<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Bulk buying: where to start?

Beans, rice and spices

Credit: iStockphoto

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I like this new challenge of buying in bulk. It's something I meant to try more of when we did the nude food and locavore challenges a few months ago, but never got around to. I'm looking forward to hunting down some good places to get large amounts of stuff - I always enjoy a spot of bargain hunting!

But what sort of food will work for this challenge?

Obviously you don't want to get perishable foods this way - no matter how you spin it, it's wasteful to buy more than you need if it's just going to end up in the compost or the bin.

There are some really good recommendations in the magazine. I first thought of food, with things like rice, flour, tea, coffee, honey, sugar, olive oil and dried beans - but there's so much more that you can try!

For laundry and cleaning products you can buy washing powder and detergents, or vinegar and bicarb soda if you're an all-natural cleaner. And when it comes to toiletries, an ample supply of things like shampoo, conditioner, soap and toilet paper can't go astray.

I already get my olive oil in a giant cask (like cask wine) and decant it into an old olive oil bottle that I reuse because it's got a nice pouring doohickey on it. And just last weekend I bought a giant bucket of honey, about a litre, from a local producer instead of one of the tiny jars that you can get in the shops.

I've also gotten into baking lately as part of my ongoing nude-food attempts, so bulk flour and sugar could work well for me. Plus we're nearly out of laundry powder, so there's another opportunity.

How about you - what opportunities do you have to buy in bulk to save money and help the environment? If you already do bulk-buying, have you got any tips for us newbies?