For saving money you can’t beat buying food in bulk, but there’s more to it than simply cost cutting. You can also think of bulk buying as a strategy for healthy living. Avoiding the supermarkets and eating high quality fresh food is the way to go. You’ll cut down on all that plastic packaging and you’ll have a wider choice of fresher and/or more orga nic foods if you can buy direct from growers or farmer’s markets.
Of course there’s a potential downside to buying in bulk, especially if there are only one two people in your household. A whole crate of organic tomatoes is almost certainly going to go off before you can consume them all. There are ways around this, so don’t write bulk buying off on those grounds. By buying foods you can process yourself or setting up a vegetable co-op (or both) you can solve the problem easily enough.
By buying a whole box of vegetables and processing them yourself you can have complete control over what goes into your food. Given the questionable practices in the modern food industry this is a great thing to do. You can cut out the chemical additives, the trans fats and all the other things that are antithetical to healthy living.
There are plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs that you can buy in bulk and freeze with ease. Tomatoes are very versatile and easily made into a sauce for all sorts of culinary purposes. Mushrooms lightly sautéed freeze brilliantly. Lots of firm green vegetables can easily be frozen simply by blanching them first (dropping them briefly into boiling water). Some vegetables don’t even need blanching. Peppers cut into strips will freeze as is, and are then ready for including in cooked dishes.
The other way to solve the surplus problem is to get together with other people to buy in larger quantities. A vegetable buying co-op is simple to organize, and works like this: a group of people take turns to do a weekly shop at the local fresh fruit and vegetable market. They then divide the various purchases into the manageable size portions. The participants pick up their food from that week’s buyer. You’ll have loads of fresh food, at a fraction of the price and none of the stress of supermarket shopping. And, if you have eight households participating, you’ll only have to do the market run once every couple of months.
By cutting out the middleman you’ll make real savings, but the biggest score is getting the best quality produce you can, in the interests of your health. Who can sneeze at healthy living plus great prices for good fresh food? And you can choose to support suppliers who produce food with eco-friendly farming. It’s a win-win for everyone concerned.