100 Day Challenge #14: Buy in bulk
We've been buying our food in bulk for quite some time and have been enjoying the expanding variety of food options offered at the grocery store in the past few years. Just to be clear, when we say "buying in bulk" we don't mean go out and buy huge quantities of food from the grocery store that you may or may not finish. We mean buying items that aren't prepackaged and instead are displayed in bulk bins. The bulk bin options have been getting better and better, and we look forward to seeing what new items are available each time we go to the store! Buying in bulk has so many advantages, but here are some highlights.
It’s good for your wallet: The price of food by the pound can be significantly less expensive than smaller quantities that are wrapped in elaborate packaging. According to a study conducted by Portland State University, a consumer can save up to 89% in natural and organic food costs by buying in bulk. Now that’s a significant savings!
It’s good for the environment: When you buy food from bulk bins, you're not returning home with a bunch of plastic and superfluous packaging. When you unload your groceries, you have your reusable pouches full of the delicious food you'll eat and nothing else. The same Portland State University study discovered, if we purchased all our almonds in bulk for one year, 72 million pounds of waste would be saved from landfills. That's just almonds!
It reduces the carbon footprint of your food: The transportation cost of food is greatly reduced in bulk, since it's more efficient to move food that is not wrapped in multiple layers of packaging. According to the Bulk is Green Council (BIG), emissions are reduced on average by 48% each time a product is refilled from bulk versus the same product bought in traditional packaging.
It reduces food waste: You take your reusable food pouches to the store and you buy the amount you need and want. If you want to try a new recipe or a new ingredient, you do not have to buy the amount the manufacturer has predetermined and already packaged for you.
It's healthier than pre-made foods: You're able to buy a few simple and natural ingredients and make you and your family a delicious and nutritious meal. No preservatives needed here!