Is buying in bulk worth it? Simple answer…Yes and no.
Buying some things in bulk is well worth it. Some other things not so much. As to what to buy, well, meat is good to buy in bulk. Especially since that’s one of the biggest costs in a family’s food budget.
Can stuff is great to buy in bulk. I have two big shelves in my mud room full of can foods. From soups to vegetables, I have them.
I realize better than most that buying ‘extra’ food is hard for lots of people. The budget will only stretch so far. I know. I get that. BUT……if you figure in your budget to buy extra once a shopping trip, you’ll have that pantry filled up in no time with extras.
And it won’t break the budget to do so.
Also, if you can, invest in a machine that lets you wrap that extra meat or dry products. I use a Food Saver machine. It’s a bit of an expense at first but sure pays for itself quickly. If you can, ask relatives to chip in together and buy it for you for your birthday or Christmas. That way you get something you really want and need and there is no outlay of money on your end.
Also, if you qualify financially, go to a food bank. There’s no shame in it and it doesn’t have to last forever. They are a good source for can goods and dry goods. You don’t always get to pick what you get but whatever they give you can come in handy down the road.
Now comes the question of what you should buy in bulk. I’ve broken it down and added why it makes a good idea to buy it in bulk. Look for coupons if you use them. I go online for my favorite grocery store and see what kind of sales they have.
If you can, shop at stores that have good weekly sales. It’s very competitive out there. Do your homework. It doesn’t take much. And hell, you’re usually online anyway, right?
If you have a store like Costco, or Sam’s those are great places to buy bulk. I can’t afford the yearly fee that Costco here charges and since it’s just me and the husband I don’t shop there. But, if you have a family, those kind of places are wonderful.
Oh, and don’t forget about dollar stores. I have a great one near me that sells food items. I buy bulk gravy mixes and some can goods. I can also buy pet food and treats at a great price. Investigate your dollar stores, they aren’t all the same.
Ok, now down to what to buy in bulk.
Toilet Paper: This is always a great item to bulk buy. People use it every day. It can be stored under the sink, in the linen closet, even under the bed in plastic tubs.
Shampoo: Again it’s something you use all the time. It’s easy enough to store too.
Dry Beans: Ah, one of my favorites. Dry beans can be kept in tightly sealed bags or plastic containers for very long periods of time. They are super easy to cook and are one of the most versatile things out there.
Pasta: Another favorite. Again it can be stored almost indefinitely in tightly sealed bags or containers and is something we probably all use quite often. Like beans, it can be used for salads, soups, casseroles, you name it, pasta has been there.
Oatmeal: I have lots of oatmeal on hand. It’s great for breakfast or making cookies. It’s cheap and if you look online there are all sorts of things you can do with this ingredient. From cooking to cleaning it’s a gem to have on hand. It’s also cheap and easy to store.
Trash bags: Here is one item that most people don’t think of when buying in bulk. Everyone knows how expensive they can be. My advice….buy good ones. If you buy the cheap ones they usually split when they are full and you have to use two bags. That is NOT saving you money. Buy the good ones like Glad or even try your store brand kind. Some are good and some are not. If you find a good store brand type you’ve struck gold. They are usually cheaper. When you see trash bags on sale grab an extra box of them. You always need them and it will save you money down the road.
Toothpaste: This is another item most people don’t think about. But, it’s easy to store and you use it daily. Unless you’re like my husband and don’t have any of your own teeth, then just pass this one by. 😉
Can soup: Cream soups are always a good buy and lots of people use them in cooking. I have one whole cupboard full of extra can soups and vegetables. It took me a couple of years to stock that much but between the food bank and good sales I now have them.
Laundry Soap: Again, something everyone uses quite often. If you find a good sale grab an extra box or bottle and stick it in a closet. The same goes for dishwashing soap.
Meat: Well, duh, this is a given. Even if right now you don’t have a food saving machine it’s always a good idea to stock up on meat and poultry.
If you live somewhere that has a nice cool basement. Potatoes and onions are great bulk buys and can be stored in the basement for very long periods of time.
You don’t have to buy things all at once. It’s taken me a few years to work up to a full pantry. I also have an extra closet that I use for dry goods to store. I have shelves too that are dedicated to just extra can goods. It can be done. Try it.
Hope this article helped some of you and if you have any ideas let me and Mer know!