Let’s face it: the bulk store is the holy grail of waste-conscious shopping. No longer are you forced to choose between the lesser of two packaged products…at bulk stores, you are free to take as much as you need, in the packaging you choose! It is a dream. We’re here today to outline a few simple steps that will get you on your way to rockin’ the bulk experience. By using this guide, not only will you gain confidence in efficiently shopping in bulk, but you’ll also produce less waste, and you’ll save money too! And, if we’re being totally honest here…you’ll also have a newfound excuse for justifying those sweet treats you’re reluctant to buy because of the packaging ;))
- Collect resealable containers – Rather than go out and buy a bunch of new jars, we recommend upcycling items you already have! After all, we’re simplifying here, right? 😉 We stocked up quite a collection of nut butter jars, salsa jars, pickle jars, and numerous other random jars, before switching to bulk buying and homemaking items. So, clean them up and breathe new life into those old jars! Alternatively, before buying new, check out local thrift stores! They often have a gargantuan selection of jars for cheap (we’re talking pennies on the dollar!) and all you might need to purchase new is lids if they were missing. Bulk cotton bags are also super cool and can easily be stashed in your other reusable bags so you’re never without. We love Credo Bags!
- Clean and dry your containers at home – This is important! Your container must meet the minimum standards for the bulk store which means: clean and dry, no debris, no rust, no stains, and it must be resealable with a lid, drawstring or clip-closure
- Tare jars in store before filling – Check in with the cashier before you fill, to get the weights of your containers written on the top with a wax pen. They remove this weight later to ensure you’re only charged for the product
- Scoop in store – Use the store’s scoops to scoop the product into your container. Go bananas! Bulk stores often have huge selections of everything from dry goods to snacks, to grind-your-own peanut butter! During a recent trip to Bulk Barn, we picked up hemp hearts, walnuts, flour, oats, dried fruit, ground flax, protein powder, spices, loose leaf tea, and a small treat of double sour gummies that didn’t make it to the pic (haha)… We encourage you to scope out the shop and make a note of items they have to offer for future trips.
- Keep track of the item names and their SKU numbers – In the notes section on your phone jot down the item names and their SKU numbers for a seamless checkout – believe us, it will make your cashier’s day!
- Pay up! – Pack everything up in your reusable tote or bags, and feel good about the waste-conscious choice you’ve made
Shout out to The Bulk Barn and Trash Is For Tossers, the inspirations behind this post, and to Lucas, the superstar at the Bulk Barn in Kelowna who was so helpful and efficient during our recent shop!
Thanks for reading and as always, if you have questions, tips to share, know of a local Okanagan business kicking butt when it comes to sustainable practices let us know in the comments below!