Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In Bulk

As part of my new resolution to buying more things that are local and organic. I started visiting/shopping at our not-as-close-as-I-wish-it-were Co-op.  I grew up with a local Co-op in my home town that was about 5 blocks from my parents house. It used to be a place a refuge for me when I felt overwhelmed. The funny part is that they all seem to have the same type of smell. As sad as it is, that's the simple reason why I hadn't been to this one yet. It's about a 15min drive from our house, it involves going on the highway and almost endless stoplights and traffic.  That aside, it's a whole new world inside. Local produce teeming from almost every aisle, yet I did learn that you should check the labels. They had grapes there, which I almost bought, until it was spotted that they were conventional, not organic or local. Not thanks.  One of the things that I want to really learn how to shop for though, is BULK foods.
Now, this is bulk as in no packaging. Not 3 or 4 of the same package stuck together and wrapped up for sale.
Today I am proud to say, I bought oatmeal in bulk. I brought in our clean old oatmeal container, had it weighed at the service counter, then proceeded to the bins and made an absolute mess of it. The scoop was huge, heavy and just plain awkward. I did my best to pour it into the container without spilling. But I ended up being that person who makes a huge mess, not on purpose, but just out of inexperience.

The idea of buying in bulk and having reusable containers got me thinking though. So, I went though my kitchen and found various storage containers. Then I went through my baking cabinet, the one that has bags of things falling all over the place, that decide to all fall out when you try to get that one in the back. They are now all in containers that are see through. That one is walnuts, that one is chocolate chips, and that one is powdered sugar, etc. It looks so much nicer. The fact that I didn't think of doing it before baffles me. I do it with my sugar and flours, why not with everything else? So from here on, if I need sugar, flour, wheat, pasta, trail mix, dried fruit, etc. I can take my clean, empty container with me and fill it with exactly what I need and pay for only what I need. Knowing that I am not paying extra for the fancy package, type, recipes, and descriptions. I am just paying for what I really need.

(And what I really need is an explanation as to why the heck I have a container of chocolate chips that is the same size as my flour bin.)

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