Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rediscovering the Co-op

As we have settled into our new lifestyle, we gravitated back to the local co-op, (Open Harvest), which we had dismissed as trendy and over-priced back when I didn't eat meat and we were buying frozen processed foods such as veggie hot dogs with more substance in the packaging than in the food itself.  The hunt for pasta brought us back to Open Harvest with our skepticism wholly in tact, but as implied by the title of this post, we left with an entirely different attitude.

Open Harvest not only carried multiple types of pasta in bulk bins, but also about everything that we could possibly want!  From bins of olive oil, honey, and peanut butter, to wasabi peas, spices, oatmeal, and flour.  We even got laundry detergent and hair products!  We were even more thrilled as we checked out and were rewarded for bringing reusable bags with a punch card that when filled will give us a discount on groceries.  The produce is amazing and we even found fresh mushrooms that you pick up with tongs and throw in your produce bag.  Although prices are ever so slightly higher for the fresh and delicious organic produce that we buy there, we seem to be eating more and more healthily and don't seem to be spending more money overall on groceries because we aren't buying the expensive packaged stuff.  Not to mention how much money we save by buying from bulk bins.  We have also successfully cut out almost any food waste, which saves a lot of money.  Its amazing how when we used to buy junk like Ramen noodles and Hamburger Helper we would take food for granted and throw out or never cook so much of what we payed for.

Open Harvest has become an absolute necessity in our lives and it is so refreshing to be surrounded by people who don't think we are strange for pulling trailers with bikes to get groceries and bringing in our own jars.  In fact, it is completely normal and maybe even expected!  Now if only they would get meat and cheese that is plastic free!

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