For those of you who aren’t from Canada, Bulk Barn is a Canadian Bulk retailer that specializes in bulk purchases of candy, baking goods, pastas, chips, cereals and a myriad of other things you would not believe! As a teenager I always thought of Bulk Barn as a fun place to stock up on bulk candy or junk food before movies or holidays. Now I see the true value of Bulk Barn as an amazing place to stock up on kitchen supplies while cutting down on waste.
Bulk Barn provides (provided) thin plastic bags to put your supplies in (rice, flour, chocolate chips) and you’d pay for the weight of your products.
This is of itself is amazing. You end up paying less due to the lack of packaging, marketing and margin that comes from retail grocery stores.
But here comes the boom.
Bulk Barn recently announced that they are making the shift to a REUSABLE CONTAINER policy. This allows shoppers to bring their own clean, food-ready containers to be weighed and then filled.
Being that my New Year’s Resolutions this year are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose, this will go a long way to my reducing and reusing goals!
Bulk Barn is also starting to carry and sell reusable glass jars that you can bring to refill. Not only are they freezer and microwave safe which is a must in this house, they actually aren’t bad looking either!
Things you should be buying in bulk
Anything you like to eat fresh
Bulk Barn (as long as you’re not in a city with a badly managed location) is known for freshness when it comes to products like nuts, oatmeal, rice, cereal and spices. When compared to prepackaged products from grocery chains, they are a far better quality.
Anything you go through quickly
Every home is different. And every family has different eating and cooking styles. However, there are certain foods that are staples in each household. In our house its oatmeal (that I mix dry with greek yogurt and berries for a crunchy breakfast) and brown rice (which we are using to try and get out of the pasta funk!)
Bulk barn is a great place to pick up copious amounts of each of these products without having to throw away all the cardboard boxes and paper bags that they come in every week!
Anything you only need a small amount of
Have you ever made a recipe and needed 1/8th of a teaspoon of some unknown spice? What a drag. I used to have a whole box of spices and ingredients that I would never use because of that recipe I made that one time.
Not only does Bulk Barn carry the largest selection of spices I have ever seen, you can buy as much or as little as you need without paying for an entire container.
Things to skip out on
Fresh fruit and veggies
Bulk Barn itself doesn’t carry fresh produce but this note is mostly for bulk stores in general. Buying fresh things in bulk often means less freshness, lots of transportation of the produce and God knows what sprayed onto it to keep it fresh. When at all possible, buy all produce fresh and locally!
Things you can make fresh yourself
This can not be stressed enough.
Have a dehydrator? Don’t be buying banana chips, strawberries and candied pineapples.
Have a food processor? Skip out on the nut butters, pie fillings and jams.
It should go without saying that anything you make yourself will be much more fulfilling and by association, obviously, taste better. Not always. But usually!
Things that you can easily buy locally
Do some research about local businesses and always support local where you can. Where I’m from we have local small producers of apples, vegetables, maple products, honey, chocolate, beef, eggs, cheese and so many other products. If I have to pick up these products from the grocery store I can’t help but feeling like I’m cheating on my local producers!
What kinds of products do you buy in bulk, what do you skip out on?