Hark the bulk bins! Long a hallmark of the grocery co-op, bulk bins offer shoppers a money-saving and environmentally friendly option. In addition to the expected lentils and rice, our bulk department has all kinds of goodies, like nuts, fair trade sugar, chocolate chips, dark chocolate–covered almonds, locally milled flours, and organic jellybeans.
Why Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk helps you use fresh ingredients. Instead of buying an entire bag of rice or jar of cinnamon, you can buy just what you need for a recipe. This is especially useful when trying a new recipe, which you might never make again. And not buying more than you need helps reduce food waste.
Buying in bulk saves money: In addition to being able to buy smaller amounts, bulk items are cheaper than packaged items. The costs associated with transport and packaging are reduced when food is handled in bulk quantities.
Buying in bulk helps the environment: Less packaging materials are used getting the food to the store. In addition, you can further reduce the packaging by bringing your own container (weigh it at home, or we’ll weigh it for you before you fill it). Buying in bulk reduces transportation costs and emissions because items can be packed more densely in trucks, and there is no transportation of packing materials beforehand.
Although bulk items don’t have packaging, many are the same brands you know: Lindley Mills and Carolina Ground flours, Equal Exchange fair-trade organic cashews and chocolate chips, and Sunridge Farms organic Jolly Beans, for example. We have unbleached, fair trade, organic Wholesome Foods cane sugar. Our herbs and spices come from Frontier Co-op.
How to Buy in Bulk
Bags and twist ties are provided at the bins, or you can bring your own to reduce waste. Remember to ask our cashiers to weigh your container before you fill it. Then…
- Find the item you want.
- Scoop or dispense some into your bag or container.
- Find the PLU for the item.
- Use the wax pen to write the PLU onto the twist tie or the container. This will tell the cashier which item to charge you for.
- Need help? Just ask our friendly staff!
Watch Christy demonstrate how to use the bulk bins, below. (The sound is a little scratchy–it’s one of our fist videos!) And if you’ve never shopped in the bulk aisle, give it a try this week—especially if you’re an owner!
This week’s owner coupon is 20 percent off bulk goods, except bulk coffee, good through June 19, 2019. Owners, look for the coupon in our weekly e-news, sent on Wednesday morning. If you didn’t get the coupon, you may need to update your email address in our owner database. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not an owner? Become one today to receive the weekly owner coupon as well as the other benefits of ownership, like invitations to the Co-op Fair, a logo T-shirt and bag, and the right to vote in board elections. Learn more here.