If like me, you’re trying to make a simple living by being largely self-sufficient, finances are probably one of your constant concerns.
But along with pinching pennies, I also have high standards and I bet you do, too. Everyday I’m trying to find the best ways to save money while still eating high quality, organic, and gluten-free foods. So I went on a quest to answer this question:
Is it possible to buy organic, gluten-free products in bulk?
Bulk-buying has turned out to be one of my best friends in the money-saving department. And I don’t mean shopping at CostCo.
I also don’t mean buying from bulk bins in health food stores, which, more often than not, does not guarantee you a gluten-free eating experience, since it is easy for the contents of one bin to be contaminated by the contents of another.
If you have food restrictions and are trying to eat the highest quality food you can, there are other options. Here’s what I’ve found that works for me.
Look into Local Buying Clubs
You may just have a bulk buying club in your very own community.
Living in Elkton, Oregon last year, I was invited to join the local community bulk buying club. One of my purchases was a 50 lb. bag of organic, gluten-free oats. This was a great option for me to save money on something I was essentially buying in bulk anyway, just paying a lot more for it.
So do a little online search for your area, or ask around. You never know what kind of great community organizing might be going on nearby!
Online Bulk Buying Options
If you don’t have a local buying club, online options are the way that many of us living in rural communities will have to go.
While I do prefer supporting local businesses when I can, I just can’t find all the healthy ingredients I’d like locally. So I did some research and found some wonderful online options – all of these carry many products that are both organic AND gluten-free.
Anthony’s Goods has flours, grains, spices, and a few other categories of ingredients (activated charcoal, anyone?) that will keep your kitchen regime humming along like a well-oiled machine.
And the more you buy, the cheaper the price per unit, so this is a great option if you’re ready to stock up on, say, buckwheat groats.
I’ve had impeccable customer service from them as well, and I like their packaging – so do my cats.
I’m not keen on supporting Amazon, I mean, they have enough of the world’s business already, don’t they? Whenever possible, I support smaller companies. But sometimes, Amazon is just the only place to find what you’re looking for, so in those cases, I make exceptions.
For instance, I buy organic, gluten-free Lundberg rice from them, in 25 lb bags. I have discovered different varieties of rice this way, such as Golden Rose, which it turns out, I adore.
Sometimes I buy odd things like rose petals or roasted chicory root in bulk. These are things you won’t be likely to find in the average health food store anyway.
When I’m looking for bulk spices, loose tea, or tea making ingredients, I turn to Frontier Co-op. If food exploration makes you tingle, then you will have fun shopping here, anyway.
Company bonus points: they are a co-op, and highly socially engaged.
My favorite of all, Azure Standard is a bulk buying company with high standards – as its name appropriately suggests.
This company operates a national network of drop off points for the delivery of all sorts of high quality bulk foods – produce, grains, legumes, flours, and all sorts of packaged foods.
You can have your order delivered directly to your house, but a much cheaper option is to pick your order up from a pre-established drop off point.
My closest pickup is about an hour and a half away from where I live – but it is well worth the drive for me so that I can get organic, gluten-free food at a fraction of the price I’d have to pay in a health food store.
Affordable, Compatible, Sustainable
There you go, now you have a few options for bulk buying organic, gluten-free foods. You can save money, live up to your high standards for sustainable food production, AND keep your gut safe from gluten contamination.
If anyone out there knows of any other trusted sources for bulk foods that are BOTH organic AND gluten-free, please share in the comments!
Stay healthy and happy!