Wednesday, July 13, 2011

buying club

 Way back when I wrote a post about the Frontier wholesale co-op that I host.   We have been going strong for close to five years now!  I currently have 8 members and we order monthly.  When people ask me about how I can afford to live naturally, I always tell them about the co-op.  I am able to order items for almost half of what I would pay for them in the store.

I thought I would break down what a month of savings looks like for me.  Also, if you tend to buy more conventional products, this may give you a peak into what the cost difference is.

I will list the product info, the SRP (suggested retail price), and the price that I paid.
 (I should add that some stores sell items for more than the SRP, which means that this is even more of a savings.)

Some months are heavier buying months than others.  This was one of those for me.  We hadn't ordered in about six weeks, so we were running low on some staples.  Also, I ordered disposable items that I don't usually order.  It's nice having those things on hand for large get-togethers that tend to pop up in the summer!

Alright, are you ready for this?  I don't know if I am!

Huddle up, all hands in...



Product                                                        SRP                       wholesale price

7th Generation 12 pack toilet paper            $13.19                     $6.32
Earth Friendly veggie wash                        $5.99                       $3.60
Dr. Bronner lotion                                      $9.99                       $5.99
Kiss My Face shaving lotion                      $7.95                       $3.58
Alba SPF 25 lip balm                                 $2.99                       $1.53
Eco-Dent xylitol gum                                 $1.99                       $.89  
Nutiva 29 oz coconut oil                            $21.99                     $14.65
Nux Vomica (homeopathic meds)             $7.95                        $4.75
22 Ultra Green plates                                 $6.79                        $3.69
Organic Chia seeds                                    $14.49                      $6.53
7th Generation paper towels                      $3.69                        $1.76
Earth Friendly dish soap 25 oz.                  $4.69                        $2.80
Ecover limescale remover 16oz.                $5.75                        $3.45
7th Generation pads  18 count                   $6.45                        $3.85
Earth Friendly dishwasher gel 40oz          $6.96                        $4.00
Kiss My Face shampoo 32 oz                   $17.99                      $10.79
KMF conditioner 32 oz                             $17.99                      $10.79
Alba lip gloss                                             $3.99                        $2.39
Frontier Organic Tea 1 lb.                         $17.90                      $8.95
Giovanni shampoo/body wash 16oz          $9.95                        $5.97
Organic chili powder refill 1.3 oz              $3.32                        $2.19
Kiss My Face toothpaste                            $5.95                       $3.57
Cat supplement  2 oz                                  $7.99                       $3.23
Weleda tooth gel                                        $7.00                       $4.20
Ultra Green cutlery (36 pieces)                  $3.89                       $2.12
7th Gen. disinfecting wipes (70 wipes)      $9.09                      $5.45

SRP Total:  $225.92

Wholesale Total:  $127.04

Total Savings:  $98.88!

That is pretty big savings!  I've never broken it down like that before so I'm pretty excited to see how much I saved.  I rarely spend over $100 a month, but I bought larger items this time.  I'm hoping that the shampoo and conditioner will last for three months.  The shaving cream typically lasts for around that long as well.  The chia seeds and the tea will not be monthly purchases either.

Besides the great savings, I also like the time saved.  By ordering all of this and having it shipped directly to me (for free!) I don't have to drive around trying to find it all.  And, news flash, in our small town I wouldn't be able to find the majority of these items anyway.

 If you are looking for a great way to save money, get your friends together and start a co-op!  I couldn't be happier with the customer service of the Frontier people and the variety of items that they offer.

If you have any questions about starting up, please let me know.  I'll answer all questions in the comment section.


Wende said...

When I had my first daughter, I joined a Burt's Bee co-op and saved a ton of money on baby products. Co-ops are the best!

amanda {the habit of being} said...

I just placed our Frontier order yesterday! I love seeing the FedEx truck back up into my driveway with those big boxes :)

Out of curiosity, the homeopathic Nux Vomica...what do you use that for?

mandi said...

That is exciting! I know, I feel the same way!

The Nux Vomica is commonly used for nausea, vomiting, overeating, gassy, etc. I use it symptomatically. If using it constitutionally is is typically used to calm the "modern type A" personality.

nattles said...

how many people do you need to start a co-op of your own? Do you need to place monthly orders? are you committed once you begin? thanks for detailed info!!

mandi said...

Hi Nattles!
To start up a co-op you need the names and addresses of five families. You will submit them to Frontier and then Frontier will send them all a catalog. I only have two regular members from my original 5. I am now up to 8. You can order as often as you want. And if you spend $250 you get free shipping. There is no commitment. If you want to stop you can just stop. No real commitment necessary!
For a buying club, be sure to click on the "wholesale" tab on the Frontier page.

nattles said...

thank you! i found you from Heather's blog link:)