Stems and All

My journey to buy less, consume smart, use what's there.

Buying bulk: how much “green” can I save?


Buying food and other products in bulk has many “green” benefits: both in terms of protecting the sustainability of the planet, as well as projecting the green in your wallet.

In terms of benefits to the planet, much of the upside comes from avoiding all the packaging that’s associated with most non-bulk food and product purchases, which primarily ends up in landfill: “Buying ‘bulk’ to avoid packaging” Part I and Part II.

But just how much ‘green wallet’ savings can be enjoyed by buying in bulk?

buying bulk can save money

Buying in bulk can result in tremendous cost savings

On a recent visit to a local health and bulk food store near our house in Oakland, I compared a few bulk vs. non-bulk items, starting with local honey. Here’s what I found:

– 32 ounces honey off-the-shelf: $14.99
– 33.6 ouces (or 2.1 lbs) purchased as a refill bulk item: $9.43

That was a savings of more than $5.50! I saved 33% by simply bringing in my own container and buying the same honey in bulk, that was packaged and on the shelf.

Similar savings proved true on many other food and product items, including peanut butter, olive oil, salt, pepper and other spices, beans, lentils, dried fruits, nuts, and much more.

Yet another reason to take clean, dry containers to the bulk store and refill! Lightens the carbon footprint on the planet and the leakage of ‘green’ from the wallet….

Author: Jane Newcomb

“Stems and All” is my personal journey to become a more environmentally responsible human, live a more sustainable life, and practice sustainable consuming habits.

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