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Give Your Food Budget A Break: Buy Bulk
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Several decades have passed since I was a child but I can still remember grocery shopping with my mother when some stores still had butchers that would cut you a requested piece of meat from the rump, sirloin, or fore rib for the family dinner. My mother would then move down the aisles working towards a section also not normally found in the local grocery stores anywhere today. This section had scales hanging from the ceiling, brown paper bags of every size for your use, and large metal scoopers to gather from the bins anything from nuts and candy to fresh green beans, spices or pasta.

Today my mother would be classified by the deceptive term of “bulk food shopper.” Deceptive because the word “bulk” implies “large quantity” and who would need that much of anything, right? Buying “food bulk” is anything but large quantities that would take your family forever and a day to use up! Understanding what bulk food shopping is and its economical gains should be an essential part of any families saving tactics.

Just a few advantages to buy food in bulk:

• You’re not paying for packaging, labeling and advertising. That’s right we are paying for the can, cardboard box, and plastic wrapping that our food comes in at the local grocer. Not to mention the shipping and warehousing of these products. We tend to take for granted the enormous and costly resources to can, package and ship products. • It’s positively green! All that refuse from the cans and packaging is not going into our landfills. You’re contributing to the environment in a significant and positive way. • You can find the product you want and buy it in the quantity you really need whether it be a pinch, handful or bucket. There is no need to pay of what you won’t really use and bulk food is fresher and more nutritional because most of it is grown locally. • You will save on gas and vehicle wear and tear by making fewer trips to the grocery store. Fewer trips to the store also mean fewer splurges that can dent your pocketbook. Coffee, tea and soft drinks can also be purchased in bulk which can mean fewer trips to the fast food drive through and coffee specialty shops. • The cost of bulk food is cheaper than that of individually packaged foods and purchasing your own containers and canisters to store your purchases is, in the long run, another savings for your family and a green way to live.

To get started, check out your local co-op and just buy in bulk the things you regularly purchase like cereal, rice and beans, or pasta. Work out the storage by picking up some nice air-tight glass containers with tight lids. Talk to other shoppers and watch what they do and buy.

With each trip experiment a little by purchasing a dash of spice for that recipe you been interested in trying but didn’t want to purchase a whole containers of spice because you might not use it again. Or, request a special cut of grass fed beef to prepare with locally vegetables.


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