Instagram has brought so many different things to my life and one of those is ordering from Azure Standard. This is one of those things that I kept hearing people talk about and I just had absolutely no idea what in the world it was and why they were using it. No one ever introduced the website they just talked through their order or talked about drops and how they had to go pick up their order which seemed so foreign. It honestly felt like a club that I just wasn’t invited to.
If you’ve ever wondered what all those homesteading mamas were talking about when they mention ordering from Azure Standard this post is for you!
What is Azure Standard?
Azure is a place to order groceries (and more). It’s basically like Walmart online but with better product and better company values. In their words they “distribute healthy products (almost nationwide).”This is the best description because you can literally get everything from ice cream to dog food. There is no membership fee like you would see at Costco but you can definitely still get bulk type items or order by the case for certain things as well. As you can imagine, most homestead families who have a bunch of kids or even those that want to be more self sufficient find this a great option.
What is a Drop?
When you hear someone talk about a drop it means the location where they pick up their order. This means that the order is getting delivered to a central location with several other orders. They are able to ship some things directly to your door but it is most cost efficient to join the drop that is closest to you. Our drop is only 15 minutes from our house, talk about blessed!
I’ve seen people drive 1-2 hours just to get to their scheduled location. Those same people would probably have to drive just as far to go to a Costco and buy other bulk foods in addition to paying their membership fees. This is something that you will need to evaluate for your family and your situation to see if it works. Thankfully, I am also working from home and our drop is the first one in the morning so I could run over there and grab our order before starting work.
Our drop coordinator is also awesome and keeps us very updated. It’s a semi that is delivering the product so as you can imagine they sometimes run into traffic or bad weather. As with everything in logistics, there can be delays. It is the responsibility of the drop coordinator to communicate this with you. If they aren’t a great coordinator you may end up waiting quite awhile or driving 1-2 hours for nothing. I have heard of this happening firsthand! You can look up their drop locations and the drop coordinators easily on their website though. I would definitely suggest reaching out to your drop coordinator and they should be able to help with any questions.
There is still a shipping fee that is associated with every order even if it’s part of the drop load. For our first order it was $48. I’m fairly certain it is based on the weight of your order, you are basically paying for that space in the truck. Also, there is a weight minimum for the entire drop. This means that the people who are ordering for that drop have to hit a certain minimum for it to be worth it for the driver to carry that portion of the load.
First Time Jitters
When I went to my first drop I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t sure if my product would be in separate boxes I would just grab, if I needed to get into the truck, if the driver was going to help us, etc. Azure sends an email to let customers know what shipped and what didn’t. The email told me I had 6 packages for our order. My drop coordinator told me I only had 5 for our first pick up though. I was still nervous about the discrepancy. I cross reference with my email when I’m unloading just to be safe. Just don’t be alarmed if the packages on the email don’t match what the coordinator says.
For our first drop I arrived around 10min early just to make sure I was in the right spot. The semi arrived exactly on time just like he was planning. Remember though, we were the first stop of the day so that is a lot easier too. The driver got out, gave the drop coordinator the paperwork, and climbed into the back of the trailer. My drop coordinator let me know how many packages I was getting that day. This total is split between the “dry” part of the trailer and the freezer section. Our coordinator is great and lets everyone know what they should be expecting.
The Unloading Process
The driver started pulling packages off of the skid and handing them down. Our drop coordinator would hand them to the correct person and we would load them into our vehicle. We ordered quite a wide variety of products and they had packaged them up nicely for me to be able to carry to the car. All of our boxes/packages had a label with my name on them as well. I will warn you some of them are packed full and very heavy. It’s sustainable to reuse the boxes, but be prepared to work a little bit!
Our first drop was also in January in Michigan and, as you can imagine, it was cold. I had only put leggings and my coat on not really knowing what to expect. You should expect to be outside for 10-20 minutes depending on how much everyone else ordered. You have to basically wait while everyone gets what they ordered handed out. Then the driver moves to the freezer to hand out those cases. Thankfully I had some gloves stuffed into my Carhartt that I was able to use while I was there.
The only things that are packaged separately are the freezer items. Grocery and refrigerator are packed together in reused boxes. Don’t worry if it’s something you didn’t order, that is probably not what is inside. I didn’t have time to put mine away right away and I didn’t really want to dig through them to pull out the refrigerated items so I just left them outside for awhile. Obviously, this will not work in summer but I’ll figure out a better game plan when we get there.
I’ve heard mixed reviews on their pricing. I will tell you, I am extremely frugal and very cost driven in my choices. For everything that I ordered I compared it to what I would normally spend on that item. Keep in mind, I don’t shop at Costco and most of the time I’m not going to Aldi (let’s be real, not much can beat Aldi prices). There were some things where the pricing did not make sense. However, for the majority of the items that I bought in bigger quantities (like beans, rice, pasta, oats, etc.) it definitely did make sense and saved some money.
It’s also important to remember I was also getting organic foods and not just the generic brand of product that would be cheaper but has ingredients that are not so good. My perspective here is to do your research and buy what makes sense for you. I also think this is going to depend heavily on if you are buying for bulk or just individually because to order bulk foods every 2-3 months is going to make it even more cheap.
Our first order was a little of everything- dry goods like oats and rice, fruit, potatoes, cheese, frozen veggies, pasta sauce, flaxseed oil. We are incredibly impressed with the quality of everything that we have gotten. There hasn’t been one thing that I opened and was disappointed. For some reason their oranges are the best I’ve ever had, honest!
They do have sales just like any other store, which is great. There are things that go in and out of stock just like any other store, which can be frustrating.
They do azure cash as a reward program when ordering from Azure Standard too. Every order that you place you get some azure cash to spend on the next one. They also give you a link to get $25 for each referral for a new customer. Here is my link. I would love to can bless you with $25!
I hope this helped you know what it’s like ordering from Azure Standard, what the store is, what you can get from them, and what to expect when you order and pick up your order from them. It can be super intimidating to hear others talk about certain things and not know where to start. Even to just not know who to reach out to for advice. I’m just a big jump in with both feet type of person though. I decided I would just give it a shot and I’m super glad that I did. I recognize not everyone is like that though. If you have any other questions please reach out to us! I can’t promise to know everything but I will do my very best to answer you.
Welcome to the Azure club 😉