Buy In Bulk
Buy in bulk if you love healthy meals and deals! My favorite grocery stores offer bin shopping! You know those long rows of bins, full of different food items that you wonder what to do with. I quickly make my way to that section to check out new items to try. Not all stores have a bin section, but in my area Fred Meyer, Whole Foods and PCC do! I am one lucky shopper!
All different kinds of grains, rice, beans, lentils, every flour imaginable, hot cereals and granolas, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, soup mixes, falafel mixes, and spices and herbs too. It's a wonderful place to gravitate and dream of meals to come! Some stores even have fresh teas and coffees that you can buy in bulk! Does life get any better?
Reasons to Buy in Bulk
Reasons to Buy in Bulk:
Frugal choice! Foods are usually cheaper than their packaged counterpart so you save money.
- Fresh choice! The ingredients are fresh because the bins must be filled often.
- Right size! You can buy a small amount of an item and try it, rather than having to buy a large packaged portion. If you need a small amount of a weird spice for a recipe, you can buy a tiny amount. You can keep your spices very fresh!
- Organics! Some of the items in bins are organically grown. The labels will tell you.
Variety! You can find items that are not available packaged in the store like different colored lentils or bean choices. There are many new varieties of items to choose, for those people looking to be scratch cooks and limit processed foods.
Tips for Bin Shopping
Tips for Bin Shopping:
- Choose your item and bag it! Once you have decided on which items you want, grab a bag from the bin section. Use care. There are usually different sizes and strengths of bags available. Choose wisely. Nothing worse that filling a weak bag with flour and having the bottom give out.
- Weigh your item! There are usually scales available, but the checker will weigh them. I just like to know the amount I am getting.
- Label your item with the bar code! You do need to label your product with the bar code, so the cashier can key it in. Grab a twist tie and write your number on the tie. It is a lot easier to do this before you tie it around your item. Pens are usually within easy reach of the bins.
Write the name of the product on the tie! The cashier does not need this information, but you do! When you get home and have 10 different kinds of flours or grains in your cupboard, you might not be able to tell what you purchased. My gluten flour looks a whole lot like my whole wheat flour! Learn from my mistakes!
- Watch the cashier ring up bulk items! Make sure the product is a match to what you think it is. I have made labeling mistakes before, and the cashier has keyed in the wrong number too.
Bin shopping is a healthy diet habit if you are aiming to be a scratch cook, avoid processed foods, and include fresher foods in your diet. Check out the products that your local store offers, try new recipes, new spices and grains, and some fresh vegetables and herbs, and buy in bulk. You might just find that those processed foods that you have been filling your cart with, can't compare to the real foods available in bins!