Hello my name is Laura and am obsessed with buying food in bulk. I love purchasing large quantities of food at one time – and then staring at it. Staring at bulk groceries makes me happy. Dreaming about all the delicious food I can make with my large food stores gives me a thrill.
I’m pretty sure (pretty sure?) I am a little weird (only a little weird?) when it comes to my love of food. I know there are people who only give food a thought at the moment they become hungry and they think I’m strange for caring so much about my coconut flakes. They see my pantry and storage room and think I must have some weird phobia about losing our food supply, which must be why I buy up to 500 pounds of wheat at one time. They hear how many tomato plants we have in our garden and wonder if we know that we’ll have tomatoes coming out of our ears.
Yes, we’re aware. We did this last year too. And the year before that. We happen to like having tomatoes coming out of our ears. We think it tickles.
So why do we buy food (or preserve food) in such large quantities?
We do it because it’s practical for our family and saves us a good deal of money. Buying in bulk has made our real, whole food eating choices much more practical and affordable. We are blessed with a good amount of storage space, making the idea possible in the first place. Overall, I have found that purchasing food in bulk makes my kitchen duties much, much easier. Instead of buying a package of pasta every time we need a package of pasta (which is at least once each week), I buy a case of pasta once every two months and forget about it in between. When I need pasta, I go to my storage room and get pasta.
Maybe I like bulk food so much because I don’t have to think so hard. Yes, that’s why I like it. I may like staring at my food and dreaming about our meals, but I’m not a big fan of thinking so hard every time I need to make a meal. I like buying ahead, buying in bulk, then having the capability to grab whatever food I need out of my storage and getting right to work in my kitchen. It’s all rather lovely.
I also really love that by having a large store of food, I can make bigger quantities of food if we have spur of the moment guests. It’s so nice to be able to say, “Stay for dinner – we have plenty!”
Buying in bulk (and preserving large quantities of food) just works for me. I love it.
During the next few weeks, I’ll share more about how buying in bulk works for our family, more about how we store our bulk, and most importantly, how we afford making bigger bulk purchases. I’m also working hard to put together a reference page sharing what food I always like to have on hand and what my favorite sources are for these items.
I know bulk purchasing doesn’t work for everyone. My intent with these posts isn’t to encourage everyone to buy in bulk. There may be just one of you in your household, making bulk purchasing impractical. Or you may have a small living space and then where are you supposed to store your bulk – on the roof?
So do share. If you buy in bulk, what are your reasons? And if you don’t buy in bulk, what are your reasons? For all of you who have no interest in bulk food purchases, thank you for putting up with my obsession and embracing my “I smile at big bags of oats” insanity.
Thanks for this post, Laura.
With a family of 8 I am beginning to research
the bulk buying.
I look forward to your post regarding what items
you have on hand in your panry and which you buy
I always enjoy your coming to your site.
We buy and grow in bulk for all of the same reasons, plus that because both I and my second son are gluten free. Using sales on Amazon plus the extra discount we get for having a set repeat order makes GF pasta and flours a great deal by the case. And I never need to worry about running to the store at the last minute to find them out of what I need.
I expand my garden every year because for almost nothing besides my time and labor I can grow tons of organic, tasty veggies and fruit that is the staple of our diet all year round. I couldn’t afford to buy organic in the store, so I grow it at home, or use pick your own farms to supplement my own garden.
Some people eat to live, I live to eat! and cook of course. God gave me talents in this area of home making, and I cook and can for my family to bless HIM!
I am wishing (dreaming) of the day when I can stockpile, garden, buy in bulk, etc. My husband is retiring from the military soon and we’ll be moving across the country. We just don’t know when … we’re at the mercy of the government right now and it’s not exactly fun.
I was hoping to start canning this fall, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. I look forward to reading more in the hopes that one day soon I can use the advice!
Good luck to you and your husband as he leaves the military! I’m sure
it must be difficult to wait (and only dream!), but I am a firm
believer that God has a plan and His plan is unfolding for you :) I’ll
pray that the time goes quickly, and before you know it you will have
to remind yourself of when you dreamt about canning because you might
want to scream while trying to keep up with the tomatoes. Blessings! :)
Thank you sincerely for the sacrifices your family has made for the rest of us!
