Buying from the Bulk Bins


Buying in bulk is a great way to reduce packaging waste, save money, and try new foods in small quantities. Grocery stores offer different types of bulk foods, from coffee beans to pinto beans, dried fruit to cereal, and nuts to candy and spices.  If you haven't visited the bulk area of the grocery store lately, you might be surprised at the many food choices offered.

People who are new to buying bulk are often intimidated by the bulk section of the grocery store, so here is everything first-timers need to know:

  • Bring your own container-preferably the one you'll use for storage at home. If you forget, stores supply plastic bags too.
  • Use the scale to find your container's "tare weight" (the weight of your container when it's empty, which you'll subtract from the total weight on the scale after it's filled). At some stores you'll do this, at others the cashier will. Ask for help your first time!
  • Only buy as much as you can eat before it goes bad. Some stores even allow you to sample an item before you fill up.
  • Write the item's code on your container or on a label provided by the store, and bring your purchases to the cashier. It's that easy!

Remember to make sure you only buy what will be used before spoiling and what you have storage space for.  The cost and waste savings go away when the leftover food ends up in the trash. Buying from the bulk bins will help you to enjoy less packaging waste, less food waste, and more money in your pocket!  Learn more at!

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