The bulk department opens in a new tab can be a little intimidating for the uninitiated. When I first started shopping at Whole Foods Market®, all of the bins, item numbers, tiny writing utensils and the freeform, help yourself method made me a little nervous.In the end, curiosity won out. I had heard it was a great money-saver, so I took a deep breath and asked one of the friendly Team Members manning the bins to give me a quick tour and overview of the department. Guess what? The bulk bins are now one of my favorite parts of the store!
The Basics of Bulk
The bulk department can be a shopper’s best friend, here’s why:
Bins are replenished to help keep ingredients super fresh
Since you can buy as much or as little as you need, you can try a variety of 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 extra packaging
All bulk items are required to meet Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards, so you’re still getting the high quality products that you expect from us
Most of your 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)
Dried herbs and spices (oregano, paprika)
Bonus: put these staples in glass jars and clear containers and your pantry gets an instant facelift.
If you're new to cooking with beans and grains, start with our Learn to Cook recipes: Learn to Cook Beans opens in a new tab, Learn to Cook Quinoa opens in a new tab, Learn to Cook Whole Grains opens in a new tab.
Or you can go wild with ingredients like forbidden black rice, unsweetened flaked coconut, golden flax seed and nutritional yeast. Because you’re not paying for packaging (or a full package), you can explore a new world of ingredients. Looking for inspiration? Ask our friendly Team Members about their favorites or use our recipes app opens in a new tab to find out what to do with a new ingredient.
The bulk section also holds endless kid-friendly options if you're trying to get the whole family to eat better. Check out these fun activities to try with your kiddos opens in a new tabwhen exploring the bulk department, courtesy of Whole Kids Foundation opens in a new tab.
Bulk Finds = Meals and Snacks
From morning to night, I am always turning to bulk staples to fill up my plate.
Whole grains and great mornings go together like spoons and bowls. We love Mighty Bowls opens in a new tab for breakfast, and this flavorful Millet Breakfast Cereal with Mandarin Oranges and Dates opens in a new tab. Overnight Oatmeal opens in a new tab is simple to prepare, and Fruit and Hemp Seed Muesli opens in a new tab is loaded with satisfying textures.
New to cooking whole grains? Here’s a handy chart opens in a new tab for soaking times and liquid-to-grain ratios.
Get your snack on with popcorn, raw nuts, trail mix, fruit and nut bars or roasted seaweed.
Wholesome snacking is easy with these recipes on hand, starring some of our favorite ingredients from the bulk department: Chewy Coconut Granola Bars opens in a new tab, Popcorn Trail Mix opens in a new tab, Oat Date Bars opens in a new tab, Whole Grain Almond Granola with Cranberries opens in a new tab and Pimenton Roasted Garbanzos opens in a new tab (you can cook dried garbanzos from our bulk bins by following this simple method opens in a new tab).
Dinner is in the bag with bulk beans and grains. Watch how to create two great recipes: Southwest Veggie Burgers opens in a new tab and Beef, Bean and Veggie Chili with Bulgur opens in a new tab.
Tell me, do you shop in bulk? What’s your favorite thing to buy?