22 March 2010

Eco Monday: Check Out Bulk Section

I'm always looking for ways to make my shopping a more green experience. Now when I go to the grocery or pretty much any other store, I bring my own bags, look for items with minimum packaging, products made with sustainable materials, etc.

Something I have recently become a HUGE fan of is the BULK SECTION at the grocery. There are tons of items to choose from. Grains like rice, quinoa and wheat berries are available in several different varieties.

Since the only packaging is the plastic bag (which is totally recyclable) and the twist tie (also recyclable) there is less guilt associated with shopping this way. You can buy exactly the amount you need and the bulk price is usually a bit less than the prepackaged equivalent item.

You can buy enough pink rice for the dinner you'll make this evening with that new recipe. Recipes with pink rice aren't super popular, so you won't end up with a bunch of extra pink rice and no way to use it. If you decide pink rice is your new favorite, you know exactly where to get more.

The spice section is full of wonderful yummies. There's a wide variety available that are fresh and you don't have to buy a set amount. They are much more fresh and flavorful than what's been in your cabinet for WAY too long. Many stores offer tours of their bulk section and a printed resource with all the information about ingredients, country of origin etc.

I started with things that are common like rice, salt and sugar. Then I became little more adventurous at a time. Next I tried buying a small amount of cardamon and other spices to make my own chai. It came out great. I have been really happy with my bulk purchases.

There are also whole stores dedicated to buying in bulk -- like 10 pounds of rice at a time. It would most likely take my household several years to finish off such a supply, so I'm buying just what I need.

What's your fave thing about buying in bulk?

1 comment:

Lrc said...

I try to recycle my bags with various results...but i love this shop called Winco which i've been to several times. They have great snacks in bulk,some of which are healthy. This is useful if you have a pet like a rat or a bird.I wish that I could shop there more.

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