Why buy in bulk? Because it is THE most cost-effective way to shop for the freshest ingredients with the least amount of packaging. A win-win-win for your wallet, your body, and the planet. A pinch is mere pennies; bulk costs 89% less than packaged alternatives, on average. You reduce the amount of waste going into landfill and the energy needed to create, process, ship, and break down all of that packaging. True savings all around!
Plus, shopping the bulk section of a market is easy. You need not be intimidated! Bring your own containers, jars, bags, receptacles, whatnot. Simply weigh each BEFORE you fill it. Write down the "tare weight" (weight of the container alone with nothing it in), which will be subtracted from the price of the full container. Then, go ahead and fill with bulk goods to your heart's content. Write down the code (often called the PLU#) for that specific item. The cashier will weigh the item and ring it up when you pay – then, off you go!
Buying in bulk has oh so many benefits. You get the amount of any item in a quantity you actually need or want – whether massive or teeny tiny. You can feel free to try new things or experiment with foreign foods without having to make the commitment of buying an entire package. And if you don't like it, no biggie; there won't be a ton sitting around going bad or bound for landfill.
Food in the bulk section is also more fresh than packaged goods, as it is replenished often and doesn't sit on shelves after being sealed and shipped days, weeks or even months prior to your purchase.
What can you buy in bulk? A better question would be: what CAN'T you buy in bulk?!