A Beginners Guide to Azure Standard
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For the last 15 years, our family has been ordering many bulk foods through Azure Standard coop each month. Each month I get many comments and emails asking about ordering with Azure and what my review of Azure Standard is so I thought I’d try and condense everything you need to know into one post so in case you too were wondering about ordering from Azure Standard, this guide will help you get started!
What Is Azure Standard?
Azure Standard is a bulk buying coop. They sell organic foods, organic produce, and other organic products. They do have some conventional products but they seem to be moving away from those in the past few years.
Azure ships its products out from their Moro, Oregon facility mostly by semi-truck. Once you join you get on a “route” to be able to go pick up your order when it comes to town.
The awesome thing about them is that you don’t necessarily have to buy the products they sell in bulk, making it easy for anyone to order.
How Do Azure Drops Work?
You can order from Azure through UPS delivery (but only dry goods) or by the standard method of semi-truck deliveries. (Monthly or in some areas, bi-monthly)
Thanks to all of our moving around, I’ve ordered with Azure in different states and in many different drop locations, even being a drop coordinator myself. I can tell you that with some minor differences depending on the drop, most drop locations will run in a very similar way to how I’m describing here.
How Do I Get Connected and Set Up an Account with Azure?
To first find out if Azure is in your area you will need to call or check the schedule of deliveries on their website. You will need to look for the closest drop locations or if there isn’t any, you will have to be one of their drop shipping locations.
It’s easiest to just give them a call after you get signed up with them (it’s free!) and find out the phone number of your drop site manager. They’ve also made it very easy to sign up online if you know which drop site you want to join and if the drop is showing that it’s “open” to new members.
Each truck drop site has a manager that will contact you each month and let you know what time the delivery will be. Azure will also send you an email each month with the drop pickup information.
If there is not a delivery drop in your area and if you are already on a route, you can also talk to Azure about starting your own drop site in your town as long as you and some friends can meet the minimum drop amount.
We did this in a town that we lived in and even though we had a small group (only 4 or 5 of us ordering) we still met the minimum each month so that we could continue to get orders to our town.
Does Azure Standard Offer Free Shipping?
They do not offer free shipping on truck deliveries or UPS deliveries and rightfully so. It’s very expensive to ship heavy bulk items. Our shipping rate for our area on truck deliveries is 8.5% of our total order cost. It’s different for different areas.
Can You Use Food Stamps on Azure Standard?
At this time, you cannot use food stamps to order from Azure.
What does Azure Standard Make?
Azure manufactures a few items themselves like their Azure Clean line and the Uncommon Carob, however they are mostly a repackaging facility.
How Do I Order from Azure?
The easiest way to order is to simply order on the Azure Standard website. You can add items to your cart, see prices and descriptions and quantity on hand.
Once you order, Azure will send you an email confirmation so you know your order was placed. You will need a drop site number (that you get from your drop manager) before you can order to ensure it goes to the right drop unless you signed up online under a specific drop location.
When you order, keep in mind that you may have to pay a shipping fee (ours is 8.5% of total). When you order make sure you check out the sales and the bargain bin that are available to see online (you can also order a free sales flyer with your order, sales change once every month).
What Do I Order from Azure?
Azure sells everything from fresh produce to baby diapers from honey to eggs and from wheat berries to boxed cereals and everything in between! We order the majority of our monthly groceries from them each month. The best way to decide what to order is to work on making your grocery list through the month so you don’t forget anything and make sure to create a meal plan for the upcoming month so you know what you will need.
Of course, with all of the products that they have, I couldn’t simply tell you everything that would be great to order but I can share some of the things that we order. Azure also now has reviews on their products so you can tell if a product might be high quality of poor quality based on the reviews.
For more details on exactly what I like to order in bulk, I created a big blog post on What to Order from a Bulk Coop.
My Favorites Items to Order from Azure
I have so many items that I love to order each month from Azure Standard. Here are a few to give you some ideas of what to order!
