Buying In Bulk – Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose

What I wouldn’t give for a old fashioned general store right out of a western movie!  A place where the stuff of life could be purchased in bulk without all the plastic, cardboard, glue, etc.

We have a “General Store” nearby.  It is worth a visit just for atmosphere!  Wooden floors and a variety of quality goods that can’t be found in chain stores.  Unfortunately they don’t offer bulk foods….  but I can dream…

General Store

General Store

We have really reduced the amount of stuff we consume.  I started thinking about all the lotions, potions, and food concoctions we were buying….stuff that is in no way essential to cleanliness, health, etc….just extra.  I decided to be more functional minded and efficient in our consumption.  This has eliminated quite of bit of garbage- all the containers, paper, plastic.

Still there are some areas where we are still acquiring way too much packaging.

We are coffee lovers-  addicts really.  We like ours with creamer….the fake powder stuff.  Honestly, we should just switch to some sort of natural substance- like milk.  But we are living out of a dorm size fridge at the moment.  There’s not a lot of space in there for jugs of milk.  The point I am not getting to is:  we accumulate a collection of those plastic containers that powder creamer comes in.

I have reused many of them.  Some have become containers for other powders…like baking soda (which I use a lot).  They have a nice flip top dispenser top that works great for sprinkling, etc.  I cut the bottom off one and it is now a doggie travel water bowel.

‘FREE’ Plastic Plant Markers

Several have been cut into strips.  I use these plastic strips as plant/seedling labels.  Just write the name of the plant on it with a sharpie and it is a water-proof way to know what’s what.  They actually sell something similar for quite a few bucks.

Plastic containers.  TOO MANY!!!
Plastic containers. TOO MANY!!!
Plastic containers cut into plant label strips.

Plastic containers cut into plant label strips.

Even so with all my endeavors to creatively use these plastic things….we end up with extra.  And not just the coffee creamer.

Of course one can recycle….but I always wish for another alternative.  LIKE not accumulating the stuff in the first place.  I’d rather re-use one container and buy stuff like coffee creamer in bulk!  Same goes for all dry goods.

I’ve lived some places where I had access to grocery stores that offered bulk items.  I used those offerings as much as possible and it was great.  HTF however, is pretty far from any such stores.

I am looking into ways to buy bulk in spite of the absence of near-by sources.  I know there are online businesses that sell bulk items.  UPS will bring it right to our gate.  It may be a bit more in $$ at first glance….but one has to consider the time and car trip you are saving.  Also…if you are buying in bulk…that usually means quantity…so it’ll be awhile before you need to restock.

We keep finding ways to weed out the extra packaging and thus waste.  Processed foods have some of the most ridiculous packaging that exists.  Usually consisting of a plastic tray inside a box, inside another box, inside plastic?  All for a little bit of food that has ingredients using all letters of the alphabet and probably gives you gastrointestinal problems.  It is Insanity.

We don’t venture much into the middle isles of the grocery store….we buy more fresh stuff.  Work will be done consistently to the garden on HTF and result and more food we produce ourselves.

In future posts I will be sharing our experiences in buying bulk, producing our own food, and attempts to reduce, reuse, recycle the stuff we accumulate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *