Buying in bulk offers so many benefits — it’s good for your wallet and the environment! You can stock up and save big by buying in bulk, especially during our periodic member-owner sales. The next Member-Owner Appreciation Bulk Sale is this month: Enjoy 20% off your favorite bulk items all day long on Oct. 15 and 16!
Our Community and Event Coordinator, Katie, has bulk sale prep down pat. Read her tips below!
Step 1: Make Your List
Evaluate all of your spices, grains, nuts, and beans. What are you out of or will you run out of soon?
- I love to stock up on quinoa, couscous, and rice every time and pick 1-2 other new grains to try.
- I like to have nuts and seeds for bowls, salads, and snacks and often pick 3-4 to stock up on. Favorites for cost-effectiveness and versatility are pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and peanuts.
- I refill all of my spices and see what new ones I might want to try (taco seasoning? Berbere spice mix? Get creative and try something new!)
- Some of my other bulk staples are granola, polenta, pasta, coffee and flour. I live off homemade bread and my morning coffee, so I will be buying these items in 5 lb. bags or larger!
Other areas of your home and kitchen to audit to see if you need anything for bulk shopping:
- Baking ingredients — do you need more salt, flour, oats, sugar?
- Household — running low on laundry detergent, dish soap, or hand soap?
- Beverages — coffee and tea store well and there are so many options to try.
- Snacks — stock up on healthier snacks like protein power balls, granola, dried mango, trail mix, etc.
Step 2: Prep Your Pantry and Containers
Organize your cupboards, drawers or pantry to make space for all the bulk goodies you’ll be bringing home. I cleared out a junk drawer to make room for a bulk spice drawer!
Ready containers for reuse with these tips on removing labels and deodorizing jar lids!
If the item is new to your shelf: Set aside jars, old yogurt containers, whatever you want the item to live in. Bonus if you label it with what you’ll be putting into it to save yourself time.
If you have a small amount of the item left on your shelf: Dump items into bowls or temporary containers while you take this time to wash and prep the container for refilling. Wash, dry, then label what is going into it. Bonus if you mark how much of the existing product you have so you don’t overfill.
- Once you’ve returned home with your refilled container, add the old product back in, on top, so you use it up first.
- Options for labeling your jars/containers: put a sticker label on them, use a Sharpie, wax pencil, or paint pen directly on the container, or put chalkboard paint on the top and then use chalk.
Step 3: Prep Your Tare Weights and PLUs
This step can happen at the same time as you shop, or to save you lots of time in the store the day of the sale and for future trips, I recommend doing this in advance.
- Bring your clean containers in, weigh them, and note the tare weight and item PLUs on each one sometime during the week leading up to the sale. If you’re new to buying in bulk, check out this easy how-to video before you come to the store.
- You can use the labels in the store or, if the item will be living in this jar, you can just use Sharpie marker on the top, side, or bottom of the container.
- If you’re using all the same size and weight of jars for multiple items, you’ll just need to weigh one of these — easy!
Step 4: Ready to Shop!
On the day of the sale, you have your list and your containers cleaned, labeled and weighed, so all you have to do is fill them up and check out.
- I like bringing my jars in a box for easy transport to and from the car and to save on bags!