The Many Benefits of Buying in Bulk

Buying food in bulk has a variety of benefits and it’s easier to do than ever before. Here at Fresh and Natural Foods we have a wonderful bulk food section that offers not only your typical bulk food items but also many organic varieties as well.

Before you fill up on the variety of healthy foods you typically purchase throughout the store, take a tour of the bulk section to see what’s on offer. Some will be items you already buy frequently, like flour. Others may be new to your menu, like quinoa or lentils.

The key to saving money with bulk food is to only buy healthy foods you’ll actually eat. Don’t purchase things that will just linger in your pantry just because you can.

Here’s how buying in bulk is good for you:

Saving Money

Buying in bulk can save a family up to $500 per year. It may also mean spending less time in the supermarket, which can result in even more savings, as most of us frequently indulge in spontaneous purchases.

Shopping strategically means visiting the store less and maybe driving less – saving gas and even more money. The most obvious advantage to buying your food in bulk is spending less money over time. Why buy a protein bar at the gas station every day when you can buy a box of 20 bars for a cheaper price? Thinking ahead can make a big difference for your wallet.

Food For Friends

When your friends or relatives come over, you need to have extra food on hand to be a welcoming host. Buying strategically in bulk can help you be prepared for those unexpected visits.

Free Samples

Some stores that sell their food in bulk have free samples available where you shop. Free food is genuinely helpful when you are buying in bulk. You wouldn’t want to buy a pound of pistachios to realize when you get home that you don’t really like them. Also, it’s always nice to sample something new to find out what really like. It also can be a nice addition to your snacks or meals.

 

Reduce Packaging

The ice caps are melting and the polar bears need new homes. Ever feel like you can’t solve these environmental issues alone? Well, buying in bulk guarantees less packaging material and less waste is beneficial to our planet. Save the earth – buy in bulk.

Buying in bulk uses less packaging (though watch out for warehouse store options that are 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. Some food packaging can release its chemical components into your food, too. If you’re putting bulk beans into your own reusable bag, you won’t have worry about that.

 

Support Sustainable Practices

Speaking of reusables, take your newfound bulk love a step further by bringing your own 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 is even better. Cotton or hemp reusable produce bags are also great. Just weigh your containers before you fill them up so you won’t be charged extra. If you must use plastic bags, try to reuse them several times and then return them to the store for recycling.

Extra credit! Why stop at food? Buy shampoo, soap, toilet paper, and anything else available in bulk or large sizes. And when you get home, make sure to put your newly purchased healthy food and other items in airtight containers and clearly label them with their name and the date of purchase. Grains and nuts do well in the freezer.

 

Reduce Food Additive Consumption

Buying in bulk will reduce the amount of food additives you consume. Heavily processed foods, like many packaged convenience foods are stripped of much of their nutritional value. They also have a lot of synthetic additives and preservatives in them (not to mention all the extra sugars and salt).

Buying bulk whole foods, opting for healthy snacks, and making meals from scratch is a far healthier way to shop. Much of what is found in those bulk bins only contains one ingredient.

 

Less Travel

Driving to the store every week can easily become tiresome and costly. Solve this issue by buying bulk food items once every two or three weeks. This will also reduce your carbon footprint on our earth. By buying your food in bulk, you can set aside more time to relax on the weekends instead of braving the crowds of the grocery store.

 

Fresh and Natural Foods has a variety of bulk foods in their bulk food section of the store. You can choose from a variety of organic and non-organic flours, oatmeal, quinoa, pasta, lentils, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, popcorn, spices, granola, chocolate, and trail mix.  So, enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Michelle Hanson

Michelle Hanson, MA, RD, LD is Fresh & Natural Food’s Registered Dietitian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics with a minor in Community Health from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is a registered dietitian and current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle has been a nutrition consultant for numerous years as well as a nutrition research director at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Michelle is passionate about food and nutrition and believes in helping people find simple, realistic ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle.
If you are interested in meeting Michelle or have questions for her, you can email her at: michelle@fnfoods.com. She will look forward to meeting you!