I was talking to my mother the other day and she mentioned how expensive it was to purchase organic groceries. I have found that shopping organic is only more expensive if you are buying packaged organic products. That’s the major beauty of sticking to only buying loose organic produce and making the most of the bulk section in your grocery store. Here are five benefits with zero waste grocery shopping in regards to enjoying the bulk section to the fullest!
1. No Marketing Distractions
Packaging and marketing are very persuasive and also distracting when you need to make a decision on what to buy. If I need to buy organic shredded coconut for my Coconut Goji Dream Bites recipe, I just need shredded coconut. I love pretty packaging, but when it comes down to it, it’s the shredded coconut not the drawing or photograph that is necessary for my recipe. When you shop in bulk, you purchase what you need without distraction.
2. Only Buy As Much As You Need
What I love most about buying in bulk is that I don’t have to buy a 16 oz size of a product if I only want 2 oz. This is a huge benefit if you are using cacao powder for bronzer or for other DIY beauty recipes. When I buy from the bulk section, I only get as much as I want. I also have the ability to stock up on quinoa if I want to.
3. Only Pay For The Product, Not Packaging
Often when you buy a product, you are also paying for the marketing strategies and packaging materials. When you buy in bulk, you only pay for the product. It’s that simple.
4. You Save Money
My grocery bill has drastically reduced once I stopped purchasing packaged products. When your grocery basket only contains fresh produce, items from the bulk bin, and nothing else, you will be surprised how much you actually save each month.
5. You Eat So Much Healthier
If most of your diet is predominately whole organic fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds, etc. versus processed foods, your body will be so much healthier. Processed foods do not add any nutritional value to the body. Eating simple whole foods creates whole body health.
If you use organic cotton produce bags (the exact same ones pictured above) when shopping produce and the bulk section, you are essentially shopping zero waste. I love that these bags are well made and organic cotton. They also provide the tare weight on the tag which is easy for the cashier to find and punch in when checking out. I simply wash them weekly so they are ready for my next shopping trip.
So often when I am in line at the grocery store, I see mounds of plastic packaging or plastic bags around produce in shopping carts that will end up in the land fill before the week is over. Just by using reusuable produce bags, shopping loose produce, and taking advantage of the bulk section in your grocery store, you have completely eliminated unnecessary plastic food related trash.
Bulk Is Beautiful
I’ve seen variations of bulk sections in grocery stores. Some stores definitely have larger sections than others. I envy those who have access to buying henna, oils, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, and other items of the like in bulk as I saw in a grocery store in Portland, Oregon. So far in Los Angeles, I’ve seen all types of rices, flour, beans, trail mixes, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, granola, cereal, popcorn, dehydrated veggie snacks, cookies, sweet potato chips, pretzels, sweets, and so much more. I was super excited when I saw organic dates as a new item in the bulk section of my local grocery store.
Going zero waste takes time and commitment, yet minimizing plastic waste when grocery shopping is an amazing step!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)