BUYING FOOD IN BULK
With hundreds of items to choose from, buying bulk food gives you the chance to buy pantry staples and try new foods while saving money and reducing wasteful packaging. My favorite part- putting all of the food into glass jars and seeing how organized and beautiful it can all look.
Buying in bulk is economical. Your local store, or co-op enables you to share in the same kind of bulk buying with even greater advantages — like great selection and no-minimum purchases. When you shop the bulk section of your natural foods co-op, you can purchase the amount you need. Most products (herbs and spices especially) are much less expensive per ounce than their prepackaged versions; after all, you’re not paying for all that packaging and advertising! And there’s no need to pay for what you won’t use. Instead, you can choose exactly what you need, whether it’s just enough tarragon to try that new salmon recipe or enough oats to make a jumbo batch of granola — without any waste.
Speaking of waste, it takes enormous resources and energy to produce all of those cans and boxes and cartons and labels — almost all of which wind up in our landfills. Even recyclable food packaging takes energy to produce and recycle (and some of it still ends up in landfills). You’re making a significant environmental difference by buying in bulk — especially when you reuse your own containers and bags.
In addition to economic and environmental advantages, buying in bulk feeds tendencies to eat more healthfully– because they offer the opportunity to expand your healthful recipe repertoire. You can try quinoa or currants, adzuki beans or pine nuts or any item that’s new to you before you commit to stocking up on it. (You’ll often find a wider selection of items in bulk than on the prepackaged shelves, too.)
Tips for Buying in Bulk
Once you’re in the bulk aisle, look to see what items you usually purchase in packages or cans that you can now purchase in bulk. Explore a bit, maybe trying one or two new items each visit. Here are just some of the kinds of products you’ll most find in the bulk aisle: dried beans, cereals, flours, grains, herbs and spices, nut butters (you may even get to grind your own), oils, pastas, sweeteners, teas and coffees (Fair Trade),flours and other baking staples, and snacks.