Buy Food – Not Pretty Packaging


Today I want to share something that is one of my passions – reducing packaging.

For several years I have tried to minimise the amount of packaging that comes into our home and one way I do it is by buying dry goods from ‘bulk bins’ and re-using my own bags.  Here is all you need to get started.

2011-04-09 01The Duke and I set off this morning with 3 calico carry bags and a pile of recycled paper bags.  Most of these have been re-used many times and some are well over 5 years old.  Paper bags do have a limited life but will last well if you take care of them.  When they finally can be used no more mine find their way to the compost bin.

We buy most of our dry goods at Simply Good.  It is a locally-owned small business at Morayfield, QLD with another shop at Alderley, a suburb of Brisbane.  The Morayfield store is about 40km from us so we tend to shop about once every 3 months.  I appreciate the fact that the shop is open ‘traditional’ hours – 9am to 5pm Monday – Friday and 9am to 12pm on Saturday.  This means that their staff are not expected to work long and unreasonable hours that keep them away from their family.

I try to keep a reasonable level of stock in our pantry so today we stocked up on brown sugar, brown rice, sultanas, raisins, psyllium husk, pepitas, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, red lentils, icing sugar, rolled oats, mixed spice, bicarb soda, plain flour (white), plain flour (wholemeal) and bread flour.  Total cost $139.  This is what it looked like when we got home.

2011-04-09 02Individual bags unpacked.

2011-04-09 03So The Duke and I set to work to put it all away in the storage containers.  So it now looks like this.

2011-04-09 04Here are some of the containers that I use to store bulk quantities of various items.

2011-04-09 05One paper bag reached the end of its life today but other than that all of the calico and paper bags are now folded up and put away ready to be used again.  The only packaging that came into the house was the 2 large plastic bags which hold 5kg of flour each and one extra plastic bag.  These are re-used to hold things in the freezer.  Sadly, the plastic bag I had to get from the shop was because I had under-estimated how many bags I needed.  Grabbing a handful from m stash proved to be insufficient.  I will do better next time.

2 thoughts on “Buy Food – Not Pretty Packaging

  1. It is very satisfying when everything is packed away in the pantry and you know you have plenty of basic ingredients to make a range of nutritious meals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s