Tuesday, January 10, 2012

JOT #20: Buying in bulk

I've written before about milk from Straus (where the methane from the cows helps power the plant!) - now I find I can get a discount on the expensive glass bottles by buying a case at a time. I just asked at the store.

Buying in bulk has saved money as well as packaging. Taking old plastic or nylon bags to the store, we scoop just what we need from the bins, and transfer them to bottles (or leave them in the bags if we're lazy) at home. It means less waste (we don't buy more than we need), less packaging (we bring our own bags and write the product numbers down on a sheet of paper or on the side of the bag), and less money.

Another fun advantage is that I get to browse the bins and (occasionally) sample what I'm getting. Often it's organic or local, and almost always a healthy, unprocessed food like lentils or nuts or salt or flour. This is an easy way to make homemade granola or cookies or other baked goods that vary from month to month without a lot of expense.  You can also get tiny quantities of spices you may only use once or twice without buying the whole bottle.

My local store carries bulk flour (whole wheat, unbleached, and semolina), several types of granolas, salt, spices, nuts, dried fruit, lentils, oats, and rice. They'll special order large bags of staples so I save on shipping and packaging, with a discount as well. Fortunately for my hips, most of the things on the bulk candy aisle are not vegan!

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