Incredible Bulk and an Incredible Sale!

It’s time to save 25% on all Bulk Foods this week at Oliver’s!

There is no better time than the present to explore the Bulk Department at Oliver’s. In addition to saving a full 25% this week, there are always great reasons for shopping our Bulk Department: It reduces consumer packaging waste, the products are fresher than what you get in pre-packaged products; and buying in bulk allows you to buy as little or as much of an item as you need.

Our friendly and knowledgeable Bulk Department staff are here to help you navigate the department and find everything on your shopping list. From sweets and spices to dried fruits, nuts, granola, trail mix and everything in between, our Bulk Department is bursting with ingredients to make your snacks, drinks, and recipes both easy and delicious.

Note: Ad prices are in effect from February 21-27, 2024 at all four Oliver’s Market locations.

Why Buy Bulk?

There a few very concrete reasons to buy in bulk and few more nebulous ones, so let’s start with just the facts!

Bulk foods create a lot less waste than foods in single-use packages. It does this in two ways: first, since you’re only buying as much food as you know you’ll need, it cuts down on the food waste your household will produce. According to the USDA, Americans wasted approximately 133 billion pounds of food just in the past year alone. This creates a huge strain on the environment, both to produce the food and then to dispose of it; by buying food in bulk, you ensure that you’ll only get what you can actually use. Second, buying bulk foods also means you’re not putting more single-use containers into the environment. Almost all food today comes in some sort of package, and whether it’s plastic, cardboard, or glass, that package is eventually going to wind up in the trash. By using jars and bags that can be refilled and reused, you will avoid putting more containers into the environment!

Bulk foods also tend to be much cheaper than their pre-packaged counterparts, especially during this sale! Bulk foods cost less to ship, meaning you’ll really just be paying for the food you’re eating. That being said, some bulk items can be just as expensive if not more expensive than their packaged counterparts – check the price per ounce for packaged items you buy regularly and compared them to the price per pound on bulk items. This way you know for sure you’re getting the best price possible.

Additionally, buying in bulk means you get the freshest product possible. The product in our bulk bins is constantly being cleaned out and refilled, so you know that the product you’re getting is at peak freshness, even if it’s dried. This translates to less cooking time and better flavor, not mention a slightly increased shelf life, since you’re getting it as fresh as possible. And it’s fun to boot! Bulk selections tend to include unusual ingredients and interesting spices, and because you can buy in as small or large a quantity as you desire, you can go on a food adventure without breaking the bank or wasting anything.

Labeling is Key

With a standard, packaged product, your checker will likely have all the information they need directly printed on it, but with bulk foods, it’s a little more complicated. Bulk products are usually associated with a specific PLU (price look up) number. This allows the checker to plug in a code and charge you without needing any other information. However, depending on the size of the bulk section, there might be hundreds of these PLU’s, many of which will be very similar.

When you go to fill up your bag or container, label them with both the PLU number and the actual name of the product if possible. This way, if you accidentally write down the wrong PLU – and it happens, frequently – the checker can at least have someone go and get the correct PLU. They may even be able to look it up by name, which saves everyone time, plus you’re guaranteed to be charged correctly!

Check the Bins

Grocery stores are required to post the nutritional information that normally appears on packages on their bulk bins. This includes things like nutrition facts and ingredient lists, but it also includes cooking instructions for the product. Checking nutrition labels is a good idea in general, but it becomes extra important when you can’t bring the labels home with you. Items like pasta, soup mixes, and beans often have specific cooking times and methods; you may be able to find this information online, but it’s much easier to scan the bin’s label before you leave the store. For products you buy regularly, consider permanently labeling your containers with the information, or alternatively, photograph the bin labels on your phone to reference later.

Recipes Using Bulk Ingredients

We also have some great recipes using Bulk Department ingredients that you might want to try. How about DIY Popcorn Seasoning Four Ways? Making your own Granola Bars or Nut Butters can also be a lot of fun! With these rainy days come the craving for more soup, and this Split Pea Soup is a great one to try, and very economical, too!

Buying food in bulk can be intimidating to those who haven’t tried it before, but once you start, you’ll be hooked! Whether it’s the freshness or the savings that get you or the knowledge that you’re doing your part to help the environment, there’s no end to the satisfaction that can from buying in bulk. And there’s never been a better time to start – come into Oliver’s this week only for 25% off everything in our bulk food section, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start ‘bulking up’ sooner.

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