After writing about my grocery shopping process, I wanted to include a little visual addendum. A lot of people are unfamiliar with buying in bulk, and it can be intimidating if you’re unsure of the process. So to demystify it, here’s how it looks:
These are the supplies I bring on one of my marathon grocery shopping excursions.
- Multiple canvas or re-used paper grocery bags, for bringing home the booty.
- Re-used plastic food tubs, best for bulk liquids like oils and syrups.
- Many many re-used plastic produce baggies, for dried goods like rice, beans, and baking flours. Also, you know, for produce.
- Stickers and pens for careful labeling, and notepaper for calculations
- Glass jars, because there’s never enough containers . . .
And this is what it looks like when I get it all home – you can see why labeling is so important! Now, I could just stop there, throw the dried goods in the cupboard and the perishables in the fridge, and call it a day. But of course, I’m much too meticulous for that sort of haphazard attitude!
In my kitchen, everything has a home. I use retro glass canisters to store my flours, beans, and pastas, displayed on my kitchen counter (back and second row). The rest are stashed away out of sight. I use old apple sauce jars (they’re perfect!) for all my fruits, seeds, and nuts; of course they have to match because I’m crazy like that, and it also helps them to stack easily. The rest are random jars for random stuff, like the bran that lives in the fridge and the Nooch that hangs on the seasoning shelf. I saved a bunch of syrup bottles from my last Master Cleanse (far left) and they’re great for holding tamari, agave, molasses, etc. Sometimes I keep the original jug and just keep refilling it, like the big brown rice bin (on the right with the green lid) and the olive oil, canola oil, and castile soap bottles (back row left), all of which I now buy in bulk. Organization is key, at least for me.
And just for posterity’s sake, this is what my whole haul looked like. That’s about $160 worth of groceries, and quite a few big-ticket items like nuts, fancy oils and vinegar, those amazing local Thai curry pastes that go for $5 a pop, etc. But, working in tandem with my produce method, this will last us quite a few months. All things considered, it’s incredibly thrifty. But most importantly, eating like this – whole foods, real foods, made-from-scratch plant-based meals – is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. And SO YUM!