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Food and Nutrition

Grocery Spotlight: Shop the Bulk Aisle

Enara Staff
/ August 10, 2018

This week, we’re mixing it up with our grocery spotlight and showcasing what may be your grocery store’s best kept secret….the bulk aisle! These days, most large grocery stores have a bulk section (Whole Foods has an extensive one, which is featured in the photo above). We love the bulk aisle for many reasons, namely, you are helping to contribute less packaging waste, you will save money over time, and hey, maybe it’s even a little fun! The key to effective bulk shopping is to shop your staples. We’re thinking oatmeal, ancient grains, lentils, beans and nuts.

As a cost comparison, we broke down the price of rolled oats at Whole Foods compared to our trusty Trader Joe’s. Contrary to its popular moniker of “Whole Paycheck,” the Whole Foods bulk aisle is chock-full of savings. One pound of bulk bin oatmeal is 0.99 cents (steel cut is $1.29), while the same packaged pound at Trader Joe’s costs $1.99 (price per ounce is 0.08 cents at Whole Foods, 0.12 cents at Trader Joe’s). Or how about those elusive ancient grains your dietitian is always talking out? One pound of bulk organic barley costs $1.99, while the 8.8 ounce bag of barley (nearly half the size) at Trader Joe’s runs $1.79. Granted, these are relatively small price differences. However, this could amount to big savings over time.

So go ahead and check out your local store’s bulk aisle, or take a field trip to a grocery store with an extensive bulk section (Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, Berkeley Bowl, and Rainbow Grocery just to name a few). You may just find something unexpected and fun….we’re looking at you freekeh!


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