The Bulk Department: A Shopper’s Best Friend

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

Stock Up

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.
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Is your family trying out new whole grains opens in a new tab, beans opens in a new tab, rice opens in a new tab, nuts or seeds opens in a new tab? Buy just what you need in our bulk department.

Learn to Cook: Quinoa recipe

Learn to Cook Quinoa opens in a new tab

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.

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars

Chewy Coconut Granola Bars opens in a new tab

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).

Tell me, do you shop in bulk? What’s your favorite thing to buy?

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