We buy in bulk, and I love it for many of the same reasons you do. We purchase 1/4 grass fed beef, 1/2 pastured pig, many pastured chickens, and chicken “broth pieces” every fall to last the year. This fall we will be upping the amounts as we have 2 young sons who are beginning to eat more now. I love buckets of coconut oil, and huge bags of wheat. Amazon has great prices on organic popcorn and sea salt. This is our third year gardening, and while we have no where near as many tomatoes as you do, we’re hoping to keep getting better and increasing our yield each year. Right now I cheat and order cases of organic tomatoes in glass jars when Tropical Traditions has free shipping days. :)
Like you, I’ve found that it is MUCH more affordable to buy in bulk when you’re eating a real food diet. I love that I don’t really shop in a regular grocery store anymore (can’t remember the last time I went to one). I love that I can cook on fly, and I almost always have every ingredient I need for whatever I want to make.
It helps that we have a large basement. Even better, we are finishing up a remodel, making it much nicer! I will now have a large finished storage room for my 2 chest freezers and lots of shelving for my other bulk purchases. It needed to be done for years, and it’s taken about 6 months to complete. I’m so HAPPY! :)
I love the convenience of purchasing in bulk and having what I need on hand when I need it. I also love the money it saves me and the time it saves me…between my garden and my bulk storage, I rarely go into a grocery store. These are all great reasons to buy in bulk, but I love it for another reason too. A few years ago, when my husband was out of work for about 6 months, I didn’t have to worry about where our next meal was going to come from. We already had plenty of food on hand to get us through that difficult time. A couple of years ago, there was a snow storm that closed the passes into our community. Shipments of food intended for our grocery stores couldn’t get through. Within a matter of hours, our grocery store shelves were empty. I didn’t have to worry about where our food was going to come from then either. I love the sense of security being prepared with a supply of food on hand gives me and my family.
By the way, I also get a lot of satisfaction out of staring at my food…I love seeing my storage shelves full! It’s funny how the way I look at things has changed since I started buying in bulk. A couple of months ago I found myself stressing out because I was down to my last 2 gallons of honey…only 2 gallons left! Oh, no! Lol.
I’m pretty much like you. My pantry (well, when organized) is my zen-like happy place. It’s pretty, quiet, and yes, I love that I can dig through the freezer and pantry and usually throw something together. Or when I come across a fun new recipe (a lot lately from your site!) I just have to pull a few things out of the cupboards/off the shelf and I’m good to go. :D
Now if only I could pawn the kids off on someone for a day or three to reorganize it down there without “help” – it looks like a bomb went off right now, and there’s shell pasta shrapnel on part of the floor (a by-product of my “helpers”).
Crystal @ Intentional Homemaker says
I know! I love my kids, but there is such a thing as too much “help” sometimes! I love to do all-day “freezer days” and “baking days” and it’s simply not working for me lately with four kids ages five and under. If anyone has suggestions on how to manage “help” and still get things done, send them this way! :)
i love the idea of buying in bulk, just haven’t really implemented that plan yet. I’m still baby stepping my way to getting organized, figuring out where we are going to live (wanting to buy a house closer to hubby’s work and praying its God’s will)and figuring out where to pinch pennies.
i want to buy in bulk not only to be able to feed my family and not have to run to the store for a forgotten purchase, but also to be able to have on hand things that can bless others. But how do you purchase in bulk when every dime counts? Where do you begin? I guess i need a course in Bulk Buying for the extremely poor and confused, lol.
Erin S says
We started small and built up slowly when we first started buying in bulk.
If your family will eat a couple of meatless meals a week that might free
up a couple dollars to buy a bigger bag of something (beans?). Watch for
those case sales at your store. It took us a number of years to get to
buying a 50 lb bag of oats – I make lots of granola :) – among other large
bags of food. Beans and rice store for quite a while. Just watch expiration
dates. You don’t want your money going down the drain if you have to throw
it out. I’m sure others will have great suggestions for you. Good luck!
Thank you! :)
I’ve been thinking about bulk buying for a while now, but storage space is an issue. With only one small freezer on top of my fridge, it limits what I can buy in bulk to things that don’t need to be frozen. I do have a great set of wooden shelves in a utility room off of my kitchen, but it’s currently full of other stuff. Maybe if I declutter enough?
