The Joys of Bulk Shopping  

Here’s the deal you guys, I nerd out hard over bulk shopping. I love it so much, I get excited to go grocery shopping. I love it for so many reasons. First, because there is no packaging waste. Second, because you can get exactly as much as you need not what the company who makes it feels is the right amount. Finally, because you can put everything into jars and the #aesthetic is #goals (ok I am mostly kidding about this one but it’s v. pretty to see all your goods in jars).

So, you can imagine my surprise when I was gushing about my love for bulk shopping and people time and time again shared how nervous they were to walk those aisles. When I asked why they shared they didn’t really know how to make the most of it, beyond filling up the bags provided by the store and hello…not the point of waste free shopping.

It is my joy to share how, in my experience, to make the most out of bulk shopping. Also, snag this freebie to help keep track of your grocery list and bulk items!

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Make sure your grocery store has bulk items

We shop at Fresh Thyme, where they have a bomb bulk section. Hy-Vee also has a decent bulk section and I know stores like Fresh Market and Whole Foods also live up to the hype.

Gather jars, bags, storage materials

For me this is the classic mason jar. We also have some larger jars we got as wedding gifts that we use for flour, sugar, rice…the staples. You will want a variety of sizes for things like spices, granola, rice, coffee, etc. Also, make sure to give them a good cleaning!


Tare your jars before you fill them

This one is so important! Taring is where they weigh the jar for you so that when you check out you don’t get charged for the weight of you jar. Some of my jars are a pound or more and that can add a lot of money to my bill if I didn’t tare it first. I just write the tare weight on the lid or the bottom with a sharpie, that way the cashier can easily see it to.

Fill up your jars

This is the fun part! And if you don’t believe me then take a jar to the store and fill it with gummy bears, seriously you feel like a kid again and it’s awesome. If you are rolling your eyes at my excitement for gummy bears then I am sorry but ya basic.

Write down the PLU of your item

PLU stands for price look-up. Each food will have a different PLU. I used to keep all of the PLUs on a note in my phone but lucky for you I made this freebie for you to use to record all of your items and their PLUs in addition to your grocery list.

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Check out

When the cashier rings out your bulk item they will tare it first to take off the tare weight and then ask you for the PLU.


That’s all there is to it! Bulk shopping not only reduces waste but will allow you to save money in the long run because you are not paying for the packaging. I encourage you to give it a try and let me know how it goes. And if you missed it, here is your free printable (or store it on your phone) to put groceries on and PLUs for your bulk items!

Happy shopping!