Azure Standard – Our Secret to an Easy Real Food Pantry!

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I’ve been an Azure Standard customer since 2020 and have grown to like them more and more in that time! They offer some of the highest quality organic products for affordable prices & we love that they often use more sustainable packaging like glass and paper! Learn everything you need to know about shopping there in this Azure Standard review!

Jump ahead to find exactly what you’re looking for!

azure standard review real food pantry

What is Azure Standard?

Think of Azure Standard as a bulk co-op. It is an Oregon-based company that sells a wide variety of food and household goods. They deliver your goods on a semi-trailer to a drop site near you.

Azure Standard was initially a 2,000 acre family-run wheat and cattle farm in Oregon. In 1971, the family decided to walk away from the chemical fertilizer culture happening elsewhere instead opting for more natural methods.

Over time, their customers started asking them for more options than they could provide and that’s when Azure Standard was really born. Since 1987, they’ve been helping customers source the highest quality and most sustainably grown foods they can find!

Our goal with this Azure Standard review is to help you see how it compares to similar retailers like Costco, find the best products to buy, and feel empowered to start your first order!

How do I order from Azure Standard?

  • First, head to the Azure Standard website to create an account.
  • Then, let’s check for a drop-site near you.
  • Browse the Azure Standard website and fill up your cart with your favorite pantry staples.
  • After you order, you actually still have time to shop! You’re simply reserving your place in the delivery. You’ll need to finalize your cart usually the Monday before your drop date.
  • On your drop date, head to your drop site to pick up your items!

What are the best things to buy from Azure Standard?

There are some products we only buy from Azure Standard now because the quality is so high!

One of my favorite products? This unsalted grass-fed butter.

It is the BUTTERIEST BUTTER I have ever tasted. It smells heavenly when you’re cooking and we love that it’s certified organic from cows who had access to grass all year.

The price is comparable to or better than Kerrygold in stores, yet it’s from California! We buy the 5 lb pack and stick the extra bars in the freezer!

We also love their:

I look forward to ordering from them in the spring for their plant starts and seeds! They even sell the organic fertilizer we use in a giant 40 lb bag for just over $20!

We’re actually a little obsessed with pantries around here…

We’re big believers in keeping a well-stocked pantry! I love to help people set up a simple real food pantry so they can cook from scratch, save money, and reduce their waste.

In fact, I give my pantry staples list and weekly meal planner to all of my subscribers so they can get started right away!

All of this is totally free as a gift for our subscribers! You’ll get this and every other free ebook, guide, or tutorial we’ve ever created when you sign up for our email newsletter.

Get your pantry staples list now!

Cooking from scratch is a gift you can give yourself and your family! It’s way easier than you think and my free pantry staples list & meal planner will help you get started right away.

Send your free downloads directly to your inbox!

What should a first-time shopper expect on their first drop day?

Your drop coordinator will likely reach out to you via email or text to confirm the delivery date and time.

Since the drop time is just a window, don’t head to your pick-up location until you hear from your coordinator that your truck has arrived! Especially with COVID, sometimes the truck is delayed so you don’t want to sit in a parking lot for hours!

When your truck arrives, you’ll see a crowd of cars appear at your drop site. Mine is a church parking lot.

The driver lifts up the trailer and people start hauling out orders and sorting them by names.

When your stuff comes out, they’ll call out your name, you grab it, and you go home.

Are the drops always on time?

Remember that your delivery time is an estimate. Especially with the pandemic, there are times my truck has arrived a day later or later in the day than expected, but it always arrives!

Fortunately, my drop coordinator sends out a text to everyone getting an order that night so we can coordinate times.

Read: Why You Need a Well-Stocked Pantry

How does Azure Standard compare to Costco?

Although we shop at both Azure Standard and Costco, Azure has some distinct benefits Costco can’t quite touch.

No membership fee

Unlike Costco, Thrive Market, Sam’s Club and other bulk retailers (online or in-person), there is NO membership fee. There is a surcharge if your order is under $50, but if it’s more than that…they ship for free.

Easy and Flexible Ordering

First of all, you can see exactly when your drop site’s next delivery is scheduled. This means you can ensure the day and time work for your schedule.

