Walking up and down the bulk food aisle at your local supermarket can be somewhat overwhelming. There are so many bins to choose from filled with grains, cereals, dried fruits, nuts, spices or baking ingredients. I’ve learned the hard way that I should never head down the bulk food aisle when I’m hungry-that generally leads to a lot of extra bags filled with chocolate and candy!
Why shop the bulk bins?
Buying from the bulk bins at the grocery store is a great way to save money on your food bill, but that’s not the only reason to shop the bulk bins. Here are a few more:
- Get more bang for your buck
- Bye bye wasteful packaging
- Buy only what you need
- Ability to test out new products without a big investment
Why are bulk bins less expensive?
Bulk foods are generally cheaper than pre-packaged foods because-
- No packaging needed. All that plastic and paper needed to wrap and protect food is very costly. Bulk foods have no packaging, which in turn reduces the cost of the product.
- No brand name. There are no marketing or advertising costs needed to sell the products.
- Less cost for transportation. Bulk products are less expensive to transport since they can be carried in large containers.
How to save big when bulk food shopping
A little planning is needed before you hit the bulk bins.
- Make a list before you head to the market. Buying in bulk allows you to buy just what you need. Make a list and stick to it.
- Bring your reusable bags or containers. The stores generally have plastic and/or paper bags available for carrying your bulk food home. Bring your own reusable bags or glass containers  to cut down on waste. Glass Mason jars are a good option.
- Save on cost by determining the tare weight of your container before filling it. Stores will allow you to deduct the weight of the container (tare weight) from the total weight. Check with the customer service department regarding the stores procedure-they may want to weight the jar or bag for you.
- Bring a measuring cup or spoons to ensure that you don’t buy more than you need.
- Look for organic ingredients (generally clearly labeled). Organic products in the bulk bin are generally much less expensive than their packaged counterpart.
- Take time to compare the bulk bin prices to the cost of prepacked products. In most cases bulk bin prices will be much less.
Do you use bulk food bins? Do you bring your own containers?