One way to save money while buying organic is to start a food buying club through the Ontario Natural Food Buying Co-op. All you need is a group of households who are interested in buying organic and natural foods and willing to put in minimum volunteer hours (really it doesn’t take any more of your time than shopping does).
The ONFC requires a minimum of $500 total order from the group in order to deliver outside of Toronto. You can order as frequently as you like from once a week to four times a year, making it easy to meet this minimum order size no matter what your members buying needs are.
The ONFC carries an extensive catalogue of 1,000s of items from cereals to bulk bags of lentils, frozen curries to canned pumpkin, bottled water to fair-trade coffee, milk, eggs and even frozen ground beef. They carry way more variety than any local health food store does. In fact, they supply many health food stores. We get our deliveries right after the Wheat Berry gets theirs.
The biggest savings are in buying cases or “food service” bulk items (these latter items are also minimally packaged allowing you to cut down on the waste you generate). The ONFC also has specials each month of savings up to 30% on a few hundred items. For example, we bought Tinkyada rice pasta in bulk on special this month, getting 5 kg for $17.45, saving at least $26.00 and all the packaging involved in buying a similar amount from the store in its regular 340 g packages.
5 thoughts on “Food Buying Co-ops”
I want to join a buying club in Ottawa – any advice???
You can contact the Ontario Natural Food Buying Club (link in blog post) and they will put you in contact with the nearest club that is open to new members.
I would like to join the natural-food buying co-op. I am interested in learning how to do this, and what kind of volunteering is expected. Years ago I was part of a group that ran a health food store (in Oregon) that worked because volunteers manned the store to receive lower prices. But I have been wanting to join a group like this, where households shop together and thus save. Please contact me soon.
I am looking for the ONFC group in Hull. I’m new to Gatineau and would like to join this ONFC group. Please e-mail me the contact information.
I am no longer part of an ONFC buying club. But you can use the link in the post to contact the ONFC and they will put you in contact with the nearest group