I find buying in bulk helpful when
- I find myself running out of an item I use a lot
- when a small amount of the item is really expensive (provided I can use a larger amount up)
- When I know I have a really hectic time period coming up when I know it will be hard to find time to get to a store(for me, summer months)
- When I find a really good sale on food that I can preserve in some way – meat into the freezer for example, or fruit to can when it’s in season
So what is my definition of buying in bulk? I DON”T mean buying 10 pounds of something. I define buying in bulk as: buying more of an item than I need to currently have on hand, but will need in the future.
So this might be 10 pounds of flour ( I actually buy spelt flour in 25 pound bags ) but it also might be 3 loaves of bread rather than 1, because I can freeze a couple to keep on hand.
So my list of bulk items, and why:
- Flour – 25 lbs of spelt, because I use it a lot, and 10 lb bags of white unbleached flour when a recipe specifically calls for it (though I often experiment with a combination of oat, spelt or whole wheat flout with it).
2. Brown sugar and cane sugar – I can get much larger bags much cheaper per pound at BJ’s than at my local market
3. Chocolate chips – I love making chocolate chip cookies, or melting them for recipes, and, once again, a big bag at BJ’s is cheaper than the 1 pound bags locally
4. Meat and chicken – A trip to BJ’s or a great sale at my local market means I can buy a bunch at a reduced price, and repackage it in the right size for my family.
5. Breads (whole grain) – as stated above, I often need to just pull a loaf from the freezer when someone put the empty bag back in the bread drawer, and I won’t being going to the store soon, and/or don’t have time to make a homemade loaf of yeast bread.
6. Oatmeal – the old fashioned rolled kind. It makes breakfast, cookies, can be used as a filler with meat, bread, cakes…the list goes on.
7. Coffee K cups, or bagged coffee for my reusable k cups – a necessary start to my day!
8. Cat and dog food – I buy large dry bags, and like to have one set aside in advance so I don’t run out, as well as one box of the canned food my cats prefer
10. Paper products like paper towels, and toilet paper – toilet paper is one thing I can’t live without! I buy the big bags of 24 rolls at a time
10. Canned tomatoes, sauce, diced tomatoes – I use them so frequently
11. a big box of fresh tomatoes when in season – much cheaper at my local farm stand, and I can make sauce , ketchup, or can them whole
12. half a bushel or more of fruit – apples for applesauce (windfalls, which are even cheaper, if I can find them), peaches to can & put by for pie, cobblers and crisp through the winter
13. Specialty fruits like dried cherries or cranberries – tiny bags at the supermarket can work out to upwards of $15.00 per pound, when in bulk it can be half that – still expensive, but a lot more product for my money
14. Dried Spices from https://www.penzeys.com/ – I love their spices, and bags in bulk are much cheaper – just fill up my existing jars, or make my own blends. I use a lot of cumin and celery seed in my own House seasoning mix.
15. Oils – especially Olive oil – the lower grades of olive oil much cheaper in a gallon than a small bottle.,and that is what I use for baking or sautes. For the really good stuff that is used straight form the bottle on salads, do buy a small size of a higher grade. I usually also have vegetable oil, or safflower oil, by the gallon as well.
Another option is signing up for automatic deliveries with Amazon. I’m not trying to pitch any specific product here, and I believe many other websites set up automatic deliveries as well. It just helps to know that my cat food, face moisturizer, toilet paper (yep!) or koi fish food will always show up on the 23rd of the month. And I don’t even have to remember to order it. Better yet, I subscribe to Amazon Prime, and I specifically look for Prime items so I get free shipping. This way I don’t spend gas on running to a store, or any shipping fees.
and yet another alternative is to join a bulk buying club, or start one if there are none in your area. I found this wonder guide on line: CoFeds Bulk Buying Guide .
You must know your prices or be willing to spend a bit of time doing research on line to make sure what you are buying in bulk is worth it. But as long as it is something you will use, brings the price per unit down substantially, and you have a way to store it, then I consider it a good deal.
What do you by in larger quantities or in bulk? And why, other than price?