Thanks for the inspiration!
Erin S says
If you store canned goods any space under the bed is a good place. I put
cases of veggies there in the low cardboard box they came in. Makes it easy
to slide out.
I would agree with you that staring at your stockpile is quite satisfying! It’s just my husband and I (with a little one on the way any time!) right now though so buying a lot of food in bulk would probably go to waste for us. I do however like to see all my canning from the summer nicely lined up in the basement. I’ve also started buying our household supplies (detergent, shampoo, deodorant, etc.) in bulk from Amazon, and you are right when you say it makes you think less! Now when we are almost out of something, we can just look under the sink or in the closet instead of going to the store. It’s wonderful and it has saved us money! Buying in bulk is definitely worth it!
Katie K. says
Everyone thinks I’m crazy for buying in bulk, especially when I buy 50 pounds of popcorn or 300 pounds of wheat. I’m glad there are people out there who understand me. It’s so nice!
I haven’t really done alot of bulk buying but I do alot of canning and we normally plant more than we need in anticipation of drought, plants dieing off from a bug or critter eating it, so that at least some of the plants survive. Canning season here is madness!! I can and can and can for days but its just me canning, I don’t have any able bodied helpers as of yet as they are too small so it takes me a while to can and put up what we do with the littles running around. If I had help it wouldn’t take as long but reguardless of how tired and worn out I get, I really enjoy it.
We have 3 children, ages 9,5, and 17 months all with fall birthdays and all big hearty eaters. Canning helps my grocery budget ALOT!!!
My friend has five kids 10 and under. She does LOTS of canning and is super fast at it!!! She is fast because she has trained her oldest three to help. They wash produce and peel tomotoes, amoung lots of other ways they help. They help with the clean up and washing dishes as well!
I used to work at a health food store and would marvel at the customers who’d buy 25 lb bags of oats, wheat, etc. Of course, I was getting the employee discount then and the 10% off case discount wasn’t as appealing! Now that I’m no longer working there, I’ve begun buying a few things in bulk. The way I started was with things we use every day or every week – oatmeal, rice, coffee, tea and canned pizza sauce. I realized that those things were going on my shopping list EVERY week and it just seemed silly to, as you said, have to think about them so much. Grocery lists are shorter, as are the shopping trips!
While I haven’t bought in bulk in your sense of the word I have bought in bulk in other ways. I used to have a pantry in my laundry room full of canned and dry goods and a huge deep freeze Think like the one your grandma had, and double that; the thing came with the house. We used to joke that if one of us ever went missing to check the freezer! We moved into a tiny little house. I miss my pantry and deep freeze. I cannot do as much bulk cooking/shopping as I used to and it drives me nuts!
Eckert S says
I buy in bulk for two reasons…to save time and money. I’m hoping to learn more about storage methods and sources from your series!
I’m still on the learning curve on best ways to store my purchases, at the moment I think I’ve been successful with free pickle buckets and $.99 lids from home depot. Time will tell if this method keeps out the bugs and beetles. I use gallon and half gallon jars as canisters in my kitchen and refill them from my buckets stored in the basement.
I’ve been frustrated to find that big bags aren’t always the best buy, and the lowest price source seems to be a moving target. Sometimes stocking up on things like rice, oatmeal and sugar is cheaper buying the regular size containers on sale/coupons.
Can’t wait to read your posts to find out if I need to invest in gamma lids, how you organize your storage space, and how you track your best price sources!
Crystal @ Intentional Homemaker says
I’m just learning more about long-term food storage, too. I recently found 5-gal buckets at Walmart for roughly $3.00 per bucket with lid. They’re not Gamma lids, but I called the manufacturer to see if the buckets were food safe/food grade, and they are! Then I found Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers on Amazon. I’m planning on putting the two together to store my dry goods, like flour, oatmeal, etc, which I just bought in bulk from Azure Standard. For me, this method is a little more cost effective right now than the pricier long-term food storage containers that can also be purchased. Maybe it would be an option for you, too. :)
Bulk buying has become a way of life for us. There are only four of us, but with my husband in construction, I can pretty much bet that he won’t work for 2-4 months in the winter. Last year I canned like crazy and we bought beef off of friends. This is what we survived on in the winter. I had 38 tomato plants last year and as we were using our cages to put with our current tomatoes, I realized we needed about 30 more cages!!!!!!! I planted 65 tomato plants ((((aaaagh)))
What was I thinking? I guess my church family will be blessed with lots of tomatoes :) I will be insane in July/August. At least I’ll get to experiment with lots of new recipes for tomatoes. I had planned on starting school the first week of august, but with all these tomatoes it might be september lol!
