Good source for buying food in bulk?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by JulieNC, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    Anyone have a good source for buying foods in bulk? Primarily, I'm looking for corn (which I can later grind into cornmeal), wheat berries (for later grinding), flax seed (also for grinding) and all sorts of other grains and cereals.

    I'm also looking for a source to buy plastic food grade containers to store those things. I've tried asking local bakeries and the like to buy their old containers, but they don't have them (or if they do, they're not telling).

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Try Bulkfoods.com. They have a variety of grains and such.

    Meg :)
     
  4. Sandhills

    Sandhills Well-Known Member

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    Try United Buying clubs. This is the food co-op I belong to. They do have clubs in North Carolina.
    Their catalog has a bulk foods section. They carry most of the whole grains including flax seed.
    http://www.unitedbuyingclubs.com/
    I buy the icing buckets from the local bakery so I don't know what to tell you about containers. I usually pay 2.50 per 5 gallon bucket. I have gotten desperate and used a rubber maid tote for whole grains when I had nothing else to keep the mice away. I hope you find something that works for you.
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I use the buckets from the hardware store. It is my understanding that they are exactly the same as the ones sold as 'food grade'. They have certainly never imparted any taste or off odor to food I keep in them. And I am very sensitive to odors.

    I've compared prices of a number of bulk food sellers that do business on the net, and even with freight, walton feed seems to have the best prices on most things. Sometimes their prices beat anything I could get locally as well. They say their wheat is chemical free and they have a number of items that are labled organic.
     
  6. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all so much for the information! I'm reviewing it all. I have to say that Walton did look very inexpensive next to some of the stuff I've been seeing.

    I've been searching the web for awhile trying to compare, but it's often like comparing apples to oranges. Plus, it's enormously helpful to get feedback from folks who have been using various services.

    Sandhills--do you buy bulk foods from the food club? If so, how do those prices compare with Waltons? (I tried to get the information online, but they don't publish their price lists for the general public.)

    Cyngbaeld - I've often wondered about the plastic buckets from the hardware store and whether they're different from food grade. Anyone have any additional thoughts on those plastic buckets?

    I hope folks will continue to post on this thread. It's enormously helpful.

    Again, many thanks.
     
  7. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    I don't remember if it was wally world or kmart, but we bought two large rubbermaid style containers with lids that were on wheels. Wicked handy when you try to move 100 pounds of grains. They were eleven bucks each, so we only use them for the big loads, and cleaned out several hardware store buckets for the other stuff.
     
  8. Sandhills

    Sandhills Well-Known Member

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    Julie,
    A 50# bag of organic white wheat berries is $24.18 out of the Iowa warehouse.
    It might be a different price in NC. I do buy bulk from this co-op. I don't have a grain mill yet so I'm stuck buy whole wheat flour so I can't coment on the wheat berries. United carries many regular grocery items but not all are organic. But they do set standards such as no GMO's and the dairy products are supposed to be BST free.
    United is based on buying clubs. You join a club (or group) that combines orders to meet their minimum order reqirements. Here is a link if you want to find a group near you. http://www.unitedbuyingclubs.com/RESOURCES/FABC/FABC_NC.htm
    This link will tell you a little more about belonging to a buying club. http://www.unitedbuyingclubs.com/How_To_Buy.htm#why
    If you have anymore questions you might want to PM me. My days get pretty busy and I don't always get a chance to check the boards.
    BTW, I'm MB from the rural moms board that Nola used to moderate.
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If you get the rubbermaid type tubs be sure you get the colored kind that you cannot see thru. The clear plastic ones are toxic as all get out. I tried some a few months ago when I was packing to move and could not get the smell out, even with airing in an open shed for several weeks. I had to use them since I could not make a return trip to the store and the things I packed in them picked up the odor. It took a lot of washing to get it out of the clothes. I'm sure it would make you sick to store food in them.

    I've used the white 5 gal buckets for over 10 yrs with no problems.
     
  10. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    BUCKETS !!!!
    from the store !no they are not the same as food grade !!I promise this is not the same!!the dyes and additives can be anything make sure if youre using them !you must be using food gradel iners, !!and these things arejust short steps!i still would look for food grade buckets!heck honey, you pay the shipping i will send them to you!its worth the trouble, check with the bakery,restraunts ,school lunch room,dairy stores
     
  11. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    I would check with a school cafeteria to see if they have any containers. Or a locker may have them as well. I use ice cream buckets for many things but rodents have been known to chew through them. Jars would work well to and are actually pretty when lined up.
     
  12. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    We go through www.azurestandard.com
    We know the family that runs it. Excellent quality and great prices.
     
  13. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They don't have the esoteric items, but we buy our bread flour, rice, and sugar in bulk at sams club. Also soy sauce, various condiments, cheese,yeast etc.
     
  14. featherbottom

    featherbottom Well-Known Member

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  15. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    We use Walton Foods. I have searched and searched and find none better in price or quality of food. Once you purchase those buckets they are good for a life time and I think they are a wise investment. We popped for a big supply of them 20 years ago and I still use them. The good ones will even withstand the nasty squirrel who might try chewing through......they are really.....REALLY tough :haha:

    Before we started dehydrating our own produce I bought quite a bit of dryed fruits and veggies from Walton Foods as well. They were all of good quality and I have never had a complaint.
     
  16. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    I also use Azure Standard,, have always gotten excellent quality stuff from them.
     
  17. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    OK, really dumb question time and something I have been trying to figure out.

    What size (in gallon size) of a container do you need for a 25 pound bag of flour.

    Yeah, I could buy some and experiment but, thought that I would just ask before I end up with a flour-floor. :)
     
  18. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    25 lbs of flour should fit into a 5 gal bucket ok. If it looks like it won't all go in, put as much as you can in without spilling, put the lid on and thump the sides to encourage it to settle. Then put the rest in.
     
  19. ShadyLady

    ShadyLady Member

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    Another vote for the folks at Azure. Consistant excellent quality and service.
     
  20. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they dont say food grade or you dont know then they are not food grade. Most hardware store buckets are not food grade. There not toxic but not food grade either. Also some of the white ones have a chemical on them to resist paint.