Ingredient choices - price and quality.

Discussion in 'Shopping Recommendations' started by SgtSluggo, Nov 15, 2019.

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  1. Nov 15, 2019 #1

    SgtSluggo

    SgtSluggo

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    I have been making a lot more soap lately and am trying to reduce my ingredient cost. I was curious about what others did that were between the grocery store and huge drums of oil.

    I ordered some oils from Wholesalesuppliesplus and I liked what I got but shipping times have been long and unpredictable. Brambleberry charges so much for shipping they are almost as expensive as ordering from Amazon.

    I did find a great deal on Coconut oil and olive oil at my local Sam's. The advantage of course being that shipping isn't really a concern. Does anyone else use grocery/food oils instead of the crafting supplies? Have you had any problems with those?

    I started out using the stuff I could get at Kroger but I wanted to make sure I am not stepping back in my ingredient choices. I am still ordering specialty stuff (shea, castor, etc) from WSP but I need it much less often.
     
  2. Nov 15, 2019 #2

    atiz

    atiz

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    I don't make large quantities of soap, and so often end up using food-grade oils. I don't think they would be a problem (other than the price) -- I would think they are more strictly controlled than "craft grade" oils. I just check if they contain any other additives; if not, then I use them for soap without trouble. Walmart often has pretty cheap food-grade oils too.
    For specialty oils, I agree that it's harder to find reasonably without having to buy a whole cauldron of it (you can often find shea and even castor in the pharmacy isle though). I have gotten them from Amazon, WSP, and BB, but had similar experience with shipping.
     
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  3. Nov 15, 2019 #3

    SideDoorSoaps

    SideDoorSoaps

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    I get my olive oil from Wegmans (grocery store) and my coconut oil from Big Lots. the other bulk oils/butters I get from Soapers Choice (they are in Ohio and reasonably close and not terrible on shipping.)
     
  4. Nov 16, 2019 #4

    Nanette

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    I get my olive oil and coconut oil from Costco...a good price and very nice oils. I use them for eating also.....I like Bulk Apothecary for butters but the shipping kind of makes up for the savings on the butters..tho I like WSP for palm oil.
     
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  5. Nov 16, 2019 #5

    Mobjack Bay

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    Here are some of my numbers for comparison:

    It costs me about $1/lb to have 7-10 lb sizes of lard, Shea and high oleic sunflower shipped from Soapers Choice in Ohio to my home in Virginia. The 7 lbs of lard costs about $3 less than I would pay for it in the grocery store, but then I have to add $7 for shipping. That means I’m paying a few dollars extra to have it delivered to my house. The delivery person brings it to my front door which is nice because I live 20 steps off the ground. I can’t buy Shea butter locally except in very small sizes. The SC Shea (refined) cost about $9 less including shipping compared to the Essential Depot price for two 5 lb bags of unrefined Shea on Amazon, with Prime delivery. (I couldn’t find a 10 lb size or refined shea from ED). I can’t recall exactly how long it took to get the last shipment from SC, but it was reasonable. I have had some very slow orders from Wholesale Suppliers, but have never ordered bulk oils from them. Amazon sometimes gets packages to my house the next day and most often in 2-3 days, which is amazing, so I use them when I want something fast, the price is good or the amount I need is relatively small and I can’t buy it locally (cocoa and mango butter). I ordered Riceland rice bran oil from Amazon for what I decided was a reasonable price, with a plus being that it comes directly from Riceland. There are some points credited back when I use Prime shipping and we also stream Prime video, which makes it tricky to calculate an exact price for something bought on Amazon, so I do try to do a little comparison shopping if I think I might it find elsewhere for less. I’ve been very happy with all of the oils and butters from SC and Amazon. I am still buying my olive oil from the local grocery store, but using less since I began using HO sunflower and rice bran oil.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 6:16 AM
  6. Nov 16, 2019 #6

    TheGecko

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    I have Amazon Prime and by my Sodium Hydroxide via Essential Depot from them. $10.97 and free shipping. I share Prime with my sister so it's well worth it.

    Costco is just down the road and I buy my Olive Oil and Coconut Oil from them (no extra shipping).

    I've been buying my Palm Oil, Castor Oil and Sodium Lactate from Brambleberry. I may have found a new supplier for Palm Oil. I also buy a lot of EOs, FOs and colors from Brambleberry.

    I also purchase from Rustic Escentuals and BeScented (Crafter's Choice reseller)...Beeswax, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, FOs and various colors. I have bought a few colors and FOs from Nurture Soap.

