Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Working with groups can save you money…..

If you are trying to purchase items and save money, group ordering is the way to go. Today we had a group order for frozen berries come in and we saved a bundle over grocery store prices. We got raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, apple slices, blue berries, cherries, etc. They came individually quick frozen or you could purchase it straight pack or in a puree for making jams and jellies. We get these berries from Oregon and Washington State and they are the same berries that are used by the big name companies. I usually buy the IQF black berries and put them up in 1 quart freezer bags.

Right now our group is working on purchasing Hershey chocolates. They come in 25 lb. boxes and we sell them in 5 lb. increments. We get a pretty good price and more of a variety than you would find at the grocery store. We even get some wonderful dark European Cocoa that is great for baking.

Next on our list is herbs and spices which we do annually in the late fall. We purchase at this time of year so that we can get our holiday spices. Go check out the website at: http://www.sfherb.com/ . When we do this as a group, we save money on the spices and shipping. When we get an order for over $500.00, we get enough discounts to cover the shipping. How much are you paying at the grocery store for a tiny little bottle of Bay leaves? I’ll bet you are paying over $2.00 for a ½ ounce bottle. With SF Herb you can get 4 oz. for $ 1.37. How about ground Cinnamon? With San Francisco Herb you can get a whole pound for $ 2.50. I will order several pounds and use them for Cinnamon Ornaments. For the recipe for these awesome ornaments check out one of my previous posts here. You will find many items that you can’t find at the grocery store. Check it out.

Have you ever been in a grocery co-op? Here is how it works. Twelve people become members. They contribute $10.00 every two weeks to the co-op. Each member in the co-op takes a turn going down to the local farmers market. They buy lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, or whatever is on the weekly list. The shopper comes home and sorts out the produce and each member comes and picks it up at a certain time. You would be surprised at how much you can get for $10.00.

Do you want to save money on baby sitting? How about a baby sitting co-op? When my children were young I joined a neighborhood baby sitting co-op. When you joined, you paid a small fee and were given 20 tickets for 30 minutes of baby sitting. You were given a list of the members and you could choose who you would like to baby sit for your children. When I needed to go somewhere that I could not take my kids, I would call one of the members and arrange some baby sitting. If I was gone two hours, I would pay with four coupons. If someone needed my services, she would pay with her coupons. The small fee we paid when we joined was used for parties for the children throughout the year. We would have a Halloween party and a Christmas party and all the children and mothers would come and have fun and socialize. This can be a life saver for a young mother. If you would like to start a baby sitting co-op, get together with other mothers and come up with your own rules and have fun.

Ways that you can start a group co-op would be: 1) work with people in your neighborhood, 2) work with friends at church, 3) work with mothers in your child’s class at school. 4) If you work, get together with your fellow employees and start a group. Working in a group can be fun, you are meeting and getting to know new people and you are making new friends.

If you have any questions about starting a group, let me know and I will give you some pointers. Have a good day!


At 7:46 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Group purchasing is indeed a wonderful idea, and when you think about it, an excellent way to save as well.

I am thinking about doing this now that you have mentioned it next time I go to Sam's Club, where items come in large quantities, and they are discounted already.

Great suggestions as usual, Lucy!

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Jahn said...

I'd love to find long-grain brown rice at a decent price. I can't believe it goes for more than white rice in the grocery stores.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

wow this sounds like a good idea!!

At 7:23 AM, Blogger DayByDay4-2Day said...

nope nothing like that around here.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Tigersue said...

Hi there. Thanks for the comment on my blog. I run a blog that collects links of sites run by LDS Women. I think I will add you to it. If you wish not to have it there let me know.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Barbara - I love purchasing things thru groups.

jahn - I was in the Hong Kong Food market today and found brown rice at a decent price. See if you have an Asian market in your area and check it out. I had more fun looking at all their stuff. I found Coconut milk for 69 cents a can. Awesome!

live, love, laugh - I'll bet some of your friends at church would love to buy as a group. Go check out the herbs and spices. It would be a good place to start.

daybyday3 -2day - you could start one yourself...

tigersue - I would love for you to add me to your blog roll. Thanks.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Bob & Tanisha said...

I am so glad that I found your blog. I am so enjoying your useful tips. Thanks!!

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Merle said...

Hello Lucy ~ You have some good ideas there and besides saving some money you are establishing good friendships.
Thanks for your comments about the Bile Humor. I liked "Eve eating them out of house and home" too. Take care, Cheers,

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

This sounds great, and I will tell my girls about it.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

I wish I lived closer to you and could get in on your purchases!

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

bob & tanisha - I am glad you found me too.

Merle - Hi, glad to see you again. I'm so glad that you got past you blogging problems. There for a while, I could not comment on your site. Yes, I have made so really good friends thru my groups.

Mountain mama - I think your girls will have fun with it.

Oh great one - I wish you lived close to me too. We could become walking buddies. I have been inspired by your walking and I started back last Monday. I really feel good when I get my walk in.

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Tubby said...


Thank you for posting a comment on my blog for the first time, concerning a tragedy in my country.

I have a sister that can intelligently buy things and save a lot of money in the process but I believe she could learn a lot from your buying strategies. For that matter so could I (I sometimes shop foolishly and often that truth doesn't dawn on me until after the purchase).

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous colleen said...

Hi Lucy,
The link you left on my site didn't work, but I googled your name to find you here. I do love the simple lifestyle and enjoyed your post on what a billion is! Thanks for dropping by.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I know there are two local co-ops locally, one in Ann Arbor and one in Ypsilanti. I always thought they seemed more for the younger folk. But apparently not, as you prove here.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger keesh said...

That is a great idea! Grocery co-op. I am blessed to live in a neighborhood where we take turns helping with our kids so we can have date nights and stuff... it is great!

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

tubby - you can learn how to shop smartly.

colleen - glad you found my blog.

big dave - anyone can shop in a group and save money.

kish - Glad you checked by.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger An80sNut said...

This is actually a great idea that has many options. Great post, Lucy!! Just gotta find an idea for something that I'd need. hahaha

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Jay said...

These are great ideas, of course, but I am quite possibly the most financially irresponsible person in the world. Plus, I get immense satisfaction from doing my own grocery shopping. I love to hunt for the prettiest, the freshest, the most colourful. It often means that I pay more, but that's an even trade for me.

But when I bought some blueberries this weekend ($4 for about 12 berries) I nearly fainted...this looks mroe and more attractive.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Duke_of_Earle said...


Thanks for stopping by my place and commenting. I live in Victoria, just down US 59 from you.

As you say, encouragement from friends is a wonderful thing!


At 8:08 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

an80snut - That is how I got started with this years ago. I found something that I wanted to buy but didn't want to spend and arem and a leg for it.

jay - Berries are expensive, that is why I work with a group in buying my berries every year.

duke_of_earle - I live on the north side of town off of I-45 and 1960. Thanks for coming by.


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