Saving Money By Buying in Bulk

Saving Money By Buying in Bulk

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I’ve sorta switched over to a different way of buying groceries…..now I try to buy in bulk. And guess what? It means I save money AND spend less time in the grocery store. It was/is a difficult transition for me, trying to figure out how to buy in bulk and stay within my grocery budget. So far it’s working out well. I did place a bulk order from one place and had to use leftover “unallocated” money in the checking account to pay for that. Now I’m just attempting to make a little extra money here and there to support my food habit….infatuation. Yep, that. It is a different way, but it’s working for me and I like it. You can make your budget work that way….and if you need help with that just “Ask Barry.”

If you can buy in bulk and/or out of bulk bins, you’re generally going to save a good amount of money. You’re not paying for the packaging, etc. One of the best items for this approach is spices. Visit your local Amish store and find great deals on bulk spices. I won’t buy mine at the grocery store again.

You can also save a good deal of money by joining a co-op or buying club. Buying as a group is usually a good idea. You’ll save on shipping AND have help. You can piggy-back on other people’s orders so that you don’t have to buy 12 of anything. They can buy 6 and you can buy 6. It’s a good option. Ask around and see if there is a local buying club where you are – the internet is great for a search of things like this. If you’re out west, Azure Standard is an excellent food co-op that offers great organic food. I hear it ROCKS! If there isn’t one near you, you might consider setting one up yourself. It’s a big responsibility, but the rewards would be great if you’re very serious about buying in bulk.

Our first Bread Beckers order

I have ordered in bulk from Bread Beckers. We happen to have a local drop-off close by, so it’s a good option for me. I can buy wheat there and I also get Sucanat for a good price from Bread Beckers. I bought 10 pounds of spelt pasta to try (awesome!) and some gamma seal lids along with aluminum free baking powder. Bread Beckers has really great prices. If you’re in the south, you should really check them out. I love supporting Christian companies. I buy a good quantity of grain at one time. It keeps for years….and YEARS. I don’t know that it goes bad. It just needs to be stored properly. I had Barry’s aunt pilfer some five gallon buckets for me…..and I need more. What for?

You have to have good storage if you’re going to buy in bulk. I store wheat, Sucanat, and rice in five gallon buckets. They need to be sealed very well in order to keep bugs and other vermin out. Vermin is a cool word. I got gamma seal lids from Bread Beckers for $8 each. I consider it a great investment for keeping our food safe. Some people say you don’t need them. My motto is – Better Safe than Sorry. Amen.

I’m also pilfering jars from every imaginable source. No jar is safe around me. I store beans and all sorts of things (even coffee) in glass jars. The bigger, the better. Pickle jars are great. To get the pickle smell out, fill them up with a solution of baking soda and water and let them sit for a while. Food will keep longer if you bring it home and put it in airtight storage, versus leaving it in the bag or box it came in. Plus, if a dirty little mouse gets into your house your food will still be safe.

I’m enjoying buying in bulk. Sure, I buy 25 pounds of rice at once, but it means that I don’t have to buy it again for a while…..and I got it for a cheaper rate by buying a lot at once. It’s a new way of thinking, so it might take a while to get used to. You can also buy in bulk at stores like Sam’s Club and Costco. From what I read, Costco is a better solution for organic and GMO free products. I don’t have a Costco, and I try not to be bitter. Beware at these stores that you don’t buy too many processed foods in bulk….or processed foods at all. Your best bet at these stores is natural ingredients that you can use to make your own items. An occasional splurge is okay – I have a thing for the pre-tubbed salsa at Sam’s in the meat department. Yummo!

A caution to you – shop around. Find out which places are best for buying bulk and what you can find at each store. In the beginning, I took a notepad to every place I visited. I wrote down how much things were and then came home to compare. I looked at stores and online. I found out what was the best price at which store and now I have a running list. It helps me know what to buy at what place. I have marked on my calendar when orders are due and when that notice pops up; I can look at my list and see what I can get for a good price, then check my stash. If I’m low, I’ll order again. If not, I’ll wait to the next time.Oh, and if you don’t eat rice, don’t buy 25 pounds. Thank you.

I have plans to do a post about our specific budget and things I buy. What type of things would you like me to cover that we do in the Myers household?


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.

  • Beth

    Hi Stacy i email you the other day about where the amish store is near bristol you use also I am looking at the breadbeckers site i seen you said there some were near here they deliver would u mind sharing this info with me I like to get a few things also do you know were to get a hand mill. if you wouldnt mind to email me back to my email
    thanks so much
    Beth

    • Stacy

      Hey Beth. I responded to your email. Make sure you check your Spam filter…..sometimes my emails end up there :-) I like the Amish Store at Exit 5 in the Harley Davidson shopping center (D&D). The Bread Beckers co-op delivers to the Indian Springs area off Exit 66 in Tennessee. You have to ask to join that group via the Bread Beckers website.
      I don’t know much about hand mills. I decided to go with the electric one. I did order from Paula’s Bread (http://www.paulasbread.com/) so you might check there. They have great customer service. :-)

  • http://theliberatedkitchenpdx.com/ Joy at The Liberated Kitchen

    We’re big on bulk shopping, too! Back when we ate grains we actually had the bill well under $500 a month. Now it’s more like $1000. But still, that’s not too bad for a family of 4 with two growing tweens! (Not to mention the critters we keep around). Now that we are grain free and can’t shop out of store bulk bins because of cross contamination, we are big on farm-direct buying.

    One of the biggest hurdles to getting started with bulk buying is handling those expenses when you’re still shopping at stores for most of your food. I’ve just started a series on how to do it:
    http://theliberatedkitchenpdx.com/basics/bulk-buying-without-breaking-the-bank/

    I’d love your comments!

    • Stacy

      Whew….I enjoy not having to shop at regular grocery stores very much. Five gallon buckets are my new best friend. :-)

  • Kelly

    Hi, just wondering about the jars you use. Do you buy them new or use ones that you bought from the store that previously had something else in there? Thanks :)

    • Stacy

      All of the above! :-) I buy new if I NEED a size and don’t have it. I have also purchased at yard sales, Goodwill, and gotten some for free on Freecycle. Plus, any jar that comes into the house from the grocery store does NOT leave the building. :-)

  • Stacey

    I have a question for you (don’t I always?)–in your travels, have you come across any moms who blog about “whole foods/paleo diet” with TEENAGERS, specifically teenage boys. Because while I LUFF you and your darling blog, normal size servings of food don’t go very far around here. So rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, I was wondering if someone has written some articles about budgeting with vast quantities of Manlings like mine.

    • Stacy

      Hmmmm. No. I can’t think of anything like that. I read a lot of Paleo blogs but nothing focusing on teenagers. :-( Sorry.