Bulk as in bins, not COSTCO size packaging…
The first most obvious reason to buy in bulk is it gives you the ability to purchase as much or as little as you need.
It also ensures you are only paying for the food, not unnecessary packing, which usually means a better price AND less waste, saving valuable resources.
So that’s four reasons…!
What Can You Buy in Bulk?
Glad you asked! There are many healthy, whole food options in bulk.
All of these should be stored in a dry, cool place in airtight jars or other containers. Properly stored they will maintain their quality for up to six month.
Dry beans should be soaked in water for 8 hours or boiled in water for 3 minutes then left to soak for 2-4 hours before fully cooking. Soak 1 cup of dry beans in 4-5 cups of water. Soaking before cooking helps with the digestibility of the beans. Make sure and drain the soaking water and use fresh water before cooking.
To ensure proper cooking, avoid adding salt, sugar, tomatoes, wine, lemon, or soy sauce until after the beans are fully cooked. You may preseason with garlic, onion, bay leaves, or cumin.
If you have a choice, choose those that have no added sulfur. Sulfur is often added to preserve the color of the fruit, but it can also have some not-so colorful side-effects. So don’t be turned off by pale colors of dried fruit that does not contain sulfur- it will taste just as good!
Grains and Flours
Each grain and flour may have unique or multiple methods of preparation. Since there is no packaging to supply cooking instructions in bulk, you might need to follow a recipe, or consult with google for directions.
Nuts and Seeds
I love to make my own trail mix in the bulk section. This way I only have in it what I want and only in the amounts I want them. No need to just pick one nut or seed, and have a lot of it until the container runs out, but have a variety of several to play with in dishes and as snacks.
Oils, vinegar, various kinds of honey or syrups are used often and in many ways in the kitchen. They can also be quite spendy. Bulk purchase of these liquids allows you to try just a little bit of a larger variety rather than to spend a large amount on a large container.
You can also re-use glass containers by purchasing in bulk- reduce, reuse and recycle!
I hope this overview of why (what and how) to buy in bulk proves helpful in all your future cooking endeavors!