    What I usually do when I get ready to order is to open a window for each of my suppliers and start with specific items I want to buy from that supplier and then add in all the other items and then compare prices and shipping. It's a major PITA doing it...not just the time involved, but having a bunch of different orders being delivered. And while I may get a better price from Company A, I may get a better shipping price from Company B.

    All you need to do is make sure that you are getting 100% of whatever oil or butter you are wanting and not a 'blend'.
     
  7. Nov 16, 2019 #7

    lsg

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    If you use palm, you can buy Crisco with palm at most any of the food markets.
     
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  8. Nov 16, 2019 #8

    lucycat

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    Food oils at the grocery store are fine if you know what you are getting. So, blends are problematic in knowing shelf life but also knowing SAP values. I buy olive oil at Sam's and am happy with it.

    You really need to look back at what your oil usage is for the year. Oils like coconut, palm kernel, and palm have shelf lives of of over a year. So, purchasing a 50 pound bucket of Coconut may not be unrealistic. I like Soaper's choice and find that they are the most economically for me because shipping is reasonable to me in Arkansas.
     
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  9. Nov 17, 2019 #9

    lsg

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    Coconut oil has a long shelf life, so buying a fifty pound bucket is not unrealistic. I am just finishing up a bucket that I purchased several years ago.
     
  10. Nov 17, 2019 #10

    Keaton

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    I make very small batches, firstly. All my oils are bought from Walmart or Walmarts shopping app (trying to compete with Amazon, and doing a good job of it IMO), with the exception of shea, cocoa, and tamanu oil (that one I snagged from BB on sale). High grade shea and cocoa butters are easy to find sustainable and fair trade from a lot of different websites, so I buy those separately. Great Value brand vegetable shortening is mostly palm oil nowadays, so its well suited to soaping, lol!
     
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  11. Nov 17, 2019 #11

    SoapySuds

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    I like to use food grade anything. The laws are different for food grade items. If it says it’s diatomaceous earth, it legally has to be diatomaceous earth and nothing else. And if there’s anything else, it has to be labeled. (There are ppm allowances, but it’s so low, the contamination is negligible to non existent) If it’s coconut oil, it has to be coconut oil and nothing else. There are few things that have the consistency and scent of coconut other than coconut.

    I do realize that things like imported honey are often not all honey (the import food market is crazy), but food grade items sold and made in the USA are harder to sneak by FDA regulations.

    Craft items..... I’m not so crazy about. I’ve seen pet grade and craft grade things and there’s often something mixed that isn’t quite right. Nope. It’s a trust issue, the law begins to slip for stringency on craft items, so I am wary of what someone is selling me. Oils, for me need to be food grade, and then I check the label for things like bht and other preservatives. Unless it’s colorant. Because color and from a reputable seller. From now on.

    I look for deals online, and at places like grocery outlet. I have found cheap cheap cheap cheap bacon, dual excellence. My husband eats breakfast meat and I have a supply of lard to clean and make soap.

    I have found OO for $3 a liter, and restaurant supply chains have deals on occasion.

    It depends on what’s available for you and where you are willing to look and be casual about purchasing. I recently picked up some activated charcoal for 8bucks a pound, no shipping, made in the USA food grade.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  12. Nov 26, 2019 #12

    zanzalawi

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    i like OO, canola and avocado oil from costco
    tallow and lard from walmart
    coconut i generally get at biglots when they have their $10 off coupon
     
  13. Dec 5, 2019 at 11:42 AM #13

    earlene

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    Sluggo, I found SoapersChoice to be a good source for online ordering for many oils, and the shipping is reasonable for my location. But for some other oils, I get a better price at local grocery stores or club stores. Restaurant supply stores are great, but not always readily available unless you live in a large metropolitan area, but if you do, their turn-over is good, so your supplies would be fresh.

    However, I always do cost comparisons taking all costs (shipping, handling, tax, gasoline for when I am driving to & fro, etc.) into account for my supplies. By doing this, I am able to find the most cost effective source available to me, and use that one. Occasionally I do have to choose a more expensive source, as in when I want/need something right away and there are fewer sources able to supply it right away.

    But what costs less for me may not be what costs less for you, based on our locations. In my travels, I often look at pricing in various stores and am repeatedly amazed at the price variance around this country for all kinds of things, including soaping supplies.
     
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  14. Dec 5, 2019 at 11:53 AM #14

    shunt2011

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    I too use Soaper's Choice for most items I use. I buy 35-50 lbs at a time. Olive Oil I get at Costco. Lard I get from our American Legion Post.
     

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