A buying club is a community of people who pool their resources to make bulk buys, usually on food items. Portland has a wealth of these and finding one in your neighborhood would be well worth your while.
Buying clubs are the primary reason our family is able to eat well on a small budget ($300/month for our family of five). All the groups I know of in the Portland area focus on local and organic foods and have a wide variety of vendors they purchase from. Some clubs do have a small monthly or yearly fee (mine have been $10-20/year with the first few months free to figure things out) which covers things like the leader’s time, electricity (often items are stored at their house), a food scale, and sometimes supplies for splitting bulk buys. The clubs I have belonged to all welcome members to initiate new buys so the options of what you could buy are limitless.
Examples of the products we regularly buy in cooperation with other club members include raw milk, fresh eggs, various meats, grains, fruit and vegetables, raw honey, and spices. I have seen group buys for Charlie’s Soap, organic candy and fair trade shoes. I encourage you to check out the options available.