- Bulk Cream Cheese
- Dried Onion
- Bulk Garlic Granules
- Turbinado Sugar
- Frozen Fruits and Vegetables (we like the Stahlbrush brand but have recently liked the larger boxes (5 or 10lbs of Azure brand))
- Country Save Detergent
- Brown Rice Pasta
- Whole Milk Yogurt
- Bulk Oats
I personally no longer order any fresh produce from Azure. I do have another source for that and since we are so far from the Azure warehouse, I have found that the quality isn’t what I would expect.
Other Tips and Tricks for Ordering from Azure
- Make sure to plan plenty of time to pick up your order. The truck may not be right on time and it takes longer to put away a large load of bulk foods than you think!
- Not everything from your order may come in depending on stock on hand. The best way to find out if something is available before you order is to call and make sure. There is still no guarantee that it will be available when the truck is loaded though. This is why I try and keep a little extra of everything on hand when I can.
- If you are interested in buying produce, make sure to check right before your order is due. Produce can be added or removed from the website daily.
- There is one sale flyer every month. Stock up on your favorites during that time!
- There is no minimum order for a semi-truck delivery (besides the total drop order minimum) but if you purchase under $50 you will be charged a fee.
- Be sure and check the discount section before you order, you might find a bargain!
The Downside to Ordering from Azure
Over the years I’ve found a few issues with ordering from Azure. Although none of these would be deal-breakers, they are things to be aware of before you order. No company is perfect!
Even though a product shows that it is in stock on their website, you still may not get it. Plan to have a backup.
There are many potential delays because of how their truck shipping is organized. At the moment, we never know when our order will come in until a few days before. I have someone that picks up for me so this hasn’t been too much of any issue. But if you live a long ways from your drop site or if you have a busy schedule, this is something to be aware of.
Prices change frequently. I know from personal experience that the wholesale industry changes quickly so this is normal, however, it’s hard to have “regular” items that you buy if you are on a tight budget. I used to purchase animal feed from Azure but do not any longer because of the price increase and I can get it cheaper elsewhere. Like any store, just watch the prices before you buy.
Check out Azure here.
—Learn Everything About Buying in Bulk.
Have you ever ordered from Azure? What are your favorite things to buy?
This blog post on a Beginner’s Guide to Azure was originally posted on Little House Living in July 2014. It has been updated as of January 2023.
Have u ever ordered from Azure the ingredients to make your own chicken feed? I am interested in doing this but don’t know if it would be to costly.
I haven’t yet but my mom has. They have some good deals if you want to make sure you get organic, otherwise it’s a better deal to buy in bulk from your local grain elevator if you have the option.
When you buy produce, how do you keep it fresh so it last longer?
I have so many problems with keeping stuff fresh.
Here are some tips on Making Produce Last Longer. When I buy in bulk from Azure (fresh produce) it’s usually to can or freeze unless it’s a product like onions, potatoes, or apples, which will last a long time simply in cold storage or in the fridge. We also try to follow a plan on eating what goes bad quickly first so for example if I buy grapes, apples, carrots, and celery for the month, I will plan my meals around eating the grapes and celery first because they have the shortest shelf life.
Thank you so much for the tips. 🙂
If you wrap your celery in aluminum foil and store it in the crisper drawer of the fridge, it will last through the end of the month.
I’ve also found that by cutting the root end, standing stalks in a bit of water in a container with a bag over the tops in the refrigerator it lasts for weeks!! Just remember to add more water as needed
Thank you for the great tip! I am going to check them out. They may not be in our area but its worth the look 🙂
If they aren’t in your area they may very soon be so it’s worth it to keep checking every few months. They seem to be expanding quite quickly right now.
Have you done any food fermenting???
If so, do you have any advise?
My mom has done extensive food fermenting and culturing, I haven’t started on it yet. If there is enough interest we might be able to get her to do some blog posts on it 🙂
That would be great!!!
Thank you 🙂
I am interested in food fermenting too.
I would be interested in posts on fermenting as well!
I would be interested in basic fermented foods like sourdough and sour kraut, esp. Maybe others, too.
I’ve looked into this before but is it really that much cheaper?? How much do you think you save? Have you ever figured it up before?
