Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tight-Arse Tuesday: Buy In Bulk!

I've just come back from our local food co-op, where we loaded up on all of our staples, about two weeks' worth, for $50. That's the great thing about buying in bulk!

You've probably seen bulk candy at the grocery store, but a lot of stores are beginning to realize that the goods are cheaper for them, as well as for the consumer, when they dispense with all the packaging. And it's better for the planet too! We use various recycled jars and bins to store our bulk goods - everything from flour to beans, even dish soap and oatmeal, even olive oil and honey.

We really see the savings in spices; instead of paying $7 for a little jar of garam masala (most of which would go stale before we used it), we can pay a quarter or so for only the amount we need for a particular recipe. Things we use more of, like cinnamon and paprika, wind up costing us a dollar or two for a big jar that lasts for two or three weeks. And it's fresher, not like that sawdust at the supermarket!

Canning jars make great containers and look pretty on the shelf when full of beans, peas, steel-cut oats, pasta, nutritional yeast, and other staples. You can also typically find bigger containers at the dollar store. See if there's a co-op in your area, or check if your supermarket is one of the many now starting to offer bulk sections. It will save you more money than you can imagine!

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