Buying in Bulk

Have you ever noticed the absurd amount of plastic and cardboard you return home with after a trip to the grocery store?  And it’s not just food, it’s everywhere.  Thousands of products are over packaged which is bad for our environment and a waste of resources.

The solution to over packaging for my family is buying in bulk (and I don’t mean going to Sam’s Club!).  We have dozens of mason jars and fill them with nuts, oatmeal, rice, popcorn, lentils, granola, coffee, sugar, salt, etc. and display them on a bookshelf in our dining room.  It’s easy to see what we have to eat, usually means we are consuming unprocessed foods and it doesn’t break the bank.  There are a few stores we use to stock up on these food items, including Essene Market and WholeFoods.  You just have to be sure to find a friendly cashier to mark the tare weight on your containers before you fill them (we have the weight memorized by now).  

In addition to food, we buy our cleaning products in bulk from Big Green Earth Store on 10th and South Street.  We are partial to the Sun & Earth products they carry (the company is based in King of Prussia) which are excellent at removing grease and the best part is that they are non-toxic and biodegradable.  We purchase the hand soap, dish liquid, floor cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, and laundry detergent.  They all smell like citrus and really work, unlike some other eco-friendly products, ahem.  You can bring your empty containers and have them filled up and they also have a program where you can pre-pay for a large quantity and come back as needed.

My hope for South Philly Food Co-op is that we will not only support local food sources but also choose to sell products from companies who make it a point to package their products responsibly.  And maybe install our very own bulk bins!

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3 Responses to Buying in Bulk

  1. Rose Malinowski Weingartner says:

    I love the refills at Big Green Earth Store – I’ve “subscribed” (pre-paid) for the laundry detergent and it’s so easy to get it filled back up!

  2. I like this post and I like your group. Yes, bulk-buying not only saves us money and time, it also reduces our packaging waste and lessens our gas consumption. My friends and I organized ourselves using an online tool called SplitStuff ( so we can split our bulk purchases. This way, we don’t have problems about storage space and we keep our supplies fresh. Online tools like SplitStuff can actually facilitate community building such as your food co-op. It makes such tasks as communicating, organizing a project, and exchanging tips among members faster and easier than to send them emails or to call them for a meeting.

  3. Pingback: Co-op Inspiration | South Philly Food Co-op

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