Buying in Bulk Just Saved Me $20!

Given how jittery the economy is, it's easy to get the jitters yourself when it comes to going green.

Isn't it great to know, then, that choosing the greenest option when you shop can actually be the most economical way to shop, too?

 Black catThis was brought home to me in spades this morning, when I was stocking up on cat food. Now, there's nothing particularly 'green' about the food I feed my cat Midnight – nothing organic or free range or locally grown. But I had a choice between the package it came in. I could either buy individual four-pound bags, or one large 10-pound bag (which is far less energy and resource intensive to produce).

When I looked at the price difference, it was easy to make up my mind: one 10-pound bag actually cost $20 less than three four-pound bags! Twenty bucks! I couldn't believe it.

Buying in bulk – whether it's cat food, snack food, or wholesome fruits and vegetables – helps protect the planet because the larger packages use less paper and plastic during manufacture and generate less trash. Generally speaking, one out of every eleven dollars we spend shopping goes to cover the cost of packaging. Given these tough economic times, I'd rather save that money buying in bulk.

Bulk Buying Tips:

* Buy the largest size available. This is not only true for food. Cleaning products also come in a variety of sizes; the biggest ones will be cheapest.

* Skip snack packs, which are an excess of cardboard, paper, and plastic wrap. Use reusable containers if you need to divvy up snacks for kids.

Bulk food * Shop the bulk bins. Many grocery stores and food coops sell dry goods in bulk. They supply plastic bags you can fill up, or you can use your own reusable bags (the price differential if your bag is cloth will be minuscule and not worth worry about).

3 Responses to Buying in Bulk Just Saved Me $20!

  1. Fabulously Broke February 19, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    I never buy snack packs when I can make them myself off bulk bins.
    They also overcharge on herbs .. you can buy a big bag of oregano leaves for $1.50 but in the stores, those fancy little glass bottles charge $3.99 for 6 leaves!!! 🙂
    Fabulously Broke in the City
    “Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.”

  2. Diane MacEachern February 23, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Good points! Thanks for writing.

  3. Kaelyn February 28, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    It’s getting easier to save money and buy green these days! In fact, on my trip to BJs yesterday, I picked up organic onions, organic chai and even Organic Cotton polos for my fiance. BJs has a whole line of earth friendly products. It’s wonderful!

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