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Buy in Bulk: Go Green and Save Money

As more of us shop for green products and make wiser energy choices -- and increasingly have to watch our budgets -- buying in bulk is becoming a popular option. Bulk products reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and take less energy and other resources to produce while offering shoppers lower prices.

Statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency show Americans generate about 80 million tons of waste from packaging and containers every year -- almost a third of the country's municipal solid waste. And besides the waste products themselves, the manufacture of all those boxes, cans, cartons and labels that end up in landfills also wastes energy and resources.

When you buy in bulk and reuse storage containers, it clearly contributes positively to our planet's health. And it contributes to your pocketbook as well. By not paying for all that individual packaging, labeling and advertising, you get more product for your money.

Bulk buying also lets you save by purchasing the amount of product you need, rather than prepackaged amounts. Larger quantities can offer savings, of course, but so can buying less of products like spices and seasonings. Bulk spices are much less expensive per ounce than their prepackaged versions, and you can pay for just the small amount you plan to use right away.

Our friends at Frontier Natural Products Co-op offer this tip: Because you can get just the amount of the exotic spice or grain you need for that magazine recipe or to experiment with small quantities of spices you haven't tried before, bulk offers an exciting way to expand your food horizons and keep your spice pantry clean and neat.

Another advantage of bulk is that you can assess for yourself the color, aroma and texture of the products you're buying. If you think you might like to try something new, buy a small quantity for a test run.

Buying in bulk at the store is usually a simple process -- you weigh the quantity needed and write the product's item number on the bag or container. There's a wide selection of products commonly sold in bulk -- from basic food items like beans, grains, flours, pastas and coffee to cooking staples like herbs, spices and oils to household items such as pet foods and soaps.

If you're looking for an herb, spice, baking product, dried fruit, soy food and more, chances are good you can buy it in bulk from us. Remember that you’re helping minimize the impact of your purchases on the growing problems of waste and global warming -- and getting more for your money in the bargain. The popularity of bulk buying isn't just a trend; it's smart shopping both environmentally and financially.

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