Everything I don’t or can’t buy from the market on a Saturday, I get from my local bulk shop. In Rennes that means heading down to Scarabée Biocoop, which sells organic fruit and veg, a selection of jarred items, as well as dried goods in bulk. This is where I stock up on pasta, raisins, rice, oats, flour and nuts amongst other things.
Again, the process begins with preparation. I already have my list (with the market items crossed off, I am left with items to buy from this place), so I get together my tote. I’ve owned this shopper for years and years and I like it because it’s strong and just big enough. Inside it I place my handmade canvas bags, mostly sacks with a few smaller drawstring pouches. I also like to bring another tote bag just in case I buy too much to carry in the one.
How this particular shop works is that they provide paper bags which you fill up to your desired amount from the bulk bins. You then weigh the bag on the scales and it prints a price sticker which you attach to the bag. At the till the cashier scans the sticker and you’re done! The only difference I make is using my own canvas bags instead of the paper ones. I made sure to pick lightweight canvas and to sew them as light as possible, as obviously I am adding weight to the food I buy which would increase the price. My canvas sacks are brilliant at withstanding weight and the stickers stick well, but peel off really easily too which is great for when I get home. Obviously the stickers are disposable and non-recyclable which is really annoying, but this is as close as I an get to zero waste shopping where I am.
At home I empty my grains into my glass bottles and jars, collected from previous market and supermarket trips, then put the canvas sacks back into the tote ready for the next week. I wash these bags as and when I feel like they need it (the same goes for the mesh grocery bags for the market).