It depends on where you live but for us it’s absolutely cheaper. At the grocery store here I would pay $2.49 for one organic onion. With Azure I pay $3.50 for a 3lb bag. Even cheaper if they have the 40lb bag. Just about everything we buy that I’ve seen at the store is usually several dollars cheaper from Azure.
Hi Merissa, I don’t comment too much, but I’ve been devouring your site for several weeks now and love the way you break down homesteading life. You’ve already helped me a lot, and I really appreciate this post because I’ve heard of Azure Standard, but haven’t checked into yet. I’m excited to show this post to my husband later and maybe we’ll look into it some more!
One question, (and I hope it doesn’t sound stupid. lol)
“Turbinado Sugar” is this a brand or a special type of sugar? Lately I’ve been wondering if I should be more picky with the type of sugar I buy, since I mostly buy whatever is on sale at a traditional grocery store…
Thanks again for the great post and for this blog in general. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorites!
Turbinado is just sugar in it’s raw form. We cut out regular processed sugars about 4 years ago and noticed a huge difference (by just switching from processed to non, not cutting it out entirely).
Oh, okay, thanks for the answer. My husband and I are browsing Azure right now!
I have ordered from Azure for several years now. In fact I was ordering from them before they had a route through here via UPS shipped. I love getting the organic produce such as apples, oranges, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Many times I can purchase organic from as cheap or cheaper than regular in the grocery stores. I get laundry supplies, cleaning supplies, rice, beans, and some snack foods. It would be very difficult for me to use as much organic as I do without Azure.
I LOVE ordering from Azure! We buy 50# bags of whole grains, oats, beans; 30# boxes of organic raisins, 50# bags of organic powdered milk, bulk baking supplies ( spices, sucanat, cocoa, unsweetened coconut, parchment paper), frozen bulk organic vegetables (we are still eating down a 30 # bag of frozen broccoli flowerettes!), gallon jugs of apple cider vinegar and molasses. Our drop-point manager asks for a $5 fee. I allot $100/mo now for our Azure order since my pantry is at at a ‘working’ level. Living in coastal California, we have a good choice of health-concious grocery stores and farmers’ markets, but we have always
tried to belong to a coop for bulk buying. The convenience is great.
Would love to have easy fermenting ideas that taste good
For those of you who live in more urban areas, what do you think of Azure’s prices? I live in Denver and have easy access to Costco, farmers markets, and a variety of grocery stores. I am very interested in trying out Azure because I like the concept, but have yet to find a single product that is cheaper than what I usually pay in my local stores for the same or similar products. I tend to watch for sales and rarely pay full price for anything, but still…what am I missing? What are you guys buying from Azure that’s so cheap?
Grocery prices are very dependent on location and shipping routes. It is possible that you are on a shipping route that makes your grocery stores cheaper than the average around the country. We have a Costco nearby as well, but I am careful because not everything is cheaper and some things come in too big packages for me to use in a reasonable time. If you can get the same organic stuff at costco for cheaper than of course you would stick with the local store. It’s just that in many parts of the country groceries are much more expensive, or people live too far from large grocery outlets.
In regards to the question about Azure in Denver. I live in Cheyenne WY. We also have acces to farmers markets/Costco. Azure has great prices on gluten free items. Watch for the sales with Azure. I use a variety of products from produce to laundary deteregent. If you factor in your time shopping plus impulse shopping in a grocery store. Azure works better for me anyway. Hope this helps
I get my organic chicken food (Scratch and Peck brand) from them. It is wonderful. Also bulk rice, split peas, sugar, etc. for food storage.
Great company and very helpful over the phone if you need to call.
I love Azure Standard! I buy also buy my natural olives from them. In addition, any of the organic spices I’ve ordered have been excellent. AS is my go to for nearly everything. If I can’t get it there, then I will look elsewhere.
Thank you so much for sharing Azure Standard! We just picked up our first order from the truck, literally less than 5 miles from our home!! Bulk bargains and quality items that can’t be beat! Thank you for all of your helpful posts and ideas!
Awesome! I’m so glad you discovered them!
How many yrs do we have left until they withhold ALL seeds?
Enjoying your Frugal Fridays postings! Thanks for sharing!