You also have a cutoff time, which means you can completely change or even cancel your order before that time. There are times when I set up a cart and realize I don’t want or need those products anymore…I just go in, cancel the order before the cutoff time, and I’m not charged.

free shipping over $50 (within certain regions)

If you live close to Oregon, shipping rates are very low. For me, shipping is free when I spend $50. If for some reason you have a small order, shipping is only $5.

For areas further away from Oregon, there is an additional charge of 8.5% of the order’s total.

Plus, you actually help Azure save on fuel costs when you order! Whether the truck is half full or packed to the brim, they have almost the same fuel cost.

single size & Bulk Discounts

Okay, not everyone needs the bulk-size portions they sell at Costco. Sometimes you just need a bottle or two of liquid aminos. Other times, you want the 10 lb bag of oatmeal, etc.

Azure Standard offers bulk quantities of all of their items, but they also sell single quantities, too. You can get 1 lb of cheese and 25 lbs of lentils. Or, you can get 25 lbs of cheese and 1 lb of lentils. You get to choose how much you want!

azure standard review
Supports lots of small and local businesses

One of my favorite perks about Azure Standard is that they support a lot of small, American-run businesses.

For example, there is a peanut roastery near me called CB’s Nuts. Azure Standard sells their peanut butters & roasted peanuts in bulk!

I love seeing regional farms and businesses featured. You can see a complete list of the brands Azure Standard sells here.

azure standard is a small business

Also…Azure Standard really is a small business (and family-run to boot!), at least compared to Costco! Since both are regional for me, I’m happy to support either.

However, I love supporting Azure Standard because I know it’s a pretty small crew of people literally growing plant starts for me, handing me my deliveries from the truck, and arranging my order.

Large assortment of bulk produce

Fresh, frozen, or processed, Azure Standard is a wonderful place to buy produce in bulk! In the summer, they’ll offer different varieties of produce in bulk quantities. They also offer large portions of frozen green beans, berries, and more. This is a great way to eat farm-fresh produce for less while reducing your packaging waste.

As with any company, be cautious about ordering easily perishable produce. We typically only buy storage crops or frozen vegetables from Azure so we can ensure premium freshness.

Read: Where to Buy Bulk Produce for Canning, Preserving, and Pickling

High-quality and nourishing foods

Azure Standard offers products of the very highest quality foods and ingredients:

We love that they sometimes even sell transitional produce, meaning produce from fields that are in the process of becoming organic certified. The growers use organic methods, but the crops may still have pesticide residue in the fields from being farmed conventionally. This is a great way to eat high-quality, organically raised food for less.

Here is a list of the ingredients and products Azure Standard refuses to sell.

Highly competitive pricing

I’ve been sourcing organic foods and ingredients for a long time. The prices are sometimes eye-bulging! I eat real food on a budget. Although we don’t mind investing in food that aligns with our values, we also aren’t interested in overpaying.

Although it’s harder to track prices right now during COVID, we typically find that Azure Standard’s prices are definitely better than our local co-op’s and they are often competitive or lower than big box grocery stores.

There are times that Azure Standard costs more than Costco, so we have a list of products we get there instead of Azure Standard. Plus, since Azure Standard will not sell just anything, there are products we have to get at Costco (chicken bouillon paste!).

Read: The Ultimate List of Zero & Low Waste Frugal Food Hacks

azure foods organic coconut oil
Incredible selection of organic foods

Especially since Costco doesn’t offer as many organic options as Azure Standard, you can’t even compare the prices! There are times Costco may be cheaper for specific products.

However, Azure Standard sells way more variety of organic rices than Costco so you’ll likely find exactly what you’re looking for compared to Costco, which has one organic option. Sometimes the price difference is minimal or I save money shopping at Azure Standard.

Azure Cash & Referrals

Azure Standard offers cashback on all purchases with some extra cashback on different sales products. This is a nice little incentive that saves a little money here or there!

Plus, once you fall in love with Azure Standard, you can refer your friends to their website. For any new customers who spend over $100, you will get $25 in credit towards your next order! This is the Share Azure program and you can see it offered as a tab on your account when you login.

