I got introduced to buying bulk by a friend who is a loyal member at the People’s Food Co-op in Ann Arbor. The People’s Food Co-op is a member owned grocery store along with a cafe that serves fresh coffee, pastries, salads and hot food every day. They stock local, natural and organic options in every department. I loved the varieties of spices, flours, sugars, honey, grains, nuts, nut butters and coffee they offered; locally made too! In fact, they are one of the only two places I know in Ann Arbor that sells spices in bulk. So my first bulk purchases included a pound of whole wheat flour that I made a galette with plus many little packets of spices that I wanted to try. I got hooked since then and started buying bulk wherever I shopped, including Kroger.
Small Quantity = More Variety. You can buy whatever measure of something you want which enables you to try more new foods without committing too much money and storage space on a whole package.
Variety, I repeat, variety. You can eat as many types of nuts and grains as the grocery store would offer and make any variety of trail mix as you like. You know what you like, so no more store made trail mix. This past weekend, I made a 20 ounce jar of trail mix that consist of Apricots, whole roasted almonds, roasted cashews, macadamia, dried cherries and walnuts that cost about $33. This easily last me two weeks. Also, macadamia are the most expensive out of all these so feel free to change it out if you are running low on the $$.
Better for the environment. You save on packaging by not buying pre-packaged food. You get bonus points if you bring your own containers (Think re-use peanut butter jars, sugar containers, jam jars, ice cream jars and anything you can think of that can store dry food). Tip: Talenti gelato jars are totally amazing for any storage needs. They are perfect for nuts, for soaking overnight oats and eating out of it, and they don’t spill so they are great for on-the-run breakfast
Eat more fibre – there are so many types of grains in the bulk food aisle that are high in fiber. The average adult need to consume 25 grams of fiber every day. So go get them chickpeas, oats, almonds, quinoa, wheat flour, and any beans. You can always mix it up! Since you can get as little as you can, you can switch up what you eat every week by buying just enough for one week, that way you save on space and have so much more options when you meal prep.
Try out new spices – I started buying bulk because of the spices that People’s Food Co-op stocked. There are some indian recipes that needed spices I don’t normally stock like fenugreek, mustard seeds, and cardamom. So if you find a recipe you like but it requires spices you don’t already have, you can totally buy one spoon full and not commit to a whole jar. The whole jars of spices cost a lot of money plus it will go to waste if you don’t like it that much. Again, bulk buying = variety, economical and environmentally friendly.
Support local – if you go to a store that stocks locally produced food, you are helping the local farmers fight the food processing giants. Plus you will know where your food came from and shorten the food carbon footprints.