One of the top complaints when it comes to buying organic is the cost. It’s true that organic products can cost considerably more than their conventionally-grown counterparts. And while the higher prices may be worth it, finding ways to shop organic without breaking the bank can pay off for everyone.
When consumers purchased in bulk, they saved an average of 89 percent compared with regular supermarket costs.
Buying bulk organics doesn’t only mean shopping out of the scoop-it-yourself containers at Whole Foods. A growing number of people are forming organic buying clubs. Such clubs use the collective power of the group to purchase bulk organics and distribute them among members.
Normally, the clubs make purchases once or twice each month through a single wholesaler, saving members as much as 50 percent on their grocery costs.
In addition to saving money, the buying clubs essentially build a community around the healthful practice.
The Bulk is Green (BIG) Council says there are numerous benefits to buying in bulk. They offer the following “FACTS” to shed light on the perks of bulk purchases:
- Conventional purchase sizes waste packaging materials and fuel costs.
- Packaging and related costs limit how much of a certain item families can afford.
- Packaged products make it more difficult for consumers to see what they are getting and are more labor intensive for grocery stores to keep fresh.
- Transporting bulk goods is more efficient as trucks can be loaded more densely.
- Buying bulk eliminates paper, cardboard, and other materials from entering landfills, waterways, and communities.
In peanut butter alone, if every American family purchased bulk for one year, they would save an average of 7 pounds of waste. If almonds were purchased in bulk, 72 million pounds of waste would be diverted from landfills.
If you’re interested in getting in on the bulk-buying phenomenon, and making a difference in your health, community, and the environment, Mother Earth News provides several tips and resources, including a “Food-Buying Club Directory.”