I am in the same boat when it comes to my tomatoes. I have I believe about 20 plants in my garden this year. People think I am crazy. I say, “You wont think i am crazy when this winter I have all these yummy fresh tomatoes canned”. i love to buy in bulk as well, It is just satisfying to know I do not have to run to the store every time I need want to make something that is not on my menu plan. i am looking forward to your posts on this subject. I kow I can always use more tips on storing bulk items.
We buy in bulk too. It saves us money, and things very rarely go bad before we can use them since there are seven of us! I like knowing if we get snowed in, we will have enough food too. The more I buy in bulk, the less I have to be concerned about running out of-which can happen surprisingly quickly around here.
*sigh* I LOVE buying in bulk! I learned from my mom, she still is much better at gardening than I am… I don’t have a lot of storage space, but I’ve found that a few buckets of grain in the closet doesn’t really displace too many things (maybe we didn’t really need them anyway?).
Being as we have a huge walk-in pantry and three freezers, all full to bursting, plus over 100 tomato plants in our garden…I understand your obsession completely!
I have purchased items in bulk for our family of 6 for a long time. Just in the last year and a half we have moved towards a more healthy whole foods diet, so what we purchase has definitely changed. I love to have food in bulk because my hubby farms and I stay at home. With farming you are always working with or against ‘mother nature’ and so there are often long stretches with little or no income. Yet our tummies are still full and we get along just fine.
We also raise our own beef cow, so we always have meat and now we have chickens for eggs. We also grow a big garden and can or freeze most of it. What we don’t grow well we purchase at our farmers market and preserve. Is there anything more exciting or pretty than pantry shelves full of home canned goodness?
We often get eye rolls from family members and even a few snickers. That’s okay. I happen to love my kitchen full of 5 gallon buckets! We also always have enough to share or reach out to others that might be in need.
I love buying in bulk too!!! Love it, don’t really know why, but you nailed it on the head for me! I love not having to think too hard about meals. I love having a freezer full of meat and wheat, a pantry full of dry goods.
I, too, fall into the many tomato plants club. We planted 50 this year. I’m hoping to make lots and lots of tomato sauce for pizza and spaghetti. Thanks for your blog! I love it!
I am new to your site but so glad I found it now! I am interested in starting to buy in bulk so this is a great topic!! Thanks for all you do!
I’ve been starting to buy more in bulk from Azure Standard or Costco. I’ve definitely had some trial-and-error in learing what is a good deal and what will go to waste. I have a 5-lb bag of flax seed that I have no clue what to do with – I just knew it was good for me! :) I look forward to hearing your tips. It would be helpful to have some answers about how long various things will keep… like the 15 lbs of oats I’m storing in Ziplocs. :)
I’d recommend refrigerating your flax seed. Freezing might be an
option, too, in small quantities. Be sure to grind it up (in a coffee
grinder) before using it.
If you can find some food grade white plastic buckets, you should
use those for your oats. Keeps the bugs out.
Enjoy the journey!
Thank you!! :)
For our large family, buying certain things in bulk makes sense: grains, beans, coconut & red palm oil, paper products, Sucanat, baking powder, and other baking ingredients.
Your comment, Laura, about “having enough” wholesome and nutritious ingredients to feed guests is lovely. Being open to sharing the gift of hospitality is much needed today.
I am not yet comfortable with an abundance of fresh items. I don’t know how to can, don’t own a dehydrator, and have to constantly look up how to freeze different items. It takes research time for me. I need to pray for a helper/mentor! I’d love to have a bounty of tomatoes/sauce/other goodies for the winter.
