09 December, 2008

Saving time, money and packaging: buying in bulk

I can't stand shopping for boring stuff and by boring I mean washing powder or dried pasta or bread flour. So I'm always looking for ways to avoid doing this and my latest is to buy in bulk. I realise this doesn't help if you have no storage space. But if you do, then why fill your trolley and lug bags of stuff home each week when you can have good stuff delivered, not need more for weeks, and it often saves money.

My bread flour currently comes in 16-25kg sacks from Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire, ordered online. It is lovely quality stoneground flour and costs the same as Waitrose own brand organic - so not cheap but not the price you'd usually pay for flour of this standard in a supermarket. I've also bought from Bacheldre (but they send individual bags not sacks) and from FWP Matthews, who are aimed more at the commercial baker but have a great range for home baking too. And some fabulous French flours from Moul Bie.

Coffee I buy every couple of months or so from Hasbean. It isn't cheaper than the shops but I am a terrible coffee snob and like freshly ground coffee in the morning from good quality beans, and you can't really get that from a supermarket. Hasbean sell a huge variety of delicious coffees as well as tea and all the paraphenalia to do with tea and coffee drinking.

My latest discovery is Wiggly Wigglers who are selling bulk Ecover products. You can get a 10kg box of washing powder or 5 litres of washing up liquid. Both are cheaper than Tesco, and if you like their shower gel, a 5 litre bottle is half the price.

Now I want a bulk pasta supplier. You can get multiple packets from ethicalsuperstore but it's the more expensive, worthy kind (which can mean inedible) so there's no real saving, and you still end up with the same amount of rubbish. Anyone know where I can get a 5kg bag of basic penne or farfalle?


Gretel said...

Oh, FWP Matthews are a stone's throw away from us, in the next village; I cycle there to pick up our Cotswold Crunch.
If you don't mind Asda, they do big bags of basic pasta and rice - 3kg.

Eliane said...

I used to buy Cotswold Crunch. It's lovely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the shout out and your kind words about our coffee.

mountainear said...

Hmm - we like to buy in bulk. Perhaps I should whisper that a lot of our stuff comes from Costco. I like to think we off set our 'costco footprint' with lots of stuff from the garden, local farmers and local producers.