Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My New Camera: Wordless Wednesday

Bridge Bolt by peetred, on Pix-O-Sphere

Pink Bud by peetred, on Pix-O-Sphere

Old Bolt by peetred, on Pix-O-Sphere

Waffles by peetred, on Pix-O-Sphere

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My March Azure Standard Order

Just a couple of years ago, I would never have seen myself buying some of the things I buy now. Many of the items I want are not even carried in our local stores. If I want to buy specialty items, I would have to travel 30 minutes away, and even then, the selection is limited.

A natural food coop is a great way to get specialty items at a decent price, without having to travel all around town (or to other towns) just to find all of the items you may want. Not only that, but I've found some great prices on bulk nuts, dried fruits, and organic produce.

Azure is not the first natural food coop I've participated in, but after only three orders, it's definitely my favorite.

How Azure Works

Some of Azure's items can be shipped right to your door, but many cannot. Azure works by setting up "drop points" in different areas of the country.

Once a month, coop members for that drop point place their order of $50 or more. Their drop point leader will keep them updated on when the truck is due to arrive. On the day and time the truck arrives, members will meet at the drop point to pick up their items. For us, this drop point is in our town, in a parking lot at the edge of town.

You can contact Azure to see if there is a drop point near you. You will then need to contact the drop point leader to get added to their email list and get info for ordering through that coop.

If you don't have a drop point near you, maybe it's time to gather up your natural foodie friends and start one!

What I Like About Azure

Azure allows you to order from their website or catalog. Their website it surprisingly easy to use, with a simple login, a "my favorites" list that allows you to save all of your favorite products for future orders. You can search the online catalog by keyword, category, or specials.

So far, pickup of my Azure order has been very seamless. I have participated in another natural food coop where all members had to arrive and sort through all items together. It took a large amount of everyone's time each week, and was difficult if you had children or other commitments.

With Azure, all of my items are already boxed up and ready when I get there. All I need to do is show up when the truck arrives and make sure I get the number of boxes on my order sheet.

Azure's customer service has been awesome. They always apologize for any inconveniences and try to fix things quickly.

Prices and selection on Azure have been pretty average. They have some great deals from month to month on a large variety of products, and awesome deals on organic produce.

My March Order

The first thing I do when putting together my Azure order is to look over the specials. Then, I check my "favorites" list for any items that we might be running low on.

This month I was on the hunt for a natural shampoo that does not contain chemicals.

Nature's Paradise Organics Shampoo, Moisturizing, Organic Pro Formula:    16oz  -  $9.55

So far, this is the only shampoo that I have found on Azure that contains NO chemicals or additives. You can find it on Amazon here (though it costs less on Azure): Nature's Paradise Organics Shampoo.

Here is a breakdown of the rest of my order:

  •  Newman's Own Fig Newmans, Wheat Free  -  6 packages, 10 oz each  -  $14.60
  •  Newman's Own Dark Chocolate Bar, 54 % Cacoa, Organic  -  3.25 oz bar  -  $2.15
  • Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins, Country Ranch  -  3 packages, 4.25 oz each  -  $6.85
  • Crofter's Concord Grape Premium Spread - Organic  -  10 oz  -  $2.75
  • Wholesome Sweeteners Cane Sugar, Raw, Fair Trade  -  24oz  -  $3.70
  • Fresh Produce Potatoes, Yellow, Organic  -  5 lbs  -  $4.00
  • Fresh Produce Apples, Braeburn, Organic  -  20 lbs  -  $20.75
Shipping: $5.47
Total: $69.82

Their produce is very good quality, and we've been enjoying the apples and potatoes more than the usual ones we buy at the store (we are an apple loving family!)

I hope this answers some questions for those who are curious about ordering from Azure.

Let me know in the comments:

Have you ever ordered from Azure? Are you planning to? Not in your area yet?