F.A.R.T.S are small quiet actions (silent, but effective. One might say deadly...) you can take toward a smaller footprint on our lovely earth, but don't cost you an arm and/or a leg to achieve. Previous F.A.R.T.S can be found here, here, and here.
This month's installment is very simple in theory, and while it can take a bit of practice to put in to play, it's worth it in the end.
February F.A.R.T.S: buy fewer items with a UPC (barcodes).
Now, this F.A.R.T.S seems simple enough, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, it can be a challenge. The idea of buying fewer things with barcodes is more of a general idea than an exact science. In theory, purchasing things in bulk, from a farmer's market, or directly from a producer means you're eliminating unnecessary packaging, and overly processed stuff.
What you're giving up:
1) a lot of processed items
2) a lot of processed items
3) a lot of processed items
What you're getting:
1) whole foods
2) fresh produce
3) wonderful products at a lower price point
There are exceptions to this rule. For instance, everything, even organic produce, grains, cheese, butter, etc., from Costco come with a barcode. Side note, does anyone remember when Costco didn't have barcodes, but they had to have two different employees at the cashier - one to read off the code of a product, and one to enter them in manually? Dude, my family has been shopping at Costco for a long time. Anyhoo, the good and healthy stuff I buy from Costco all has barcodes, but I am still buying whole ingredients instead of prepackaged food. Delicious crackers excluded.
Does your grocery store have a bulk section? Many do these days, and it is amazing the deals you can find there. If you don't have access to a store with a bulk section, you may wish to see if Azure Standard delivers to your area. Not everything is cheaper in bulk, but the vast majority of what I've found, is indeed a bargain compared to their packaged items. A few examples:
- 16 oz package of organic black beans is $2.69 at my local market. If I purchase them on sale, in bulk, I can get the same amount for $.79.
- Spices. Oh, I can't speak enough good things about bulk spices. I can buy a $5 small bottle of cumin in the spice aisle, or take an extra 30 seconds and get the same amount in the bulk section for $.34. The great thing about bulk spices is you only have to buy as much as you think you'll need; buying in small amounts keeps the spices uber fresh and potent.
|The excessive end of bulk purchasing. And yes, that is my garage.|
Start small. Next time you run out of an item in your household, think how you can replace it with something that comes in bulk. Try incorporating this in to your life, one item at a time. As with anything in life, one baby step in the right direction can set you off on a lifelong journey.
What is your favorite item to purchase in bulk?