Where did all of you learn to can and preserve produce?
I mostly learned from the Blue Ball Book of Canning. I highly recommend it. It’s straightforward and easy to use. I also get tips, ideas, and recipes from my MIL and friends. Also, investing in a kitchen tool/gadget like a Victorio is SO helpful! I’ve been using my Kitchen Aid attachments for years, but after seeing a Victorio in action, I had to have one! I got one for Christmas last year, and am very excited to begin using it this season!!! It’s going to save me a lot of time!!
We buy some things in bulk, as well. Usually flour, eggs, milk (okay they are individual but are cheaper at the wholesale club so we buy about 8 at a time), pasta, sauce, granola bars……anything we regularly eat and can get at a better price in bulk. I do try to price-compare and get the best deal….it’s not always at the ‘club’. Moving towards a more organic diet, I expect we will be buying more things from Whole Foods and the like instead of at the wholesale club. I CANNOT wait to read your posts on how YOU do this…..I really need a guide to follow! ;)
You are definitely not alone in staring at your food supply and feeling happy!
I do buy in bulk some, but for me, it’s more important to make an effort to be less wasteful- to preserve as much as possible. I can a lot when the produce starts coming in, and I also freeze a lot. Whether it’s from my garden, the farmer’s market, or the grocery store, it I’m not going to get to something before it will go bad, I take the effort to prepare it in some way or another to preserve it for another time.
@JoAnne, the “Ball Blue Book” is one of the best sources for a beginner canner. The directions are very clear, and the recipes in the book are delicious.
Denise Frederick says
A well stocked pantry and freezer, truly make me happy. :)
I’m glad to see there are others out there like me.
Now that we are transitioning to more of a whole food/organic style of living…the bulk buying (most of the time) makes a difference in the costs.
Kris Mays says
Why do I buy in bulk?
1. I am not happy or at peace if we do not have a fully stocked pantry.
2. I like to stare at my food stores, too. It also makes me very happy.
3. I like to have a “store” on my property. The ultimate in convenience shopping!
4. I like getting good deals and buying in bulk is usually the way to do it.
5. I have a large family and am preparedness minded. Having bulk food stores gives me peace of mind and the knowledge that I can feed my family no matter what happens (slow season for business, etc.)
6. I just finished labeling the stuff in my pantry and I love to look at it all. I am currently working on stocking the brand new freezer my husband bought me last week. My goal is to have meals for several weeks in there for when our new baby is born next month. This thing is a 21 cubic foot monster -I LOVE IT!
7. I have plenty to share with others who find themselves out of important items.
8. Knowing we have plenty of food to share encourages hospitality.
I echo those reasons! I get a thrill every time I find a new item I can buy in bulk (online) or find a way to make it myself!
I fit a whole cow (in white paper of course)in my 21 cubic ft just this week.
Leah Funk says
Hello I have a question more then a comment . How much do you spend each month on bulk items . We have a budget of 500 dollars a month for groceries, but try to go for 300 dollars to save money. I live in Florida and do not know many people who do this but i would love to start bulk buying for our growing Family of 7.
Erin S says
We’re only a family of 4 but I spend about $150 a month, give or take, at
Azure Standard. I don’t believe they deliver to Florida but there were
suggestions for other places in the comments on one of Laura’s articles.
Search her blog for “Azure Standard”. It should be one of the more recent
ones if I remember correctly. Also check Amazon for bulk purchases
as they sometimes beat the co-op prices. Laura’s so good about sharing great
deals on her blog.
Leah Funk says
Thank you very much!
I buy in bulk, it seems that the better deals are better for larger quanties. A years supply of food will help in time of need and makes me feel at ease. I use my grinder to make flour with all the grains that are used in GF cooking and baking. I also can say I have plenty.
Christine Drake says
I like to have enough food in my pantry,so I don’t have to go to the store unless I need something.I like to look at my food stores, too;it makes me happy.I don’t find that our local bulk food store is the best for price as a lot of what they carry is more expensive than if I went to a discount store and bought it already packaged.I’m from Canada, so I find that we don’t have quite the selection of stores here or products available.Our bulk food stores are large corporations.There are only the two of us now,but when the children need something, they come to Mom’s house and usually find what they need.
