We all know that buying in bulk can help us reduce packaging waste, but some of the wider waste-saving benefits of bulk buying often go unnoticed. In addition to nixing extra packaging, buying in bulk allows shoppers to purchase as much or as little as they need, eliminating waste that may come with over-purchasing. And when it comes to some products, you’re practically tossing your hard-earned dollars in the trash when you don’t choose bulk. To get you started on your journey through the bulk aisle, Earth911 sat down with Shane Valentine, chef, author and chef instructor for Whole Foods Market, to assemble this list of items you should always buy in bulk to cut down on wasted cash, food and packaging. Smart shoppers, rejoice!
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“The [bulk product] where you will see the biggest bang for your buck is spices,” Valentine told Earth911. “They are so overpriced in the jar; it’s ridiculous.”
Rather than shelling out five or six dollars on an ounce of seasoning for a new recipe, Valentine suggests reusing your empty spice jars and filling them with just the amount you need from the bulk aisle.
“You can literally take a tablespoon from home, put it into your container and then buy that much,” he explained. “There is zero waste, and if the recipe goes horribly wrong and you never make it again, nothing is going in the garbage.”
Bulk-aisle spices aren’t just for exotic new recipes, Valentine reminds us. Three ounces of your favorite dried herbs will often cost you about 50 cents in the bulk section, compared to upwards of $5 from the conventional spice aisle. Talk about a culinary game-changer!