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Groceries. It’s a hot topic with a lot of people, especially families. How do we afford to eat the way we want with growing grocery prices?
Our diet goals
It’s been a long and slow change as far as how we eat. 14 years ago when we had two kids, versus now with six. There are also two grown teenage boys that can put away a serious amount of food! Currently, we aim to eat as much whole and living foods as possible. Food that has come from the earth, not produced by man in a factory. There are no allergies here so that makes things a bit easier. Please don’t think we are perfect, we do fail often still; curse you Whataburger and your tasty goodness. Lack of preparation when we go out plays a big factor in failing. Being busy all day and then tired in the evening plays another. However, we are encouraged as we look back each year and see great improvements. We’re also (hopefully) instilling good habits in our children so they make better choices and are grateful for the things the Father provides.
This last year we have been attempting to grow more food, order whole grains and grind them as needed, raise or hunt our own meats, raise our own milk and eggs, as well as plenty of other self-sustainable acts. Aside from the fact that it lowers the costs of our food, we know where it comes from, what’s involved in it, and we eat of the fruits of our labor. We are more appreciative of it and more apt to not waste. We worked hard for that food and you can’t just run out and replace THAT homegrown food so easily. So we still needed to find a good supplier of whole, nutritious foods. We found Azure Standard.
Apparently Azure standard is only known by a few people! They are a distributor of quality natural and organic foods and other sustainable products over the United States. Azure has a great philosophy and a wonderful story! Customers order monthly and meet about a week after the order at a local drop point. From their site – “A ‘drop’ is a spot or point along the truck delivery route where the truck makes a delivery. Each drop has a coordinator who manages the delivery. A drop may service one customer or hundreds. We welcome new drops on existing routes anytime.” For us, we had options 30 and 45 minutes away, which is great when you live rurally. If you can’t find a drop, you can have it shipped via UPS with the appropriate shipping charges. You can watch this short video on how it works if you are still confused!
Why we love Azure
We love mostly what they represent. The CEO himself carefully chooses what items will be sold by their company. We love that we can get thoroughly sourced organic, clean foods that we can trust. They have a list on their site of foods unacceptable to be sold by them which includes:
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- Refined Sugars
- Artificial Colors
- Artificial Flavors
- Artificial Preservatives
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Bleached Flour
- Certified Colors
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Artificial Nitrates/Nitrites in Meat Products
- Pork Products
- Shellfish Products (except when used as an ingredient in nutritional supplements)
We love that we can have a running cart throughout the month. If I see we are running low or out of something, I can quickly add it to my cart and it will be waiting when I’m ready to check out. If you are on top of things and know what you need that month, you can “checkout” whenever you are ready and you won’t miss your cut-off. Your order is not charged until it ships which is usually the day after the order closes.
What does it cost to join?
Azure is free to join. Just check their FIND A DROP page to see the nearest delivery location to you. There is a minimum order of $50 or you will incur a $5 handling fee for a standard order to a drop site. Individual drop sites must meet a combined minimum of $550 to receive an order. If the minimum is not met, you will not receive your order. You can be a part of multiple drop sites as sometimes smaller groups have trouble reaching the minimum. You can also START YOUR OWN DROP SITE if there isn’t one near you. All drop sites have a specified time that you need to be there to pick up your order. You will all meet the truck at the specified delivery time and the driver will call out orders.
What we order
You may find some products save you a lot, some a little. Sometimes you don’t save much but the quality of the food is better than what you can locally purchase as well as finding seasonal items at a great price. Always check the bargain bin and overstock section for great deals! We buy a lot of whole grains (we mill our own fresh flour! More nutritious and cheaper!), dried herbs/herbal teas, bulk seasonings, books, gallon and half gallon glass jars with lids, other grains, granola, Ezekiel bread products, produce, herbal salves/remedies, dried beans, livestock supplements, and much more. Azure has over 14,000 products! We generally spend between $100-$300 through Azure on any given month for our family of 8. Here are some of our frequently ordered/favorite items!
- Heritage Unbleached Organic Flour – We buy this in 25lb sacks, and tend to go through that in roughly a month. While we are grinding grains more now, this is nice to have as a back-up when we need flour right away.
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – We usually buy this by the gallon. For $7.50 it’s cheaper than the little bottles in the store. They do have an organic version. We get the non-organic version and are fine with it. It is raw, with the mother. We use this for us as well as for our animals so we go through it pretty fast.
- Organic Icelandic Kelp – This is for our livestock as you might have read in our fermented feed post. They do have a version that is for human use. Though I don’t think there is much of a difference other than labeling.
- Epsom Salt – We get this in 50lb bags. It’s used a lot around here! While the price is comparable to in-store, we like getting a big bag versus constantly buying small bags.
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Sourdough starter – for when I can’t or don’t have time to get mine started.
- Spelt grains – we get these in 25lb bags usually
- Rye grains
- Coconut oil – We get 1 gallon. They do have an organic version.
- Milking filters – For straining our goat milk
- Stinging Kombucha Hot Sauce – We have hot sauce lovers here and we decided to try this as it has much healthier ingredients. It’s also pretty good!
- Various dried fruits
- Jovial products – Jovial uses fresh Einkorn wheat in their products.
Hopefully, you will check out Azure and find that you love it just as much as we do. Azure is a great company with great values and service. We love supporting businesses that truly have customers bests interests.
If you already order from them, or just signed up, let us know what your favorite things to order are! We love to hear from others and try new things!