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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

8 Ways to Master Bulk Buying

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.


One of the key parts of going zero waste and plastic free is to shop in bulk. This can also be one of the best ways to save money. When you combine them, you get an earth-friendly and wallet-friendly choice. Bulk-buying was a little intimidating for me at first though, so here are the tips I wish I had to get started shopping zero-waste in bulk.


1. You don't have to buy containers to get started. While it is really nice to have tons of organic cotton produce/bulk bags or homemade ones, you can buy 25-50 lbs paper bags of dry goods to reduce packaging (feel to make sure they aren't lined with a plastic bag though). This works great for flour, beans, rice, etc. Buying in these qualities also saves us shopping time, as we take 4-6 months to finish 50 lbs of beans, rice, flour, etc.

2. You don't have to shop for everything in glass. While glass works great for home storage, it is truly a pain to haul a bag of glass containers to and from the store. Some liquids, such as peanut butter, olive oil, etc. require you to fill up a glass container to avoid obvious messes. Spices, grains, pastas, legumes (beans and lentils), etc. are all fine to bring home in a paper or cloth bag if you don't buy a large quantity in a paper bag.
Free Vector 2016 Calendar November by 123freevectors on DeviantArt

3. You don't have to shop for bulk items every week, unless you want to. For example, we don't buy things like pasta, quinoa, etc. every week. We buy about these items once every six months, but we run out fast enough to buy once a month instead. Either way, we don't have to buy dry goods every week.

4. You can buy meat in bulk, wrapped in butcher paper, if you have a large freezer/dehydrator and buy directly from a farmer or just hunt and process your own. You can also buy meat (not in bulk) from the butcher counter in just butcher paper or bring your own container.

mygreatfinds: Perfect Portions Digital Scale + Nutrition Facts Display by Kitchen Gurus Review

5. You may need to know the weight of your container empty.  If your shopping location uses tare weight, you need to be able to subtract the tare weight from the total weight to only pay for the weight of the food. Butcher counters typically do this, but not all zero waste locations do.

Zero Waste Home: Our Bulk Locator App is out!

6. You don't have to figure out where to buy in bulk on your own. There is a free app/website where you type in your town/address/state/country to find bulk near you.

7. You don't always have to use the store's tags for PLU numbers. Bulk foods are usually marked with a code called a PLU number that tells the cashier what the item is. Since I typically use self-checkout, I can just type in the PLU number from a photo on my phone.

5 Keys to Managing your Stress that Actually Make Sense | Self Awakening

8. Enjoy the learning experience of finding out the best bulk options for you. Feel free to laugh at your mistakes and not to take the transition too serious. It can be hard to change, so always focus on the positive changes you're making and take on each new waste challenge with a smile.

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Now that you know how to start buying in bulk and saving money by wasting less, what are your tips for better bulk buying? Let us know in the comments below!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Podcast Episode 009: 5 Easy Ways to Earn Extra Cash

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.

*This is NOT a sponsored post, just a free service that my family uses. I do receive a small percentage of every referral's points, but I only endorse it because we enjoy using it ourselves. You also get extra points by signing up through a referral link, so it's a win-win. All opinions are mine, and mine alone.*


Today we're talking about 5 easy ways to get extra cash for when you shop online and locally, (plus other easy activities). I look at it as a parent "commission". Go about your everyday tasks (like buying reusable furnace filters), and get cashback for things you're already buying and for doing things like running videos on your phone when you're not otherwise using it. See the blog post here for the written version.



Check out all of the Little Urban Greenie's Small Steps For Earth podcast episodes here!

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Whether that's I-TunesSoundcloudGoogle Play Music, or Stitcher Radio, make sure you don't miss a thing and that more people can find us too! Thanks for listening.

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