Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Food Glorious Food and how to buy it!

I have had an amazing time shopping for our weekly food over the last couple of weeks.  It's been a real adventure!

First was the pick up of our bulk order of organic free-range chicken that a lady organises for a group of us.  What an adventure! Heading off in the dark with Hubby and the kids.  Lots of joking about our clandestine rendezvous.........
 Picking up our chook delivery from the back of a car.........
 Then the next shady customer arrived.  Look!  In keeping with my theme, this photo is blurry to protect their identities....
 And a silly husband with the loot!
 How good is it to shop for food so differently?!  Look at how excited the kids look about our purchase.  They don't look like that when we go to the supermarket, believe me!
 Then more wonderful, ethical shopping!  Big news!  A group of us got together a year ago to discuss ways to shop better.  We decided on a bulk food group.  A few of the group worked very hard to find somewhere to buy our goods and set the process in motion. Last week we had our first 'trial run'.  Some of us were seasoned bulk buyers and others (like me) were nervous first timers. 
 Look at all the food!  We've reduced food miles by buying more directly, and packaging by buying in bulk.  AND we saved money at the same time.  All of this while enjoying the company of friends.  What's not to love!!!!
 There was lots of busy sorting and weighing.....
and throughout the process we even worked out the secret of opening bags the right way!  A secret I will soon share!  Just pull the right string and it all unravels.  Something everyone who opens bags of chook food will want to know.  They will be familiar with the frustration of which string?!!
 Some of the very happy customers.
We have not perfected the process yet but it went really well.  We think we'll be buying every three months.

Tomorrow Cynthia will be doing a guest post to share more about the experience.  She was instrumental in the bulk food buying and it was her place we used for dividing the goods.  She and her husband run a small farm specialising in growing organic blueberries (delicious) and they do great things in the way of supporting community and living sustainably. 

Have you had experience with buying in bulk?  How did/do you know how much to order?  How did/do you store your food?


Amber said...

Hehe! Love the chook pick-up photos!
What a wonderful group to be a part of, great stuff. :)

Dani said...

What fun, and a wonderful experience - thanks for sharing.

Tracey said...

That's awesome! Both things! There is a group in our local big town who run a bulk buying coop. You take your containers each month and they fill them. Unfortunately, the timing is bad for us, so we've never gotten around to doing it, but your group looks terrific. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it as I reckon I could get a small group together to try too.

purplepear said...

Yes we buy our dry goods in bulk. Usually we buy enough for 3 months. at first getting the quantities right was trial and error but now we have a better handle on it. We store ours in very large jars we bought from a container warehouse. We then moved the laundry out onto the verandah and turned the laundry into a walkin pantry to store the bulk buys and our preserves.

Zara said...

I wish my food shopping was such a fun adventure.
You seem to have a good system set up. x

Evi said...

Hi Linda, I've been a bit worn out to comment lately but I do regularly pop in to see what you are up to!! Great to see the kale is doing so well, too!!!!
I've been buying in bulk for over 10 years now. In NSW I did the ordering and a friend packed and priced. Since we moved to Tassie I order, pack and price as there are only 8 or 9 of us. I initially started buying in bulk when I had all the kids at home - it was with our home education group - and although we don't have quite as many of us at home anymore, it's still a much better way to purchase nuts, grains, seeds and flours etc.
I dont get any monetary gain from doing it, other than the money I save by buying in bulk with others. We reuse the plastic or fabric bags that we get our produce in - they are cleaned and dropped back to me before the next order.
If you have any questions I'd be happy to help.
Great post, by the way!!!

Kim said...

Excellent post! A friend has just invited me to take part in a bulk food co op as well. I did my first big order last week and I don't need to go to the shops except for butter and milk now. It is so great buying good organic food and knowing you are feeding your family well.
And don't you love the way girls just get together and do stuff like this ...that's girl power in a world changing way!

Linda said...

Amber it was great fun! They ARE a great group!

Dani, I loved being part of this food buying.

Tracey, I reckon you absolutely could! I look forward to hearing about it if you get it off the ground.

Kate, I'm hopeless at estimating what I'll need so ordered conservatively. I've nearly run out of some things already!

Zara it's a work in progress! It is a good way to buy. Maybe talk to your friends. It's quite a cheap option when there are a few of you.

Evi I LOVE your kale! How did I live without it?! Thanks for the advice on bulk buying though I don't know how you did all the ordering, packing and pricing alone. That would take ages! I'd love to talk to you about it more. And maybe Cynthia would as well?

Linda said...

Ooops! Sorry Kim! I got sidetracked by kids and cooking. I'm so excited to hear that you've just started as well! And yes, girl power is amazing but in our case a couple of blokes were involved as well.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Wow I am so jealous. I wish I had something like that near me.

Kirsten McCulloch said...

Haha, love the pic of the bag opening successfully! I remember learning how to do that years ago as a volunteer at the food coop here in Canberra, but I have since lost the skill and only recently got it right again with my flour bags (somehow, I've never been able to do it with the chook food bags!).

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