Food
Buy healthy food in bulk to save money & reduce exposure to chemicals.

Buy healthy food in bulk to save money & reduce exposure to chemicals.

February 26, 2013

Buying food in bulk has a variety of benefits and it’s easier than ever before since bulk sections are springing up in most major food stores across the country. Plus, the variety of healthy foods you’ll find in them is growing, too!

Here’s how to do it:

Take a tour of your local supermarket’s bulk section and make a list of what they offer. Go home and hit the recipe books to find things your family would like to eat using these ingredients. Some will be items you already buy frequently like sugar and flour. Others may be new to your menu, like lentils or couscous. The key to saving money with bulk food, is buying healthy foods you’ll actually eat.

When you get home, make sure you put your newly-purchased healthy food in airtight containers or in the freezer and clearly label them with their name and the date of purchase.

Here’s how it’s good for you:

1. Buying in bulk can save a family up to $500 per year. It should also mean you won’t have to spend so much time in the supermarket. Less time in the supermarket can mean even more savings as most of us frequently indulge in spontaneous purchases. If you’re not there, you won’t succumb to these little purchases that can quickly add up. Finally, shopping strategically means visiting the store less or, driving less – saving gas and even more money.

2. Heavily processed foods, like many of the packaged convenience foods you find in the center shelves of the grocery store, are stripped of much of their nutritional value and have a lot of synthetic additives and preservatives in them (not to mention all the extra sugars and salt). Buying whole foods, opting for healthy snacks, and making meals from scratch is much healthier for you and your family. It may sound difficult at first, but you’ll soon find that there are many easy recipes out there that are quick, delicious, and nutritious.

3. Buying in bulk uses less packaging (look out for warehouse store options that are simply cases of individually wrapped smaller servings). According to ShiftYourHabit.com, if everyone bought in bulk, we’d save enough packaging waste to eliminate 1.1 million fewer garbage trailer trips to the landfill per year.

4. Take it even further by using durable containers instead of the disposable bags at the store. Safer plastics for food storage include those numbered 2, 4, and 5. Glass or stainless steel are even better. If you must use plastic bags, try to reuse them several times and then return them to the store for recycling.

Extra oomph: Don’t stop at food. Buy shampoo, soap, toilet paper and anything else available in bulk or large sizes!