Don’t Sulk, Buy in Bulk!

I’m very lucky to have such a great co-op in my City – Rainbow Grocery has everything! But even if you don’t have a store quite like this, many natural food stores, Whole Foods, and even major grocery chains, sell lots of products in bulk. Not only does it save packaging – but it is super cheap! Definitely a great way to save money! On my trip to Rainbow, I got:


(clockwise – sorta – from left)
Nonfat powdered milk (for making yogurt. Filled the Madagascar vanilla bean powder jar) $0.92
A shaker full of sea salt $.08 (yes, 8 cents)
Organic oat bran (filled up the whole carton) $1.81
Cornmeal (about 2/3 a container!) $0.58
Organic local extra virgin olive oil (almost filled a 16.9 fl oz bottle) $3.62 (hiding in the back there)
Wheatberries (most of a jam jar) $0.42
Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter (1/3 jar) $1.64
Flaxseed (most of a jam jar) $0.30
Vanilla extract (filled up an old Madagascar Bourbon container) $2.68
Golden raisins $0.81
Guittard 55% cocoa Fair Trade (yaaay!) chocolate chips $1.20
Organic maple syrup (about 1/3 a Ball jar) $2.90
Unpictured: Laundry detergent (refilled a bottle with Seventh Generation) $5.58

Some pretty sweet deals, huh? I also got two ten-cent bag credits, and five five-cent ones. Not sure what the difference is! I brought a bunch of random things to refill – old oatmeal containers, jam jars, etc. No use letting them go to waste – a quick run through the dishwasher and they’re good to go. I had a lot of fun running around, weighing the containers and writing the tare price on the little stickers (no, really. I guess I just love grocery stores). By the way, you’ll see a few plastic bags in this pictures (the golden raisins and the chocolate chips). They came from Rudi’s English muffins and I saved them to use for some kind of bulk items. They worked great, and it felt great to reuse something that comes in plastic.

I highly recommend buying in bulk if you’re looking to save money – and a little of the environment!



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11 responses to “Don’t Sulk, Buy in Bulk!

  1. I am a HUGE fan of buying in bulk. At my store, the bulk items are always cheaper because you pay for the convenience of having them package the items up for you. And I love that if I have a recipe for 1/2 cornmeal, I only need to buy 1/2 cup of cornmeal!

    This is a great blog. I just came over from your CNC guest post. I am very interested in sustaibility and living “green” (as much as I can) too so I’m looking forward to reading about your tips.

  2. janeterin

    Thanks, Hallie! I’m glad you stopped by! I know – buying in bulk is awesome! Why didn’t I discover this sooner!? 🙂

    So glad you like the blog – thanks for the kind words! I’m excited to check out yours, too. 🙂

  3. janet, i just read your guest post on tina’s blog, and i loved it! i’m a total jar-saver, too. my roommates want to kill me because of our big jar tower, but it’s so much better for the food and the environment to reuse the glass than to be getting more plastic all the time! i’m super excited to keep reading your blog. i have a feeling that you’ll have lots of great tips i can use!

  4. janeterin

    Hi Sarah,

    So glad to see you over here and I’m glad you like the blog. I have so many jars in my cabinet, too – it’s hilarious! I should take a picture!

    I’m really happy to see others so excited about “green” causes – look forward to checking out all your blogs!

  5. kim

    Awesome! I’ve been buying in bulks as well, especially grains and beans. I love to soak my own beans nowadays. Don’t like the can versions anymore. 🙂

  6. janeterin

    I should really try soaking my own beans. I have yet to do that, but that’s an awesome, affordable and eco-friendly idea!

  7. kim

    Thanks for visiting my blog!
    How do u make your own yogurt? Is it difficult?

  8. janeterin

    It’s not difficult at all! Here’s how I did it, with a yogurt maker, and Sarah has an awesome technique on her blog if you don’t have a maker:

    Thanks again for stopping by here, too. I love the blog community!

  9. I always buy in bulk, and also save my jars, but usually just use them for spouting or containers. My question for you is-do you weigh the jars before you go to checkout? Or do you just include the wt in your bulk price? Or is there someway the cashier can negate (tare) the wt of the jar? I’ve always wondered this….

  10. janeterin

    Hey Elizabeth,

    At my co-op, there is a little scale where you can weigh your jars and other containers, and stickers so you can write the weight. Then at the register they will tare that weight so you aren’t charged for it. Actually, when I bought all this stuff, the sticker for the vanilla had fallen off, so we just estimated the tare weight based on containers I had of a similar size & shape. I would assume most places that sell in bulk work this way!

    Hope that answers your question! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Pingback: I Heart Whole Foods, Take Two « pretty green girl

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