Crystal @ Intentional Homemaker says
I am so excited about this series! My mom always bought and preserved in bulk, but I’m just starting to do it myself and have a lot to learn. We have virtually nothing organic or natural available to us in our area, although we are able to buy our 1/2 grass-fed beef and buffalo locally. I recently found Azure Standard through HH, and got my first order a few weeks ago! Love it! Don’t have my own grain mill yet, but I am now the proud owner of 100 lbs of flour, and it was so much cheaper and better than the store! I want to purchase more in bulk so that I do have stuff on hand, and spend less time and money needlessly. Also, we’re switching to a more whole foods diet, which is much more economical and easier when I buy in bulk! Thanks for this, Laura.
“but when the children need something, they come to Mom’s house and usually find what they need.”
I love this. My sentiments exactly. I have two teenage grandsons who say my pantry is their favorite place in the house. They know that it is all there because I love my family and what better way to show them than to feed them.
Thanks for this post! I’m in the camp that I just don’t have the space to buy in bulk- me and my husband (no kids yet!) live in a teeny tiny apartment, with a tiny fridge, and a tinier freezer! My husband has to keep reminding me that there is just literally no space to buy in bulk- I dream often about buying a quarter of a cow or a bunch of wheat. I’m keeping all these suggestions in mind for when we are able to move into a larger place, and for the day God blesses us with more mouths to feed.
For now, though, I’m curious if you have any suggestions for how to eat more affordably for those of us who DON’T have the space to buy in bulk.
I buy some items in bulk, others it’s just easier to ride the commuter bike to the commissary and buy fresh ingredients for what I need at the time. Being that there is only 2 of us in our tiny house right now, my pantry is usually only full of dry goods and garden veggies-pasta, flour, dry milk, potato flakes, canned veggies and beans for when the garden goods run out, potatoes, winter squash and freezer full of deer and elk meat. I would love to get to the point where I was totally self sufficient in my pantry, but I don’t have the room for that…unless my husband allows me to invade his ‘man cave’ AKA garage, to utilize some of his space. Hummm…I have a new mission now.
Naptime Seamstress says
We have 6 in our family (that’s four children + 2 parents) – I buy in bulk because I can stay home more! I LOVE shopping – but not with 4 littles. And, the more I stay home, the more I love staying home! I find that staying home and focusing on blessing my family (a la FlyLady – with keeping house and cooking AND by spending quantity time with the little people) makes everyone happier.
I also enjoy just going to the pantry to get something. And the peace of mind to know that even if people pop in unexpectedly, I can serve something (it might be pickles, but we’ve got lots!)
It’s sort of funny to enjoy the clerk’s comments on my cart full of pasta one week and and my cart full of sugar or flour the next week.
As I watch my 14 16ft rows of carrots/radishes emerge from the soil I have to agree. I have already put up 22 pints of strawberries that will sure taste good come winter and am on my way out to put in the 45 tomato plants. If its insanity then I have it too. We do this because it saves us a bundle while providing “clean” food that none of my kids will react to.
We buy in bulk because of having a large family (11). I would love to be able to buy more in bulk than I do, but not only is space limited, but so is the budget. I know that it is definitely cheaper to purchase 50 lbs of something instead of 5 lbs here and there, but I just can pull the money all at once for just one item. I’m also looking for more creative ways to store our bulk food. I canned more than ever last year and we were given a bunch of home canned goods and I was putting them in every nook and cranny I could find. I need to do more this year as what we had didn’t last us, but I will definitely need to find more places to store it.
I buy in bulk for the same reasons. It really helps with eating healthy, I don’t have to run to the store often and in fact running to the store for a convenience food item or takeout if I’m not in the mood to cook is actually more work them just throwing some chicken on the grill, I can usually cook up a great meal very quickly with whatever we have on hand. It’s GREAT for guests to, I made some spur of the moment chili and cornbread for a house full of men last week. It does save us money, no doubt about it.
Preserving in bulk isn’t something I’ve done much of, I’ll often cook extra to freeze for another meal, but that’s as far as I’ve taken it….
I buy in bulk because it saves me time. With two kids ages 2 and 1 and another on the way, I don’t have time to go to the grocery store all the time. It is easier for me to shop every couple weeks. Plus, I save on gas too!
