Market Musings Blog

Zero-Waste Shopping at the Co-op: Bulk Edition

At the co-op, buying in bulk means less food waste and less packaging waste. How? When buying in bulk, you can purchase only the amount needed, reducing what might otherwise be thrown away. You can also bring in your own reusable container, or use a provided bag, and avoid much of the waste associated with packaged products.

Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money at the co-op. 
Without packages to design, manufacture, fill, and stock on the shelves, the wholesale cost of purchasing bulk items is lower for the co-op, and these savings are passed on to you!

Pro tip:

Some items, like flour and rice, are up to 50% cheaper when purchased in bulk in comparison to their packaged counterparts.

How to Buy in Bulk

Weigh your reusable container, fill with the amount of bulk product needed, and record the PLU number from the item’s bin. That’s it!

Did you know you can bring in any container to use for purchasing bulk items? We often see mason jars, but anything goes! Just clean any reusable container you have, such as yogurt containers, flour canisters, or re-seal-able plastic bags, and bring them in next time you shop.

Pro tip:

Using a container that the item will live in at your house is an easy way to save yourself time. If you use the same container for regular bulk shopping at the co-op, make note of its weight once and save yourself a step each trip!

A Co-op Favorite: Bulk Spices

When trying a new recipe or spice, stop by our bulk spice section to buy as little as a teaspoon or tablespoon of what you need, often for less than $0.25.

Pro tip:

Step up your spice drawer game by purchasing small jars and labeling them with chalkboard paint on the tops or sides. Next time you’re at the co-op, you can use your reusable homemade spice jars for a quick checkout. They also add a great aesthetic to your cupboard!

A Co-op Favorite: Liquid Bulk

Did you know we have liquid bulk items available for purchase too? Stock up on pantry and household essentials such as honey, olive oil, laundry detergent, hand soap, and shampoo. This means you can reduce packaging waste even on liquid items!

Pro tip:

Saving your last laundry detergent bottle or hand soap pump bottle is a great way to have the convenience of reusable packaging while reducing the amount you recycle or throw away!

Filed under: Bulk