Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Buy Bulk for the Health of It

By Value Guru, February 16, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Value Guru

Want health and value? Shop in our bulk department! Bulk bins at Whole Foods Market offer a great variety of pantry basics and staples to support your healthy-eating plan at substantial cost savings. By buying only the amounts you need, additional savings come from less waste. Plus, it’s a great way to help the environment. For value, bulk buying simply can’t be beat. And there are additional benefits to taking advantage of the variety of ingredients in bulk bins:

  • Bins are replenished often so ingredients are super fresh.
  • Because you can buy as much or as little as you need, you can experiment with new products without getting stuck with a lot of something that doesn’t suit you.
  • Many of the bulk offerings are organically grown.
  • You save money by not paying for fancy labels.
  • All bulk items are required to meet Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards, so you’re still getting the highest-quality of products.

The bulk department can be a healthy eater’s best friend! The January/February issue of The Whole Deal value guide, is bulging with ways to eat healthier on a budget including the $99* Health Starts Here Pantry, which includes a list of basics to have on hand for healthier eating. A lot of these pantry basics are readily available in bulk, including:

  • Dried beans (pinto, white, black, lentils)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, pearled barley, long-grain brown rice)
  • Whole-wheat pasta (spaghetti, couscous)
  • Oats (rolled, steel-cut)
  • Organic raw nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds)
  • Organic dried fruit (apricots, dates, raisins)
  • Fresh-ground nut butters (peanut, almond)

In addition, the bulk department features great selections of spices and seasonings at a fraction of the cost of their bottled or packaged counterparts. When cooking with your health in mind, it’s always good to add seasonings and spices to enhance flavor without a lot of additional calories. Check out these budget-friendly recipes featuring ingredients that can be found in most bulk departments in our stores:

Ready to bulk up for healthy eating and budget savings? Tell us your favorite ideas on using bulk for health and value.

