Buying in bulk

One thing I had no concept of before starting to go zero-waste was bulk shopping. Bulk shopping is a great way to go grocery shopping without all the excess packaging. As someone that does not feel much brand loyalty, it wasn’t all that hard for me to give up my packaged ways.

I realized that zero-waste wasn’t just about having less stuff, it was also about creating less. While I’ve still got a long way to go in the kitchen, I’m slowly working on buying more in bulk.

Step 1. Save containers. Anything from pasta sauce to salsa, I saved the glass containers and cleaned the labels off.
A trick I found on the internet for getting labels off is to use a bit of oil to get the real sticky stuff off. Just let it soak in before you start scrubbing.

Step 2. Find a grocery store where you can buy in bulk. I’m fairly lucky to have local co-op that has a wonderful bulk section that’s close enough to bike to.
Keep in mind some stores have a bulk section, but they may not allow you to bring in your own containers. I had this experience at the Whole Foods near me, but their bulk rules change from store to store.

Step 3. In the store, you’ll need to get your containers tared at the help or info area. To tare, means that they weight the container so that you pay for the cost of the container AND the bulk item. Most stores should mark your tare with a sticker on the container.

Step 4.  Once you’ve got your container tared, you get to pick your products. After filling your jar, normally people would put the bin number on the empty line.
I don’t have set containers for specific items, so I keep that line empty and enter the numbers into my phone.

Step 5. Check out time. I’ll read off the numbers as the cashier weighs and enters each item. Then you put them in your reusable bag and head on home!

Bulk shopping is really that easy to do. It just takes a bit of planning and getting used. Happy shopping

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