Wednesday, June 23, 2010

bulk gum, spices, and rye crackers, and product recognition with 18 month babies

It just feels right to me to buy things in bulk. I have a giddy little sensation of being a prudent consumer: economical, organized, and prepared for natural disasters or other end-of-world scenarios. Also, it's like I'm pretty much the long lost sister to Laura Ingalls Wilder. This is the exact opposite feeling as when I open a packet of three pretzels on an airplane. Before the flight attendant gets to the next row, we've all eaten ours. Who's gonna be the sheepish turd that holds up progress by touching her elbow and asking for more?

So. These are some bulk items I dig. Please share what you buy!!

GUM - Didya know you can get good, naturally sweetened gum in vitamin-style bottles at health food stores? I know of Peelu and Spry, and they come in bottles of 100 pieces for $8-10, in a variety of flavors. They come in bigger bottles than that too, as well as the normal sized push-em-out tinfoil packages, so you could test it first. I prefer Spry, which is much softer. Both are made with xylitol, a naturally occuring sweetner that has a lower glycemic index than sugar. I like for Zoralee to chew on it; it's a tricky, occasional bucky-brushing substitute.

SPICES  - Health food stores and some regular grocery stores have bulk spice bins, so you can buy just a wee bit of cardamom or orange peel or whatever you don't want to pay $5-10 to get a whole container of. Here's the thing: it is super inexpensive, even to get organic spices. You take your little baggy to the counter, and it rings through as thirty-four cents! Additionally, I write the item number on the baggie instead of using a weighty twist tie to write on. Look, let's get serious about this. 

RYE CHIPS - I just learned this through my good brother, Luke, when we were sharing a handful of the Gardetto's mix and there were only two delightsome rye chips left. We both like those the best. Well, they have started making bags of JUST THOSE. Every once in a while, you get the impression that somebody somewhere is listening to the public. Yes, they're listening with the goal of emptying our wallets, but still.

In closing, I would like to report a related, freaky, first-hand discovery: product recognition is working for babies at 18 months, maybe younger. The other day, Zoralee was saying, "video, video, video" while pointing to something in a magazine. I looked, and it was a tiny Youtube symbol. We show her youtube videos of all kinds of interesting things, but who knew she paid attention to the icon?! Tonight she was looking at a magazine again and said, "coffee, cofee, coffee." It was a Starbucks symbol on a gallon of icecream. No actual coffee was anywhere in the photograph. Um, hellllooooo. We go to Starbucks once in a blue - the rare Antwerp blue -moon. We have a Starbucks mug, but we have about thirty mugs, and we drink other things from them besides coffee. How does she know that symbol is related to coffee?!


melissa said...

Yeah, we were passing MacDonald's last week and Riley had a conniption fit:
"Foo! Foo! Yeah! Foo!"
[as in, food, food, yeah, food!]

We so rarely take him to MacDonald's. But it struck me, the product recognition! It was the arches.

Shana said...

Wow....they are so perceptive!

TP: of course EVERYONE should buy that in bulk! You're pretty much gonna always use it!!! =0)

Rachel Clear said...

Great bulk products, sis. I bet you didn't get any of those at Wal... never mind.

I love that she says things several times, over and over. It just gets cuter each time.

ms emili louann said...

toilet paper and nutella (mmmm!)

Rena said...

To save space on your blog I won't list all the things I buy in bulk. I'll just categorize it as "food." Canned, dried, boxed, bagged, whatever. And coffee beans (so we never run out.) Zip-lock bags, which is a mistake if you plan to store them next to soap or fabric softner sheets or anything they'd absorb the scent from. Household and paper products. Probably everything except fresh produce. Obviously our household has become too accustomed to Costco!

Good for you, not paying for the weight of that twist-tie! Way to economize!!

2 Moms of a Feather...Stick Together said...

Hey Lori....
good deal on not using
the twist tie...
I was thinking the same about it.

Whatever I buy...
must be hidden...
or it will be eaten almost
immediately when it comes
through the door !
You'd think that they never get fed!
Take care,
Nancy S.

lori lls said...

Melissa - aw, man! That's riotous about Riley. I like the "yeah" part. And to think that advertising/marketing experts are paid big money to study children (and other people) and find out what they respond to, as far as shapes, colors, sounds, etc. and then turn that trickery onto our kids for addicting them to crap! Okay, this might be a slight over-simplification. Or not.

Shana - good one. :) Yeah, most people are pretty much gonna buy TP from here on out.

Rachel - you. Fine, I'll admit it on the blog: I WENT TO WALMART FOR A COUPLA THINGS.

Emili - You know, I haven't had Nutella in ages. I should really pick me up some. Thanks for the idea.

Mom - yes, I share your Costco addiction.

Nancy - Well, I can imagine! You do have a ravenous locust-like tribe, just awaiting your return from the grocery store. ha ha.

tamie said...

The product recognition thing is freaky. I am raising my children in igloos right at the top of the North Pole.

My favorite like in this post is "Let's get serious about this."

Alex Wildes said...

I have the same problem on the plane, except its not pretzels its beer... there's no way i could fly sober

Elaine said...

We are starting to have to buy more and more in bulk. We are going through the food...and my boys are not even teens yet!
BTW- How do you keep the spices from not spilling out? :)

lori lls said...

Tamie - Igloos are a good idea. I thought we were pretty safe with no t.v. But doh - magazines! Even good ones have advertising.

Alex - ha. Flying's that bad on you, eh man? Which is it that gets you - the one square foot of leg room, sitting for hours in very close quarters with strangers, or the aggressively annoying safety briefings?

Elaine - yes, I imagine 5 boys and a man put a dent in the local food supply. I'll bet your gardening really helps with the bill! And oh, I just tie the spice bag off in a knot. Good question. :)

lori lls said...

Also, Melissa - - Jason commented to me that you clearly don't go to McDonald's too much, since you added an "a." Then we thought maybe they spell it differently in Canada, cuz you guys put in extra letters sometimes.