Buying in bulk has the inherent environmental benefit of cutting down on packaging, but is it actually cheaper than buying the packaged equivalent? Central Co-op Marketing Specialist Erik Esse put his shopping and math skills to use to find out.
We at the Co-op recently installed new fixtures for our bulk liquid food items and re-set our bulk Wellness items, which piqued my interest in buying liquids in bulk. I’ve bought rice, flour, granola, herbs and other dry items in bulk for years, but for some reason I never made it over to the liquids. As a family man on a budget, I wanted it to make sense financially, so I decided to compare the bulk and packaged prices on some items I regularly buy.
Olive oil: Because olive oils can vary so widely in type and quality, this was a hard comparison to make. The three brands of bottle that I checked had a price per pint of $8.04 (non-organic), $8.50 and $8.81 (organic). The three brands of bulk olive oil we carry are priced at $6.99/pt (Bella Vina), $7.99/pt (Bari) and $8.49 (Atlas), all organic, so bulk gives a significant savings. The cheapest option? A 170 fluid ounce tin of Atlas olive oil, which goes for just $6.49/pt, if you have room for it in your kitchen!
Canola oil: A difficult comparison due to the fact that our packaged canola oil is organic while our bulk option is not. That said, our packaged canola oil is $5.50/pt while our Napa Valley Naturals bulk canola oil is only $2.99/pt, so that’s a huge difference.
Maple Syrup: The largest bottle of my favorite maple syrup goes for $15/pt, while Coomb’s syrup in bulk is only $12/pt, which is a 20% savings!
Honey: Our Glorybee blackberry blossom honey in bulk goes for $7.99/lb, while Glorybee honey in the plastic bear package is $8.65/lb. A significant savings, plus you don’t have to recycle those cute little bears, which for some reason makes me feel sad (are they too much like Winnie the Pooh?).
Hand Soap: Both the EO (Essential Oli) and Oregon Soap Co.’s bulk hand soap are priced at $0.33/oz, while the least expensive bottled hand soap is $0.47/oz and Oregon Soap Co. in a bottle is $0.96/oz! Definitely worth it!
So, at least in my experience, it is definitely true that you can save a lot of money by buying bulk liquids. I estimated I saved $9.68 on my small haul alone!
Stop on by both of our bulk liquid areas and give it a try yourself! We’ve got glass and plastic container for you to purchase (or you can bring your own from home) and friendly staff that help orient you to the process if you have questions. Visit our Bulk Foods page to learn more.
More Bulk Liquid Options
Braggs' Liquid Aminos
Spectrum Apple Cider Vinegar
Aunt Patty's Coconut Oil
GloryBee Honey Roasted Peanut Butter
Equal Exchange Almond Butter
CB’s Nuts Peanut Butter
Bulk Liquids in Wellness
Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint, Tea Tree & Mild Baby soaps
Moon Valley Organics All-Purpose Liquid Soap Concentrate
Alaffia Shampoo & Conditioner
Bio-Pac Dishwashing & Laundry Liquid
Uncle Harry’s Almond Oil & Grapseed Oil
Inesscents Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Witch Hazel, Golden Jojoba Oil & Castor Oil
Date: Monday August 06, 2018
Category: In The Co-op
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