I wasn't aware of this before we moved to Eugene, but buying in bulk is a fantastic way to purchase food at many natural grocery stores around here (and possibly elsewhere? Just haven't seen it I guess). Basically, buying food in bulk means that there are lots of bins and containers and you just take and pay for what you need. In my little universe, Sweet Factory invented this concept. Ok fine, that's obviously not true, but it was the only bulk shopping I knew before Oregon came into my life (or I came into Oregon).
This is especially convenient when you're making something highly specific and only need a tiny amount of a random spice. This came up for me today when I was shopping for the ingredients for Tomato Jam. I needed ground cloves, but it was $9.99 for a small container of it in the spice aisle! Then I remembered that the market I was at has a fantastic bulk section. They sell everything from 10 kinds of granola to 7 kinds of flour to candy, rice, and every spice imaginable. I was able to get a little bit of ground cloves and only paid $0.90 for it. Score!
Shopping in bulk is eco-friendly, as it saves on waste and...well...I can't remember why else right now, but I do know it falls under the category of green shopping.
Apartment Therapy has a great article on shopping in bulk for spices here. If you get the chance, try it! It's fun!
p.s. I'm sure y'all know all of this already. Just practicin' my blogging skills!