Fab Frugal Friday: The Incredible Bulk

One of the best things you can do for your wallet (as well as your diet, actually) is to start making use of bulk foods. Even at Whole Foods, sometimes referred to not-so-affectionately as “Whole Paycheck”, the bulk section is an infinitely more frugal way to shop. The savings are incredible – not to mention the fact that along with not paying for packages and marketing, you’re also taking one such package out of a landfill. Frugal AND green!

But it’s not only your budget and your carbon footprint that will benefit – using dried beans instead of canned, for example, improves the quality of your cooking dramatically. Try it, you’ll see! And it’s not just beans, it’s pasta, grains, flours, other baking supplies, nuts, nut butters, dried fruits, granolas, cereals, teas, herbs, even soup and meal mixes, the list goes on and on.

If you’ve never investigated this before – check it out! I’m always looking for ways to improve my pantry efficiency, and the bulk department can be an excellent foundation for this.


  1. says

    It’s true – the flavor is enhanced.

    Here is one of my favorite things to do with whole wheat – I learned this from my cowboy Grandpa – it was probably a cattle roundup recipe.

    Put in a thermos 1 cup whole wheat kernels, a little salt and 2 cups boiling water. Let sit 8 to 12 hours. Pour out and stir – the kernels crack open and get soft.Voila! Hot whole wheat cereal almost effortlessly!

    I suppose you could do this with other grains, too Anne, but I’ve never tried.

  2. says

    I say ‘Amen’ to bulk foods. I have recently gotten back into the habit of grinding my own whole wheat with each use.

    I just learned that the nutrients in wheat are at their peak for a day or two after grinding it. So, not only is it more frugal and green to use bulk foods, with grains, it is actually HEALTHIER!!!

    A friend of mine who has a business called “Dr. Grandma’s” – packaging and selling her own healthy mixes made with whole grains – Joyce Bunderson (she has a PhD in nutrition) – recommends keeping freshly ground grains in the freezer to hold the nutrients and prevent the oils in the grains from going rancid.

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