The bulk aisle in the grocery store might seem a bit overwhelming or confusing at first, or perhaps you might misinterpret what it actually offers. Shopping in the bulk aisle is a great way to save money and the environment, and the quality is sometimes better than the packaged alternatives!
Here are a few of my favorite reasons to take a stroll down the bulk aisle:
It's More Environmentally Friendly
If you have a goal to reduce single-use plastics and be more environmentally friendly this year, the bulk aisle is a great place to start. Shopping in the bulk aisle uses much less waste compared to buying the pre-packaged alternatives. All you need to store bulk items is a bag or container. Most bulk aisles offer plastic bags, but the best practice is to bring your own instead. Bring some mason jars or other reusable containers to the store and put your bulk foods there, if allowed. This way, you aren't using single plastic packaging. Additionally, you only take however much of the ingredient you need, so you'll be reducing your food waste as well.
You'll Save Money
In the bulk aisle, you're only paying for the weight that you decide to buy. This means that you can take only what you need, and therefore, you'll be paying much less than purchasing a standard package size. Additionally, advertising and packaging items cost business quite a lot of money, so bulk items tend to cost much less per unit compared to the same things in a package. Many foods in the bulk aisle are no-brand alternatives, and while you may have a preference for a specific cereal or trail mix brand, other items such as beans, nuts, and seeds don't differ much. You'll be paying much less for the no-brand version than the same food with a fancy brand attached to it. If you're using your own container, make sure to weigh it before putting in any items, or you may get charged for the extra weight.
You Can Test Out New Foods
Taking as little as you need means that you can experiment with foods that you've never tried before. You can buy a sample of some new ingredients without having to commit to an entire package of an item that you may not end up liking. For example, you can get a small scoop of some flavored nuts or try out a different type of flour. You can also get yourself a few treats without having to go overboard.
The Ingredients are Clean
Bulk items sell out fast, so the supermarkets are continually replenishing their stock. You can be assured that the food you're buying in the bulk aisle is fresh. Not only this, but you can see the ingredient list and nutritional value clearly on the bins so you know exactly what you're eating. Items like spices and coffee are much fresher than their packaged equivalents, which contain many additives and preservatives to increase their shelf life. In some cases, you can clearly taste the difference in quality.
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