Category: Value - Whole Deal




Michael Robinson says ...
<strong>SENT TO CUSTOMER QUESTIONS</strong> Why did the blend in Pleasant Morning Buzz Coffee change? The new formulation is not anywhere near as tasty. I am now spending a lot of money to try to find a coffee i can drink after years of 100% Arabica Pleasant Morning Buzz.
02/16/2011 6:22:26 AM CST
Karen says ...
I like to buy raisins, steel-cut oatmeal and dates from the bulk bins. I'm going to try some other items too.
02/16/2011 12:44:42 PM CST
Jenn says ...
Is this charged "per pound?" Can we bring our own containers to fill? If so, is the weight of the container considered?
02/16/2011 1:23:14 PM CST
Stephanie Cancienne says ...
nuts, trail mix, rice
02/16/2011 2:44:41 PM CST
Dave Doctor says ...
After last night's Cooking with Whole Grains class, i picked up a bunch of grains from the Bulk Foods containers. This morning I made bulgur wheat in my "grain cooker," formerly known as my rice cooker.
02/16/2011 6:58:02 PM CST
Christine says ...
Can I buy bulk items in my own containers (rather than bagging them)? If so, what is the best way to do this? I shop at other (smaller) stores that will weigh my container &amp; label it accordingly so that the tare can be adjusted at checkout. Would this work the same way for bulk purchases at WF? I appreciate not needing to use the extra bag.
02/16/2011 9:37:15 PM CST
Beena says ...
I love to buy whole beans.My dollar goes much further this way.
02/16/2011 11:22:27 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Christine Customers do bring their own containers for bulk products, but I believe there are some stores that are governed by food safety laws that affect this. It's best to check with your local store directly so they can let you know their exact process. Thanks!
02/17/2011 9:52:27 AM CST
Hari says ...
I would like to know where your dried beans and lentils are sourced from. Are they from China?
02/18/2011 8:31:56 AM CST
Rita says ...
The advice that it is a great way to try grains you might not otherwise try, is terrific. I learned that buckwheat is really good. I actually like mixing half oatmeal/half buckwheat for my morning bowl of hot cereal.
02/20/2011 11:40:47 AM CST
Christine says ...
Will WF ever consider expanding it's bulk section? I just moved to a new part of the country and WF is the only place to buy bulk out here. Sadly, compared to Sprouts, Henry's, and the even the WFs in California, the bulk selection on the East Coast is pretty sad.
02/23/2011 4:55:05 AM CST
Lotus Flower says ...
I love shopping the bulk section! I never buy bottled/ packaged spices &amp; seasonings anymore (except for really special things like saffron or lemongrass) because they are INSANELY cheaper from the bins! Ditto on things like brown rice, cornmeal, and beans (haven't had a stale batch yet!). Oddly though, the sugar and flour are cheaper per pound in the private label organics--- unless of course you only want one lb of sugar or flour, but I still find that odd when the bulk cornmeal is less than half the cost per lb of the packaged kind?
02/27/2011 9:59:21 PM CST
noname says ...
I can't find nutrition information on your BULK products (like the calories, fat, calcium, etc). You do have this info in the store, but it's very hard to jot it all down at the store. Wish you'd put it online.
06/03/2011 5:32:47 PM CDT
Kathy says ...
I can’t find nutrition information about your BULK products (like the calories, fat, calcium, etc). You do have this info in the store, but it’s very hard to jot it all down at the store. Wish you’d put it online. June 3rd, 2011 at 5:32 pm
06/03/2011 5:45:15 PM CDT
Wholesale Food says ...
Bulk buying contributes to your pocketbook. By not paying for all that individual packaging, labeling and advertising, you’re getting more product for your money.
08/09/2012 2:45:17 AM CDT
Kaytee says ...
Do you guys have ginger chews in the bulk deparment at the Portland store? If you do can you please let me know. If you do can you also tell me how much they are.
10/27/2012 9:50:27 AM CDT
Megan says ...
@KAYTEE Your best bet is to call or stop by the Portland store, as selection and prices vary by store and region.
10/30/2012 2:04:32 PM CDT
A says ...
I bought a bulk rice but do nor remember which one it was. Could you list the names and the product numbers on your website? I like to experiment and find that I have several different rice and pulses which are only id'ed by four digits. Thanks for your help. (the one in question is 6690!)
03/02/2013 10:12:26 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@A - I was able to contact my local store to find out that the bulk product for #6690 is Organic Brown Rice. At this time, we do not have an online list of bulk codes as they can often vary between store locations. I would check with your local store if you need to know the code on other bulk items. Thanks!
03/04/2013 12:37:32 PM CST
Kimberly says ...
Bulk oils.
03/18/2013 5:22:46 AM CDT
Brittany says ...
I was wondering if your grains (including quinoa, wheat berries, buckwheat, barley, couscous, and farro are 100% whole wheat products? Did they acquire the 100% whole wheat grain council stamp of approval? How do I look up nutrition information for the products I buy in bulk? Thanks!
04/15/2013 10:13:01 AM CDT
anthony dee says ...
Sure might be nice to find a list of the bulk foods items that certain store lications carry.
06/26/2013 8:38:50 PM CDT
Elizabeth Borelli says ...
I also like buying olive oil and balsamic vinegar in bulk at the Santa Cruz whole foods. I bring my own containers, have them weighed first so they can subtract the tare weight (of the bottle), and fill 'em up. For bulk bean cooking times and instructions, visit http://elizabethborelli.com/healthy-living-tips-and-tools/.
09/11/2013 3:24:21 PM CDT
Grace Kim says ...
Hello, Could you please tell me where your bulk quick rolled oats are sourced? Also, are they grown organically? Thank you!
11/05/2013 11:00:48 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@GRACE - The bulk vendors differ between stores. Contact your local store and they will be more than happy to let you know the vendor, where the oats are sourced and if they are organic.
11/05/2013 3:55:29 PM CST