What is a bulk food store?

14 August 2014

I am often asked what a bulk food store is. It is the kind of store that most of us have never ventured into or have walked past without a thought. And why would you when there is the ease and convenience of a supermarket that has everything processed, packaged and ready to go under one roof!

If you are wanting to start stripping plastic from your life, then shopping at a bulk food store is going to be your best friend. After a couple of months the over packaged supermarket that you used to frequent will be a distant memory.

Some people get confused and think that shopping in bulk translates to taking kilos of flour or beans home. I don't and most bulk food shoppers don't. Bulk food shopping generally means that the store sells their produce in bulk like drums of dish-washing powder, coconut oil or even peanut butter rather than individual wrapped portions.

For those wondering what a bulk food store/bulk shopping is, this is how it works:

Supplier delivers a bag, container or drum full of grains, oil, honey etc to a shop.

The product is put onto the store floor in its original bag, container or drum OR transferred to a dispenser for the consumer. The supplier picks up the empty containers for reuse or recycling, depending on the product.

The shopper (you and me!) comes along with containers or bags. Containers and bags are weighed first, by either yourself or by the store keeper. You can write down the weight of the container and bag onto a piece of paper or into your phone, rather than use stickers. Fill your container or bags with what you need, write down the code or product name. When you are ready to pay, the store keeper will deduct the weight of your container or bag from the total weight. 

And that is it. That is bulk food shopping.

But how do you get started? Where do you get all your bottles from? And how did you find a bulk store? 

Easy. Start by collecting glass bottles or check to see if your local bulk food store has some you can buy on your first visit. Visit the bulk app to locate your nearest bulk store.

You can also ask friends and family for bottles. Thrift stores are also great place to find old glass bottles and sharing websites too.

If there is not a bulk store within an easy commute to your home grab a group of friends and make a day out of it.

Share you favorite bulk store below with a link – I would love to see it.
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