incorrect on the pricing!  Like a moron that I am, I had been doing the math incorrectly for the price per pound.  DOH!