Beth @ Turn 2 the Simple says
I buy some things in bulk and not other things — my “bulk” purchases on some things will last one month, some 2-3 months and some 6-12 months; just depends on the item. I’d love to get to the point where I can buy most everything in bulk but our budget/cash flow isn’t to that point yet. But even buying things once a month (from Azure Standard- flour, oatmeal, cheese, some produce) and every couple of months (coconut oil) and once a year (shampoo & conditioner) has greatly simplified my life! Still need to get some things each week — bananas, milk, eggs, but it makes for much shorter and easier shopping trips, especially with 2 little ones!
Kristine A says
I have just started to buy in bulk and love it so far! We are changing over to a healthier lifestyle and I have found that bulk buying saves time and money. I work full time so I haven’t gotten into makin most of our food from scratch ….but I’m working on that. I love you recipes and menu planning…..your very inspirationa! Thanks!
We have a small ranch style house and don’t have much storage space. We do buy most of our” staple” items in bulk. I have some shelving in my mudroom holding all those items. Now that I am making all of our bread items from scratch, I will be buying those ingredients in bulk too. Now I just have to figure out how and where to store them. I can’t wait to sit and stare at bulk bags of flour :)
I love, love, LOVE buying in bulk. Right now, I tend to be thinking mainly of fruits and veggies that are in season. I KNOW I’m going to want strawberries in the winter. If I don’t dehydrate, can, or freeze them now, I’ll be paying much more for store bought jams of freezer bags of strawberries later on. So overall I’m saving money and getting things when they are fresh and ripe and in season. Another thing I like is the convenience of having what I need to make multiple meals without even really thinking. In the next few weeks we’ll be moving to our new house which has a walk in pantry and a large laundry room. I can’t wait to utilize those spaces!
Jen Medlock says
While I don’t have quite the amount of storage space that you do, I love buying food for my family in bulk. We shop at Sam’s Club twice a month and I head to farmer’s markets and roadside stands for produce as we need more. Even though Sam’s does not accept coupons and we pay a yearly membership fee, I have still been able to shave off a bunch from our former grocery bill. I love knowing that I have everything I need to make any of our usual meals. Sometimes I have to run to the store to get something if I find a new recipe to try that has an ingredient I don’t keep on hand, but usually there is an easy substitution from my pantry.
I really want to start the bulk buying I am starting to make my own bread and I do bulk cooking and freezing but the only place I have to store is in my garage. Do you think the temps would get to hot? Please be advised I live in Califonia.
My storage room is also what used to be a garage. It gets very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer and my food has done just fine!
I buy in bulk. We have 4 kids and live out in the rural country. It saves me time and money. It also gives us peace of mind to know that if something happens we will at least have food for awhile.
If you’re weird about your obsession w/ food, you’re not alone. I am apart of that club, too. ;)
I buy what I can in bulk, but not to the extent that you do b/c we don’t have the space right now or just haven’t figured out yet how to make the space.
I love reading your blogs- they make me feel a little more normal. A good source for food grade buckets- check with any bakery. They get frosting in 2-3 gallon plastic buckets and sometimes will give them away or sell them for a reasonable price. Gamma lids fit them too! Our City Market bakery will save buckets and sell them for $2 each.
I don’t buy in bulk; I’m a single gal with limited space (there’s a lot to be said for renting, though ;). I do try to stock up on things I use when they are on sale. Why just buy one can of tuna if it’s marked down?
I love bulk buying, canning and gardening. It gives me a sence of joy when I look into my pantry knowing I could not shop for 6 months if I had to. :)
I would like to buy in bulk but don’t really know where to go to get it. Do you have any resources that you can share? Azure Standard doesn’t deliver to Maryland (where I live). I know I can get some things on Amazon….any other ideas?
Thanks so much for all you do :)
With all the natural disasters around the world, making sure your family is prepared is top priority. Adding freeze dried food storage makes being prepared easy!
