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I love buying in bulk. When we buy in bulk, the cost per item goes down, so we are saving money over the long term.
However, if we are not smart about buying in bulk, then we buy items that go bad before we can possibly use them all. There is nothing worse than having a refrigerator full of awesome food that we “saved tons on” that then all spoils on us.
I don’t know about you, but I always have a pang of guilt when I throw away food because it is spoiled. It just doesn’t seem right.
When I was in elementary school, I had a field trip to the coast of North Carolina where we learned about conservation and preservation of natural resources. As a part of this field trip, the concept of “ort” was introduced. For those of you that don’t know, “ort” is any food that is wasted at the end of the meal. It was hammered into our heads to not leave any ort.
After that field trip, my dad promptly took up the mantle of hammering this home. No ORT!!!!!
This also applies to buying in bulk and spoilage. It is great to buy in bulk, but to have it spoil from lack of forethought is unacceptable. Remember no ort.
Besides saving money you also save time. Since we all know that time is money ( time = money ) then we are really saving money twice over. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
So let’s take a look at some items that should be bought in bulk if available. Not all of these may apply to your situation, but for the ones that do, you can save a good amount buying in bulk.
Eggs are a staple food in our kitchen and the great thing is they do not go bad. I have had eggs for months that were still good. You are going to cook them through anyway, so an old egg does not have a health concern.
Besides that, it is easy to go through a dozen eggs in just a few days. Too many times, we go into the kitchen with a grand idea that requires eggs only to find we have 0 or 1 eggs, simply not enough. We might as well buy them 24 or more at a time to ensure against running out.
If you really want to buy your eggs in “bulk” you could even look into buying chickens that can lay them for you and you will never have to purchase eggs again!
If you are a baker like I am, then you no the need to have flour on hand. We buy 10 kg of flour or more at a time and store it in a 5-gallon drum. Now, you may not need quite that much flour, but the lifetime of flour is quite long which makes it okay to store large amounts for months.
The best thing you can do with flour is to bake your own bread. Check out The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
Once you start making all your bread at home, you will need to buy flour in bulk to make sure you always have it on hand. In addition to flour, you may also want to buy yeast in bulk for bread making. The tiny packets work out to be $15-$20/pound but bought in bulk, yeast is ~$4 per pound.
I don’t drink partly because of how expensive it is. However, there are tons and tons of people out there that just love their wine and beer. Don’t buy just one bottle at a time. Buy your wine and beer in bulk to save on the high cost of alcohol.
4. Fresh Meat
All meatatarians unite! I love meat and I know many of you also love meat. But it is so dang expensive!!!
Balancing the desire for good locally grown meat, which is so much better than the bulk slaughterhouse meats, with the budget is difficult. Buying meat in bulk becomes easy with Zaycon Fresh.
Zaycon Fresh provides high-quality, farm fresh meat directly from local farmers to your table at prices that are the same or better than the local grocery store. The service is FREE. Zaycon is able to provide lower cost higher-quality meat because they operate at scale. The buy in bulk from the local farmers which allows them to resell it to us the consumer for less. You will receive daily e-mail alerts on local sales and events, and when you place your order they take care of the rest.
Come time to pick up your order, you bring your receipt to the designated pick-up location nearby and collect your fresh, inexpensive meat.
So far, Zaycon Fresh is available in 1,200 communities throughout the US and is continuing to expand, so sign up today to get started saving on all you meaty desires. It’s FREE.
Like any other non-perishable, it just makes sense to buy soap in bulk. It is cheaper and easier. Many companies are able to get you by selling their products in smaller packages that look convenient. The larger refill packages are much much cheaper. So don’t run out of soap again, just buy it in bulk to start.
Cereal, oh cereal. The classic man-on-the-run breakfast. Oh, how I have missed thee. (We can’t get cereal in China because of how expensive it is. It’s been 3+ years…)
Cereal is quite expensive on a per box basis, but when you can buy the large boxes from Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s, etc. you can save a tidy sum on your daily cereal fix. Also, don’t forget to buy in bulk whenever there is a sale on your favorite flavor. Besides that, you can buy in bulk on the off-brand and save even more.
7. Paper Towels
Paper towels are non-negotiable in the US kitchen. They are so used to clean up our messes and tidy up after dinner is over. You can even use them as your napkins instead of buying napkins separately. Buying one roll at a time (or 2 or 3) just does not do. If you have the storage room in your pantry, pick up a 12 pack or larger to make sure you do not run out of paper towels any time soon.
I long for the day when I do not need replaceable batteries. Rechargables are bad enough because they run out and you constantly have to charge. But having to throw your batteries away and replace them every time they run out just seems like a damn waste.
