Bulk shopping (how to)

Curious how bulk shopping works? Here's my step-by-step guide for shopping at Bulk Barn:


I keep a grocery shopping list on my phone, organized by store, adding items to the list as I run out. Before heading to the store, I check the list and pack a container for each item.


I bring my containers to the store in a couple canvas wine totes from SAQ.

Tiny Trash Can bulk shopping how to

When I arrive, store employees weigh them for me and write the weights on the lids in washable marker. I like to use glass jars because the weight doesn't bother me, but you can also use cotton bags or plastic containers—so long as they're clean.


Then I send my son to fill them up! 😆

Tiny Trash Can Bulk Barn bulk shopping how to

While he's filling containers, I add the product code to the list on my phone. This makes checkout a breeze and saves tags, stickers and ink 👍

Tiny Trash Can bulk shopping grocery list


When we're done shopping, we bring our filled jars to the cashier, and the weight of our jars is subtracted before calculating the price 👍 I got these sesame seeds, sea salt, dried pastas and fair trade coffee all for $13 CAD!

Tiny Trash Can package free grocery shopping

Bulk Barn is Canada's largest bulk food retailer with 275+ stores across Canada! 😲 If you've been thinking about trying package-free shopping, Bulk Barn is a great place to start. They actually encourage customers to bring their own containers so there's no need to feel weird! 😜

Updated Jan. 10, 2020

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4 thoughts on “Bulk shopping (how to)”

  1. My question is how they weigh things at the bulk barn with your jars? Are you penalized for a heavy container.

  2. Hi! I’m from Western Canada and have done everything you have. I thought I’d add that I have bought an Instant Pot and now make my own cottage cheese and yoghurt. I already make my own pickles, jams and salsa. I can fruit too. I am searching for a place to buy bulk oils and kinds of vinegar, I find that I go through butter as well. Bulk Barn does not stock. Do you have any advice?
    You inspire me
    Thank you
    Connie Baxter
    Edmonton Alberta

    1. Hi, Connie! Keep up the great work! 😀 I get bulk oils and vinegars from a zero waste grocery store near me. If you don’t have one near you, see if you can find those items in glass, in the largest quantities possible and reuse the containers. And maybe you or someone you know can open a zero waste store! 😉

      For butter, I make mine from 35% cream that I buy in a consigned glass container. It’s really easy (takes only 10 minutes in a stand mixer). You can find instructions here. The two dairy brands with consigned glass containers that I see most often in Quebec are La Pinte and Harmony. Talk with your local grocery to store to see if they can source dairy in glass 🙂

      Good luck and keep me posted on your efforts!

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