Buying in bulk can be great for a lot of reasons:

  • Reduces use of excess plastic and food packaging materials. You can even expand this benefit by using your own reusable produce bags to ditch the plastic ones provided by the grocery store.
  • Reduces food waste. Recipes sometimes only call for a small amount of a certain ingredient that you do not use on regular basis. By shopping in bulk, you can get the exact amount of product you need without having to throw away a partially used package of food that was left in your pantry past it’s expiration date.
  • Allows control of portion size. The same idea as before, you can choose how much you buy. Meaning if portion control of nuts or dried fruit is hard for you to stick to, you can choose to only get one or two servings, instead of buying an entire container.
  • Opportunity to try new things. If you do not want to commit to buying a whole package of a new food that you are unsure if you or your family will enjoy, find it in the bulk bins. You can buy a small amount to test it out.


There are many benefits of shopping the bulk bin section of the grocery store, but I wanted to find out if it could really save money also. I went to a local Whole Foods to compare the some prices of their Bulk Bin items to the prices of their 365 house brand. This is what I found:


ItemBulk Bin Price365 Brand PriceCheapest Item
Organic Rolled Oats$1.69/pound$2.99/12 ozBulk Bins
(Save $0.14/oz)
Organic All-Purpose Flour$1.69/pound$5.99/5 pounds365 Brand
(Save $0.03/oz)
Organic Pinto Beans$1.99/pound$2.99/poundBulk Bins

(Save $0.06/oz)

Organic Brown Rice$1.99/pound$3.29/8.8 ozBulk Bins
(Save $0.25/oz)
Organic  Almonds (Unsalted)$11.99/pound$7.49/10 ozExact Same Price
Peanut Butter$2.99/pound$3.99/poundBulk Bins

(Save $0.06/oz)

Organic Agave Nectar$4.99/pound$5.99/23.5 oz365 Brand
(Save $0.06/oz)
Organic Chia Seeds$12.99/pound$19.99/poundBulk Bins

(Save $0.44/oz)

Organic Hemp Seeds$19.99/pound$15.99/12 ozBulk Bins

(Save $0.08/oz)


The bulk bins won the cheaper price on six out of nine items that I randomly chose. With that being said, I think it is safe to say, bulk bin items are cheaper than the house brand most of the time. The additional environmental and functional benefits of buying from the bulk bins may also outweigh the benefit of the few items that are found cheaper in the 365 house brand. Try shopping in the bulk bins if you have not before! You may find a new food to try, a cheaper price or even just a really tasty snack!