Over the holiday weekend I shared in conversation with my cousin and aunt how I bring my bulk foods home from the Co-op. I'm pretty sure I've never specifically discussed that here, and it is by no means an elaborate system, quite the opposite actually. But it works for me, and it just might work for someone else out there looking for their own improved system.
In my pantry, all of my grains, beans, dried fruits and so on are stored in glass canisters and jars. I've seen many people take their empty glass jars down to the Co-op and even have the tare weight marked with permanent marker on the bottom of them. I would definitely break a few with each shopping trip, I can't be trusted with that many glass jars against the Co-op's cement floor.
Looking at the basket in the photo, you've probably already figured out my entire system and words here are totally unnecessary. It's filled with heavy duty ziploc bags, gallon size. While I'm not comfortable storing my food in plastic bags long term in my home, I am okay with transporting them home this way. And let me tell you, slipping the ziplocs under the bulk bin dispenser to fill, and then closing them quickly brings tremendous ease to my life (it's the little things), the bags will last for years as well. This basket sits in the pantry filled with labeled bags. Each has the name of food and the PLU # for weighing them at check out. I have bags for coffee as well.
When I write up my shopping list I just head into the pantry and pull out the bags that are needed for that trip and I'm on my way. When I return home I dump the contents from the ziplocs into my glass jars and place the bags back in the basket for another time. There is no need to wash them out in between each trip, maybe a once every six months hot water rinse but nothing more than that.
This idea is so incredibly simple it is almost embarrassing to write about. But I bet many of you have similar ideas that are working for you. Please share your best earth friendly, purse friendly homemaking tip in the comments. What little and simple thing have you put into practice in your home?
Also... after you leave us your tip, stop on by Simple Green Frugal Co-op!