I wrote last week about my experience buying bulk in my own containers at Sunflower Farmer’s Market (a natural grocery store). Though I like shopping there, it isn’t set up to promote customers bringing their own containers. Both times I have done bulk shopping, the cashiers needed to call for assistance in order to ring up my purchases and even then, the math was figured out and entered manually into the computer. The employees seem eager to have an improved system in place. One cashier said, “there has to be a better way of doing this”.
I still plan on shopping at Sunflower Farmer’s Market and bringing my own containers along. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by my experience buying bulk at Whole Foods yesterday. Right in the bulk foods section (and throughout the store), they sell reusable hemp Hands-On! bags. I love their tag line “Let’s Get Drastic – No More Plastic”. You could use them for produce, nuts, cereal, beans, etc. I bought a pack of three. This solves the problem of carting around a bag full of glass jars, which can be heavy.
It had been a while since I shopped at Whole Foods and I forgot they sell bulk lotion, liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner. Lotion and shampoo are nearly impossible to find packaged in anything but plastic (unless you use bar shampoo). I filled a reusable glass salad dressing container with shampoo. At Whole Foods, there was a sign above the bulk bottles encouraging customers to bring their own containers. Next to that sign were sticky labels allowing you to put the item codes onto your containers (I had learned to bring a roll of tape to Sunflower Market). They make it so easy!
When I made my purchases, the process was efficient. None of my bulk items had to be entered in manually. What a breeze!