Unless you have the Costco Executive Membership, you don’t get cashback at all. Plus, you have to pay for that privilege with your membership fee!

Read: Sustainable Baking Essentials for Beginners

azure standard review pantry staples
Sustainable Packaging

If you’ve been here a while, you know we are all about sustainable living! We’re working on setting up a low or zero waste pantry. We love that Azure Standard typically packages their items in a way that reduces packaging waste.

For example, many of their products are packaged in paper bags that you can later biodegrade or compost. I know folks who save those bags for mulching in their garden or around fruit trees!

They also pack orders in boxes left from receiving the products they sell, so you might take home your purchases in an old yogurt box or kombucha box.

Azure Standard typically offers their liquid products in either glass or plastic so you can choose the packaging that fits your standards. The glass containers do cost more.

Azure Standard is not plastic-free nor is it zero waste, but you can definitely reduce the packaging you get all together or opt for more environmentally-friendly packaging.

Read: A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Real Food Zero Waste Kitchen

azure standard vs costco
azure standard facebook group

I’m in an Azure Standard Facebook group with over 4,000 other people!

I love seeing how other folks shop at Azure. Some people do massive grocery hauls to load their stockpiles, others do a once-a-month grocery shop, and some people just shop when they need to.

You’ll learn the best tips out there from other regular shoppers, so be sure to join the group!

Why would someone not want to shop at Azure organic?

The reason I did not order from Azure Standard right after I first heard of them years ago was my concern over drop site logistics.

Sometimes the drops are in the afternoon when I’m at work, and then what happens? Does someone refrigerate my milk until I get off hours later? What if the truck arrives earlier or later?

Plus…as a socially anxious person…I was worried about how I would need to communicate with the drop site coordinator.

Which drop site would I use? What if it was all for people from one organization or something and they didn’t want a new person participating? What if the coordinator was rude or heaven forbid, they wanted to call me on the phone!

I was also worried about what to do with 25 lbs of oats or gallons of olive oil. Surely, I would not need all of that. Plus, if a lot of it is organic, wouldn’t it be prohibitively expensive?

azure standard review beginners

Azure Standard is easier than you think.

  • Drop sites are either public or not. If your drop site is open, you can use it without asking!
  • Pick a delivery date that works for your schedule.
  • Your drop site coordinator will communicate with you so you know when to go to your drop site.
  • You don’t have to order in bulk! There are many product sizes available.
  • Check the prices on your favorite products before you buy.

Read: Where is the Best Place to Buy Grass-Fed Beef?

What would you not buy from Azure Standard?

Personally, I believe that Azure Standard is a thoughtful company that only sells products they truly believe in. They even remove brands when they are bought out by corporations or change their ingredients list.

For example, they no longer sell the laundry detergent I use (Biokleen), because Biokleen was bought out and they no longer support that brand.

I love that Azure Standard operates from a set of core values. Everything I have purchased has been great, with the exception of their produce variety pack.

Although we believe Azure Standard sells high-quality meat, we prefer to shop at local farms to save per pound.

Start eating real food every day

Get the inside scoop from my years of cooking from scratch & preserving the harvest. Learn how to eat seasonally & sustainably… even on a budget!

azure standard review real food pantry

More Azure Standard Reviews:

Still trying to decide if you want to try Azure Standard? We hear you! We thought about it for a while before we bought. Now, we wish we started shopping there sooner!

Boots & Hooves Homestead agreed about the quality of Azure Standard foods and also about how great their plant starts are! I’m telling you…They’re an excellent resource for your garden.

Little House Living might actually be who first told me about Azure Standard! It’s an excellent resource for stocking your pantry on a budget.

Farmhouse on Boone shared a list of her favorite Azure Standard products to get a good deal. We totally agree and were thrilled to see she loves the same super buttery butter. 🙂

Deliberate Less also notes that Azure Standard is often lower per pound than typical grocery stores and that buying in bulk can be a sustainable option. We totally agree!

Is this Azure Standard review helpful?

Have you ever tried Azure Standard? Do you have any questions about our Azure Standard review? Post them in the comments below!

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