13 Mar, 2017
About that reusable container program at Bulk Barn
Posted by andrea tomkins in: Yaktivism
I had the chance to try out the new reusable container program at Bulk Barn this past weekend.
I first heard about it about a month ago. The cashier popped a flyer about it in my bag and I was intrigued, for a few reasons:
1) We use an awful lot of plastic when we visit Bulk Barn and it would be nice to decrease this amount, even a little bit. If everyone decreased their plastic use a little bit, it would actually make a big difference!
2) By filling my own containers I have a better shot at buying exactly what I need. Take for example, spices. I always end up buying more than my small spice jars can hold and I’m left with little baggies of spices loosely rolling around my pantry. (It’s a first world problem, I know. But there it is.) Same goes for nuts, and nuts are not cheap, so I don’t like to overbuy (unless it’s on sale, of course).
3) I can put to good use a few of the jars I have squirreled away.
So I grabbed an old jam jar I had thoroughly washed and dried and went merrily on my way.
My merriment came to an abrupt halt as soon as I stepped inside my local Bulk Barn. There were two cash registers open and a loooong line up at each one. Sigh. (Note to self: don’t shop here on Sunday afternoons.)
Here’s the problem: in order to use my own container I need to line up twice, once to get it weighed, and a second time to pay for my order. I got to thinking that this wait time could be eliminated if there was a scale available at the front of the store for customers to use for this purpose. Maybe it could spit out the weight of the container on a slip of paper a customer can then bring up to the register?
I waited in the shorter of the two lines and had my jar weighed. The cashier wrote the weight on a wee sticker and stuck it to the bottom of the jar.
My goal on this day was to pick up a half jar of smooth/natural peanut butter (which I had been seriously craving) but I was distracted by all of the things I could have filled up my jar with. (I’m not even talking about all the nuts and candy – just “wet” goods!) There were a couple kinds of honey, all kinds of nut butters including cashew, almond, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, coconut oil, icing, molasses, shortening etc. And there was also a “grind your own” nut butter station. (I am totally saving this for next time.)
This is what I eventually chose:
The big scoops are a bit awkward but I was able to avert any kind of peanut-butter-related disasters. There were also tissues nearby so I was easily able to give the rim of the jar a quick wipe before I put the lid on it. Mission accomplished!
On my way home I popped into Loblaw’s to pick up a couple of things and decided to check the price of their smooth/organic peanut butter while I was there:
The price tags at Loblaw’s have a handy breakdown of cost per 100g, which in this case is .958/100g. As you can see, it’s cheaper than the same stuff at Bulk Barn, which was on sale at $1.22/100g. I was convinced the Bulk Barn brand would be less expensive, but I was wrong. Oh well. It was worth investigating, and it’s yummy, AND I’m happy that I was able to use my own container! And a glass one at that. I’d still call that a win, even though I spent a few extra cents:
What do you think? Do you see yourself bringing your own containers to Bulk Barn?
If you’d like a few extra details, you can read more about Bulk Barn’s Reusable Container Program right here. (Worth noting: not all containers are accepted, and they have to be cleaned before you get there.) Click on the link for Bulk Barn coupons too!