By now you've all likely seen the mesh or cotton produce bags making their rounds during your shopping sessions, right? It's so fantastic to see people making the switch from plastic produce bags to the cloth ones but have you tried taking it a step further with bulk shopping by using your containers from home?
The first thing to do is to find out which stores offer this kind of program. The concept is quite easy: you bring your own mason jars or containers from home, have them weighed at the checkout before filling to determine tare weight, fill them with whatever bulk goods you like, then have them re- weighed at checkout (total weight - tare weight), place them in your reusable shopping bags and continue about your day feeling pretty good about yourself and the little changes you've made! That might seem like a lot of work to some of you, and I'm not going to lie; yes, you do have to prepare before you go and yes, it does take extra time to get the jars weighed before filling BUT once you go a few times like anything, it will seem like the new norm.
The first time I went to bulk barn here in Canada I made a little mistake and forgot to wash all of my jars out completely. Well actually, it wasn't a mistake really. I thought that if there was a tiny bit of sugar in the bottom of the jar that it would be totally fine as I was going to put the same sugar back in. Well, it wasn't and I was made aware that it wasn't quite quickly;) So when you go, wash and completely dry each jar and lid well. Another tip I have learned along the way is to bring the wide mouth mason jars. Trying to scoop cocoa or flour into a jar with a small opening proves to be quite difficult. Another tip if you have a lot of items to check out, it's faster to have the code ready for the person ringing your stuff through. This has helped me many times; especially if I'm shopping with both of my kids. One of the best things about bulk shopping with mason jars is that when you get home, all you have to do is take them out of the bag and display them in the kitchen or put away in the cupboard for easy access.