Saturday, March 26, 2011

bulk products

So I used my new produce bags for the first time today. I don't have nearly enough! I took 8 bags with me, but I easily could have used twice that. I ended up not bagging most of my produce so I'd have more bags left over for bulk products. (Do bananas, melons, lemons, and yams really need bags? I think not.)

I was asked in my previous post if the checkers gave me a hard time about using my own (non-see-through) produce/bulk bags. Not at all. I could have had the bags weighed when I first went in and had the checker be sure to use the bag's tare weight instead of the standard plastic bag tare weight, but I didn't bother. The difference in weight is so insignificantly small. Besides, they gave me a 5-cent credit for every bag of my own that I used. Not just my reusable shopping bags, but all 8 of my produce bags as well.

For my produce, I just left the top of the bag open so they could see what was in it. For the bulk products, I attached the tag with the written price code onto the drawstring. It didn't take the checker any longer than it would have with the plastic bags.

Remember when I tried to rush from my teaching job to Ikea, and made it there 15 minutes before it closed, only to find the doors locked? Well my friend, Lindsay, was in Ikea the next day, remembered my post, called me, and volunteered to pick up whatever it was I had needed. She is the best!

I needed these beauties.

I love these SLOM glass jars from Ikea. They are probably 15 inches tall and only $3.99 each. I had 2 but wanted more. Thanks to Lindsay, I now have 8. Tonight I realized I could easily use another 5 or 6.

Since I've been trying to use bulk products as much as possible, here is how I organized everything.

I weighed a jar to get its tare weight (using my trusty kitchen scale). Then I filled the jars with flour/beans/oats/pancake mix/dried fruit/powdered sugar/etc. and wrote on the jar with a permanent marker. I love writing on glass with permanent marker (in case you didn't know...)

Yeah, I probably don't need to label write rice in a clear jar. It's pretty obvious that's what it is. But I did it for consistency since I had to label other things like pancake mix and flour.

After adding the food, I weighed each jar again. This told me how much of each product would fit in the jar, which I wrote on the bottom of each jar. This way I can know exactly how much to get at the store when it runs out.

I also put all the code tags into a plastic baggie and threw it in with our shopping bags. This way I can just reuse the tags whenever I go, since having to write the price code down every time is annoying.

Don't they look great on the piano? Don't worry. They went in the cupboard after I was finished weighing and labeling them.

I now get all the following products from the bulk bins:

white flour
wheat flour
white sugar
brown sugar
powdered sugar
cocoa powder
white rice
pancake mix
dried mangos*
black beans
kidney beans
corn meal
kernel corn for popping
twisted honey pretzels

*I had Graham at Sprouts, and Christian had Liam at Costco. Without realizing it, we both bought dried mangos. They were actually cheaper in the bulk bins at Sprouts.

Before you ask how in the world I had time to do all of that, just know that there are 3 loads of laundry sitting next to me waiting to be folded and tons of dishes in the sink. I make time by ignoring things I really have to do...


Packet of Seeds said...

I think you've started a wonderful trend here...think of all the wasteful packaging and plastic bags that could be eliminated from our environment..even if we all did our small part. My hat is off to you!
(I am sewing some bags this week)

Tamra said...

I have my material picked out to make these bags. I'm excited about it, even if my husband looked at me funny.

Amy Carter said...

SOOOO awesome. And I love those jars. I'm going to have to copy you. Although I have no idea where I'd be able to find space for the jars.