Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Azure Order

This week is Azure Order week for me.  I find I really enjoying seeing other people's grocery lists and menus, so even though this seems a mite silly to be writing it, perhaps it's just an issue of perspective.

If you don't know what Azure Standard is, click the link in my sidebar.  Even if you live outside their general delivery area (which is actually quite large), you can have things shipped UPS, as long as they're not frozen, refrigerated, or otherwise perishable.

Ok, here you go:

2 25.4 oz jars of Organic Sunflower Oil for $6.65 ea.  I can get this locally, but it's about $8-9/bottle, so I don't.  Last month I was almost out of all our oils.  I bought Safflower oil, Almond oil, Walnut oil, Hemp oil even (more on that later!), sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, six gallons of coconut oil (not from Azure), and forgot all about my trusty sunflower oil.  I buy olive oil from Costco, usually, and each thing is used for different applications, depending on it's heat tolerance and nutritive value.

2 lb of fresh, organic rhubarb for $7.  *choke gasp*  I know.  I grow the stuff, just not really well yet (I brought my transplant here from our last house, where the neighbor claimed it had grown there since 1960 when he moved in, and survived many, many residents trying to destroy it.  I figured that was my kind of rhubarb.  But I planted it in a bad place.  I'll move it. I will.).  I want to keep some frozen, and maybe have an upsidedown cake stashed for post-baby.  Right?

1 bunch of organic celery for $2.60.  Celery is one of those highly-pesticided items and I like to get it when I can. 

14 oz bag of Brown Rice Pasta in cute shapes for $2.85.  Yes, that's over $3/lb.  Which is why I'm not buying a barrel of it.  The girls love homemade macaroni and cheese, and I prefer whole grain, and even non-wheat when possible.  

1 lb box of Organic Vegetable Alphabet Pasta for $3.50.  See above excuse.  It's a splurge.

3 stainless sprouting screens for $1.95/ea.  These are for my neighbor.

2 1-lb packages of Garlic Granules from Oregon Spice for $4.45/ea.  Hubby knows no sense of moderation with this stuff at all.  I'm so glad he sleeps on his left side a lot...

1 lb Onion Granules from Oregon Spice for $3.85.  Ditto the above.

25 lbs Organic Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals for $24.55.  I usually buy the 5 lb packages, but this will save me over $5.  Sugar isn't prone to bugs or infestations, so storing it won't be too hard.

2 90-tablet bottles of Rhino-Vites for $5/ea.  The girls aren't too thrilled with Melaleuca's new vitamin flavor (and Gi-gi and I have cancelled our account anyway), so we're going to try these out.  I don't know if they're a good buy or not, but they're on sale this month, so I hope so. :)

1 lb Organic Sprouted-Grain Penne Pasta for $3.60.  Sprouted grains are by far the best for you, and while the taste can be lacking (in the few places/ways I've tried them), I thought we'd try out this pasta.  It's on sale this month too.

3 quarts of Bragg's Liquid Aminos for $4.70/ea.  IF they come in.  It's a healthy, non-GMO, no MSG version of basically a mild soy sauce.  They're on sale, so I try to stock up.

3 quarts of Organic, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for $3.35/ea.  Also on sale.  Seeing a trend here?  This is the only vinegar Hubby can have on his diet, and he LOVES vinegar stuff.

1 quart of food grade Vegetable Glycerine for $6.70.  I found a different brand locally for $8/pint, but didn't buy it, even when this didn't come last month when I tried ordering it.  I'd like to try it out in a laundry detergent recipe.

2 2-oz bottles Alcohol-Free Stevia Extract for $8.60/ea.  I like this stuff to sweeten my prenatal tea, and even though I just bought a bottle last month (and it'll last me a while), they're 15% off this month, so I'm stocking up.  The alcohol-version is cheaper, but I like this one.

2 14-oz cans of Organic, Lite Coconut Milk for 1.70/ea.  These go on sale sometimes, but not now.  Hubby enjoys it in some of his meals, and I use it for curries or stir frys (fries?) occasionally.  The un-Lite version hardly can be scooped from the can, and has about as many calories as Obama's deficit, hence our choice here.

That's it!  My order comes to about $135 this month, not counting the 8% I add to cover shipping/tax and whatnot.  I also order through another gal who runs a 'buy club' so I don't need to worry about extra charges if my order is too small.  I try to keep my monthly order about $100 or so, but there are several 'pantry stockup' items this time, and with Hubby's OT I have some leeway.

I order a lot of herbs/spices through them, especially when they go on sale, and one of my favorites is Oregon Spice's Ranch Dressing Mix (try finding one of those without MSG on your grocery store shelves!  Or one that tastes good from the health food store!).  I also buy organic whole wheat berries from Azure, as well as pearl barley, barley flakes (like oatmeal, only not), rye flakes (ditto), organic corn starch, pasta in bulk (comes in 10-lb boxes), salt, molasses (Hubby loves it), sorghum (Hubby again), frozen strawberries in bulk, produce wash from Biokleen (on sale for $3.50 sometimes, regularly $4.05 or so -- still cheaper than locally)... I've gotten beef gelatin, lecithin granules, seeds for the garden, essential oils, half-gallon canning jars, seasoning mixes, diatomaceous earth (for killing squash bugs, etc), unusual flours (barley, triticale, spelt, garbanzo bean, etc), organic popcorn, rice-, almond-, hazelnut-, oat milks (they're sometimes cheaper locally, though), and more.  Their fresh produce is available in season, and while it's often still quite expensive, organic apples get really cheap in the fall.

They also sell a lot of organic pre-made stuff, like canned vegetables, fruits, soups, boxed dinners, baking mixes, books, meat & dairy items, pet supplies, baby care items, and more.  I don't usually buy those things from them (or anywhere), so I don't know as much about price comparisons in those categories.

A note about sales:  They run for 2 months.  I get a sales catalog with every other order, alerting me to their new and on-sale items.  For example, June and July have the same items on sale, but August/September will have a new catalog.  Stocking up on sale items really helps keep things affordable, and sometimes there's even a treat to splurge on (organic root beer, anyone?)!  Their sales catalogs always include a recipe or two, and a kind of 'editorial' about some nutritional topic, or even political (food politics is something to keep up on!).

Finally, from what I gather, the people 'at the top' of this organization are wonderful, good people.  Christian even, I think.  They started selling their bulk grains off their farm decades ago, and it just grew from there; families requesting this or that item and they became a 'distribution warehouse' of sorts.  They do sell certain products, by request, that they wouldn't personally recommend (soy stuff, for instance), but they depend on their customer's being informed and using their own judgment, which appeals to my libertarian bent.

If you haven't checked them out, I encourage you to do so.  If you're local, contact me and I'd be happy to add your order to mine, and even pick it up!

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