When was the last time you wandered through the bulk aisle of your grocery store? If you frequent Whole Foods, you probably agree that bulk offerings are growing by the day. Buying “in the bulk aisle” means that you forgo the convenience, but also price, of the packaging and pre-portioning performed by a brand or manufacturer. Now those bins and dispensers that line the sides of grocery stores offer so much more than just grains, nuts and trail mix.
My go-to items have always been dried lentils, quinoa, rice and oats. And I have recently added sea salt to my list of bulk bin finds. The original motivation for buying the salt in bulk was to avoid walking a heavy container home, but it just makes sense. Now that my pseudo-hipster phase has ended at 27, I have all of these empty mason jars laying around. So, what better way to put them to use? Also, 16 ounces of salt cost me $.50. The same amount in a pre-packaged container would cost me at least three times that.
There’s also the convenience of buying “just the right” amount of almost any obscure ingredient you need for that one dish that requires it. Cornmeal, brown rice flour, sausage seasoning, mustard powder, the list goes on and on. There are jars and jars of spices sitting in my cupboard from the complicated falafel dish I made in 2009. They haven’t been touched since.
Reducing the amount of packaging you take home will save you sanity, and it’s also environmentally chic.