Stephanie Monsivaiz says
We don’t buy much food in bulk because our house is 800 sqft and I have 4′ of counter top space In the kitchen! (8′ of cabinet space… no pantry.) I shop once a week and usually meal plan in-store. I shop Hyvee because of the quality, customer service, and the fact that the sale items are clearly marked and you don’t need a store card to get the sale price. (Though I carry the circular in case there is a coupon required.) My hour and a half trip walking back and forth through the aisles is mommy time. So I don’t mind it!
We use our Cost Co membership mostly to shop in bulk for household supplies (paper towels, toilet paper, etc) but some food items like steaks, fruit, yogurt, snacks, and Veggie trays (which are twice the size for the same price!) Our CC membership is invaluable because we recently got quality deep-fit king sheets for $55 (and theyre normally $100-150), twin inflatable mattresses with raised sides fort $29 ea (normally $60-110), and tons of other “steals.” Dinner at Cost co (a treat) is also nearly the same price as eating at home. Gas is also $.10-.20 cheaper per gallon, and they’re only 2 miles from us!
But enough about my BELOVED CC membership! As far as buying in bilk, I think even those who can’t buy everything in bulk can be conscientious of what they buy most frequently and find a way to save on those things!
[email protected] says
Oh I’m right with you on this one Laura! There is such a feeling of self reliance having what you need on hand to feed your family! I love it so much I actually created a ebook about it and I felt it was an important enough subject that I GIVE the ebook away on my blog! If you want to see how close my insanity matches yours and see the things I have found work really well for our family, just check out my ebook Simple. Healthy. Tasty. Food Storage~6 Easy Steps!
We buy in bulk and store lots because the leaders of our church have encouraged us to do so. They have also encouraged us to plant our own gardens. It makes sense, looking at all of the crazy things going on in the world right now, to have food and some water saved up so that if there comes a time where grocery stores aren’t available (or even after a job loss, etc.) to have something put aside. I would feel so guilty and sad thinking of my children going hungry because I hadn’t prepared myself. We store wheat, pasta, sugar, honey, rice, beans, etc. in bulk – Laura my storage looks like yours and I am proud of it!
Samantha R says
I love buying in bulk for many of the same reasons you and your other readers have mentioned. I love the sense of security it gives me and that I don’t HAVE to go to the store every week. I love that when I run out of sugar or something in my pantry I can just go downstairs and re-fill my container. I love that I can feed a large group at the last minute or that when we are invited to a pot luck party at the last minute, I can whip something right up to take. I have been so happy that we moved into a home with a .45 acre lot 2 years ago so that we can have a huge garden and can up all our delicious produce to enjoy all year!
I am really looking forward to this series. I love the idea of bulk buying and storage, but am very much a beginner. We are moving several states away in just a few weeks, and i am looking forward to setting up my storage and stocking up again. We will be too late for much of a garden this year, but some tomatoes and herbs may still work out
I buy in bulk because it gives me a sense of security, should anything go wrong, that is one worry I will not have.
Two weeks ago I had to have emergency dental surgery. We have been living off of the food in the house since that time, and still have plenty! Its just one less thing to worry about.
I am curious about finding a bulk food co-op in the western MD, or DC Metro area, if anyone knows of one.
*Wondering where the gamma lids are for those buckets?*
Love your blog, Laura!!!
Kris Mays says
I buy my Gamma Seal lids in bulk at http://www.usaemergencysupply. I usually go in with my Mom and we get a good discount that way. But we buy about 48 at a time. 8P
I-heart-your-writing-style! Seriously though, who knew an article on buying bulk food could make me chuckle so much. :) I’m looking forward to related articles and am curious about how you manage shelf life, storage, etc. You may have this figure floating somewhere on your site already, but I’d also love to hear more about your grocery budget & shopping tricks & tips.
Thanks for all your helpful info!
I love buying in bulk and yes, I do get a rush from standing back and looking at the stocked food.
We have many of the same reasons but it’s also because we live about 12 miles from the nearest small town. If I run out of something during the dinner making process…it’s not so easy to make a run to the store. I do our “main shopping” once a month and pick up milk and things after church or something.
I’m a FIRM believer in having a well stocked pantry!
Laura, I am sooo excited to start reading these articles. I have a daycare of 30 kids in and out and a family of 5 . I want to learn what the best way to save money & time on meals. And buying in bulk is an obsession of mine. Thanks for all your help!!