For today, it makes sense to have a selection of both disposable and rechargeable batteries of AAA and AA sizes on hand. Personally, I keep a 48-pack of AAAs and a 48-pack of AAs on hand along with ~20 of each type of rechargeable.
Living in China, we have learned the importance of having rice on hand. When we lived in the US, we bought rice at about 2 lbs at a time. Now we buy rice in no smaller a bag than 10 kg. Rice really doesn’t go bad, and even if you get bugs in it, you can float them out while rinsing and then cook it anyways. Rice is a staple food the world over because it is cheap and keeps for a long time. So buy it in bulk today.
We don’t have kids yet, but when we do we will be purchasing diapers in bulk. They are simply too expensive to do otherwise. You can easily pay for a Sam’s Club membership with the savings on diapers.
China has figured out how to go without diapers, their kids wear split pants and they poop out the back. However, for those of us in Western culture where the diaper is still prevalent, we need to save on these to save ourselves the grief of cleaning up poop all over the place.
You can spend just pennies per diaper by buying in bulk and save even more by buying generic.
Do you like nuts?
I like nuts, but like booze, they are expensive. The small containers of nuts are always ridiculously expensive. It makes very good sense to head to your local warehouse store to pick up nuts in bulk where the price is much cheaper per pound. You just have to make sure you go through them at a good rate or else keep them in the fridge or freezer to keep them from spoiling.
12. Toilet Paper
Ye must never run out of toilet paper. That should be added to the 10-commandments of the home.
Buy in bulk and protect yourself from the wrath of others and yourself by buying toilet paper in bulk. You can save even more by buying generic just like everything else. However, don’t forget to make sure you like what you are buying or else you might have to deal with 2-3 months of sandpaper…
13. Chocolate Chips
If you are a chocoholic like I am, then you will know the need to buy chocolate chips in bulk. Candy bars and chocolate, in general, is pretty expensive, but when you buy it in bulk in the US, you can get the price down to ~$1 per pound which is much more reasonable. You can eat your chocolate chips plain as candy and also use them to bake wonderful chocolate chip cookies among many other wonderful treats.
It is amazing the amount you can save here by buying in bulk without even thinking about it.
14. Dried Beans
Dried beans also never go bad. Like rice, it is one of the world staple foods. The classic rice and beans are eaten worldwide because it never goes bad and is insanely cheap. If you like beans then there is no reason not to buy them in bulk.
You can even buy some specialty beans in bulk to make other staples that cost a pretty penny like hummus which is made from garbanzo beans and sesame seeds (tahini).
To go along with chocolate chips, if you have a sweet tooth then you need to have sugar on hand for your baking needs. Running out of sugar while baking is pretty much a cardinal sin. Ye must never run out of sugar.
You can make your own powdered sugar, spin up regular sugar in your blender/food processor, but without sugar, you cannot make any kind of sweets. Your tomato-based dishes will also burn your mouth from the acid. So make sure to buy your sugar in bulk.
Coffee is a staple to so many people. It is incredibly expensive to buy out. Just take a look at a Starbucks menu and you would think the beans must be made out of gold or something.
Buying coffee in bulk can save you $100s or more every year bringing you cost per cup down to way less than $1 brewing it at home. You can even have high-quality coffee brewed at home that is as strong or stronger and better than anything Starbucks has to offer.
Check out the Italian Moka and grind your own beans.
Last, but not least is pasta. Pasta has always been a staple food for my wife and I. If you love pasta and eat it on a regular basis it makes sense to buy in bulk. Pasta is dried, so it never goes bad. Since pasta comes in so many sizes and shapes, make sure to buy the ones you like in bulk. One of our favorites to buy in bulk is ravioli from Food Lion, where we can get it cheap.
For those more adventurous in their cooking, you can make your own fresh pasta so you don’t have to buy it in bulk. All you need is flour and eggs from above plus a pasta roller. Check out the Atlas Pasta Machine.
Where To Buy in Bulk
There are a number of places that you can buy in bulk. To start, check out your local grocery store. They will have many of these items in bulk. But for the biggest savings, you probably need to head to your closest warehouse store for true bulk buying. Here is a short list of warehouse stores:
We can have significant savings by heading out to buy our household essentials in bulk. To boot, we save both time and money buying in bulk. We just need to be smart about what we buy in bulk or else we may fall prey to the allusion that everything is cheaper in bulk. Some things we just don’t need that much of.
But for those things we do need, those included above and many more, buying in bulk can lead to huge savings and just may save your budget this year!
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