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Bulk Bin Buying

I know I should be buying from the bulk bins at Whole Foods and Harvest to save on packaging, but until this week I never had. It just seemed like so much trouble. If you use the plastic bags and containers that they offer, you’re still using just as much packaging. And if you bring in your own jars from home, it weighs (and therefore costs) extra.

Then the Good Human turned me on to reusable produce bags from Flip & Tumble. They’re lightweight and see-through, so they’re perfect for bulk purchases. And the fine mesh works great for things like nuts and beans (although not so great for things like sugar and flour—to Jason’s consternation!). I tie them at the top, because the drawstring doesn’t close tightly enough for smaller foods, but they’re easily large enough to tie. After you empty them, you can toss them right in with the laundry.

Cashews, black beans, and pine nuts

I haven’t actually used them for produce yet. I got out of the habit of produce bags a long time ago, because it seemed silly to think that fruit and veggies were going to get dirtier on the way home than they did on the way to the supermarket. But I have heard that the bags make them stay fresh longer. Has anyone tried this? It always bothers me when stuff goes bad in the refrigerator.

One year ago today: Stone Soup Farm CSA


Comment from Danielle
Time July 16, 2010 at 12:52 am

I thought at Harvest you were instructed to weigh your home-brought containers and then either tare them out or mark down the weight so you didn’t have to pay extra?

(Not that bringing big reusable containers from home is anything other than a total pain.)

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time July 16, 2010 at 10:08 am

Yeah, but I think you have to weigh them at customer service, so it’s an ordeal.

Comment from Sense of Home
Time July 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I love my reuseable bags, both produce (mesh) and bulk (muslin) from reuseable bags dot com. I open the bags at the checkout counter since the clerks have some trouble seeing through and I don’t want to irritate them.

I am disappointed in the amount of bulk our grocery store has available. I requested more but they said it is a health issue, and I suspect a money issue for them to purchase the bulk bins and manage them.

Comment from Sharon
Time July 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

My mom has started making mesh produce bags for the stand. She included some that she bought in the CSA a couple of weeks ago, and I think she’ll send more when she’s made some. Apparently they’re all the rage!

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