How to Save Money with a Buying Club

      13 Comments on How to Save Money with a Buying Club
Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

How to Save Money with a Buying Club - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Buying Clubs for Buying Power

My family saved money with a buying club when I was a kid. The products came in large bags, boxes, and buckets that had to be broken down on arrival unless members wanted large quantities. Now you have options for many different sizes and sometimes even individual packages. Of course, you get a better price when you order in quantity.

 This post contains affiliate links for products you may find useful. I make a small commission if you purchase products through these links. Please see disclosure below.

Buying clubs have been around for ages. The basic idea is – a group of people pools their purchasing power in order to receive better prices. Farmers can organize a buying club to get better prices on feed, seed, or livestock. Families and individuals can organize a buying club to order food and household goods at lower prices. For some people, this is the only way that they can find organic products or health foods without driving long distances.

Save Money on Staples, Bulk Foods, and Preparedness with a Buying Club

Our family prepares much of our food from scratch. This allows control over the ingredients and we don’t purchase nearly as much packaging as when we buy convenience foods. We eat a healthier diet and waste less too!

I also like to keep extra food on hand in case of emergencies. A lot of my stocked food is home canned, dried, or frozen from my garden. I also like to keep flour, rolled oats, wheat berries, chocolate chips, dried fruits, and various spices and baking supplies on hand for making my own foods from scratch. We make up our own trail mixes from nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate purchased through a buying club. I vacuum seal or freeze the extra foods to prevent pantry moths.

We probably have enough food on hand to last close to a year without buying any if something went terribly wrong. If you are interested in stocking up for emergencies, you can save a great deal of cash by joining or starting a buying club.

If you do a lot of cooking from scratch a buying club is a great way to stock up on supplies!

Organizing a Buying Club

Start out by looking for buying clubs in your area that are accepting new members. Check with friends who order in bulk, contact companies that sell to buying clubs, or search online. You might be pleasantly surprised to find a group that will welcome you.

If you don’t have a buying club nearby, look for companies that will deliver to a buying club in your area. Once you have the necessary information, organize a group of people who are also interested. Check with friends and family, church members, or through local clubs and other organizations. You might even find other members through an online forum. Be careful about meeting with people you don’t know…pick a public place to have a meeting.

Buying Club Friendly Companies

Check online for companies that sell to buying clubs. The ones that I am familiar with are: Azure Standard (affiliate link), Country Life Natural Foods, United Natural Foods Incorporated (UNFI is not accepting new buying clubs, so check for existing clubs), and Frontier Herbs. I’m sure that there are many more around the US that I haven’t heard of. If you know of any in your area, please leave a comment and share them!

Some companies make ordering easy and others are less ‘user-friendly.’ Azure Standard is great because each member places their own order and pays for it online with a credit card. There is a coordinator for each group to sign for deliveries. They may send out reminders and updates. The orders come labeled with the customers’ names on each box or bag so there’s no breaking down or repacking. Members unload the truck and there is a shipping fee (but no sales tax in most areas) added to each invoice.

Things to Consider

There are a few things to be aware of before you get started. Some products cost less at the grocery store while others are much cheaper ordered in bulk through buying clubs.

Flour, grains, baking supplies, spices, essential oils, and some of our organic grocery products cost much less through the buying clubs. I check each online catalog then compare the best price to the store price before I buy through a club. Be sure that you will save money and/or have access to the products you really want before you go through the work of starting a buying club! Check the online catalog for the most up to date price.

Azure Standard even carries livestock feed!

Policies and Procedures

Check into the company’s return and refund policies, shipping fees, taxes, minimum order amounts, and any other pertinent information. If you have to have a minimum order of $500 per delivery, will your club be able to meet the minimum? Do you have to order every month? Or can you order just once or twice a year? Is there a membership fee? Check the prices against what you might pay through an online company. Sometimes you can find a better price with free shipping for orders over $50 by shopping online.

Get all of the facts before you make any commitments.

Paperwork and Expenses

Some companies require you to fill out paperwork to start buying from them. They may want your social security number or a tax ID number if you are planning on opening a line of credit. I recommend against this, as it can cause complications if some members bounce checks or never pick up. If you don’t know members have them prepay for their orders.

Don’t Go Crazy Ordering from a Buying Club!

Be careful to order within your budget and think carefully about ordering extras or large quantities if you can’t use it up quickly enough. It’s very tempting to load up on goodies that you’d like to have, but don’t really need, so make a list and stick with it!

Do you belong to buying clubs? What companies do you order from?

This site is a participant in the Azure Standard Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn store credit by linking to Azure Standard. You will not pay any extra for your products and I’ll earn a referral fee to help support this blog.
How to Save Money with a Buying Club - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Shared on Farm Fresh Tuesdays, You’re the Star


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

13 comments on “How to Save Money with a Buying Club

  1. Pingback: Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

  2. Pingback: Cooling Eucalyptus Mint Body Spray - The New Homesteader's Almanac

  3. Pingback: Farm Fresh Tuesdays #7 And Co-op Orders - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

  4. Pingback: Let's Start A Self Reliance Challenge! - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

  5. Pingback: Can You Save Money on Chicken Feed?

  6. latebloomershow

    Great post with lots of great info! You are one hard-working homemaker, Lisa! (Love the blog name!) Just subscribed. I’m afraid I would be out of luck if something bad happened. Though, stopping eating bread was very liberating. Now, we only need flour for weekend pancakes or the occasional cookie craving. I belonged to a raw dairy food buying club, but it was raided. With dairy king in California, they don’t want folks to get the idea raw dairy is good for you. My home state of TN is much more raw dairy friendly, and saw 1 gal. raw milk for $4 at a Mennonite farm! Sorry to get off-subject, lot of history there. Keep up the great work! http://www.latebloomershow.com/

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Kaye,
      Thanks for subscribing and taking the time to comment! I’m glad to share what I learn along my journey to ‘self sufficiency’ ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m sorry to hear about your raw milk experience. We have a local farmer who we’ve been purchasing milk from, but one of the cows has dried up. I’m really missing my 2 or 3 gallons of fresh, raw milk every week. So I can totally relate to your predicament. I really don’t understand how the big biz can control our politicians and laws…oh wait, I can understand, it’s all about the almighty dollar! Sigh.

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find another dairy to buy from!

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Sprouting Wheat For Chicken Feed

  8. Pingback: How to Start a Buying Club | Around The Cabin

  9. Katie

    There is one in our town; a lot of the people that belong to our CSA also buy in bulk from Frankferd Farms, a farm and co-op in western PA. They offer their own flour products along with a ton of other organic and non-organic food items. We have bought from them in the past, but found out that we had to check prices – they were not always cheaper. Now that we are baking our own bread though, we need to start buying flour in bulk again. We go through almost a 5 pound bag a week.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hi Katie,
      Yes, I definitely check prices. If it is a local company that is raising the food locally I will often pay a bit more to keep the money in my community. But if they are reselling products trucked in, that isn’t really local.

      I bake all of our own bread too and you’re so right, flour goes really fast. Good for you! Keep up the great work. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
    2. jabbok3kids

      I love Frankferd Farms! ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to check out their wheat berry prices. I never thought to look at that for chicken feed. I usually buy spelt flour in 25 pound bags from them.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.