Monday, February 18th, 2019

Bulk Up

Published on May 26, 2011 by   ·   4 Comments Pin It

Bulkier is better, at least when it comes to buying your groceries.  The more food you get, with the least packaging, the less ends up in our landfills.  Bulk is hella cheaper than pre-packaged goods too, it’s essentially a win-win.  That’s why we are loving on the Bulk is Green Council (BIG), a non-profit advocacy group that spreads awareness about the environmental and economical benefits of shopping in the bulk foods section. Here are some of their top tips for bulking up;

1. Reduce waste! Buy just the amount you need – Whether it’s a pound or a pinch, put a stomp on food waste by buying just the amount you’ll use. Pay attention to the amount you select (or scoop, in the bulk foods section) when experimenting with a new spice in your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe or stocking up on trail mix for the kid’s lunches. Overdoing it only means you’ll pay, literally, the next time you rid your cupboard of outdated food.

2. Reuse it and get rewarded! Bring your own bags and containers – Whole Foods and top supermarket chains praise (and sometimes pay) shoppers who use their own bags. Invest in glass Tupperware or give that empty Earth Balance container a second use by filling it with brown rice from the bulk foods section or a quinoa salad from the deli counter. Just ask the cashier to weigh your container ahead of time. While you’re at it, BYOB (bring your own bag). If you must go with single-use, opt for paper!

3. Buy natural and organic, whenever possible — Not only are the pesticides and synthetic chemicals used in non-natural and non-organic foods often toxic to our health – they’ve been linked to cancer and other diseases – they’re bad for the environment. Tainted runoff from conventional farms washes into rivers and lakes, which contaminates waterways and threatens wildlife. Plus, the added benefits of buying natural and organic don’t have to mean added costs. By buying natural and organic in the bulk foods section of the grocery store, shoppers can pay 30 to 96 percent less on their grocery bill.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Alexandra says:

    Rock on, bulk buyers! I’m a huge fan of buying bulk.
    I can buy 1/2 cup of organic oregano for $.50 versus paying $4 for a new glass jar of the same amount of herbs…crazy difference!
    Here are some more ways to save on organics:

  2. Medusa says:

    Great tips!! Thank you!

  3. Kelly says:

    I cannot get my local grocer to support bringing your own containers for bulk. The “manager” supposedly said that it would be too complicated to have to weigh containers ahead of time. Any suggestions or tips on how to get them onboard?

  4. Alexandra says:

    Hey kelly:
    You could recommend that they just offer baggies at first to see that this is a viable revenue stream for the store. Most people don’t bring their own containers, but MOST people WILL bring clean plastic bags to re-use which don’t need to be weighed. That’s what I usually bring since I’m schlepping down NYC streets with a stroller, kid, snacks, toys, AND grocery bags. The last thing I’m going to do (most trips) is bring a fancy glass container to weigh and re-fill.
    Try to find some information from another store (like Whole Foods!) on how popular their bulk sections are.
    Take this info to your grocery and maybe offer suggestions on a few items to start carrying in bulk: nuts, seeds, grains, beans, herbs & spices…
    Good luck!

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