Buying food in bulk is the easiest way to save money, time, and trips to the store. There are quite a few places on the west coast that offer these types of savings, my favorite being WinCo Foods, but they can be found all over. Most regular grocery stores offer a smaller bulk foods section but more often than not larger retailers will have a wide variety of foods in their bulk section. One aspect of saving money is to know what stores have the best deals, so be sure to explore your community and neighboring areas. Though they aren’t in packages, if you store your own food this is by far the best way to shop, the prices are always lower than pre packaged goods. This article dives into the ideology behind buying in the bulk sections at your local grocery stores, along with offering some suggestions on what you can buy.
Many people are deterred from buying food in bulk. I’ve had people ask me “But why bulk foods, don’t they just sit there in those big bins and get gross?” And my answer is no, absolutely not. In fact, I’ve found higher quality food in the bulk section than I do when buying the boxed goods. Not to mention you’re saving anywhere from 50%-70% when buying in bulk compared to boxed/packaged foods. More importantly, you can get the exact amount of food you want at a great price. When compared to big purchases like flour and pastas you’re going to be saving a lot more money buying in bulk. WinCo Foods is exceptionally affordable, and their variety of selection makes them the perfect store; which makes them my number one selection for shopping. These are some of the things that are great purchases in bulk:
Beans; Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Black Beans, Red Beans, etc.
Flour; Semolina, Whole Wheat, White, Vital Wheat Gluten, Millet
Grain: Bulgur Wheat, Quinoa (red and regular), Millet, Brown Rice, Wheat Germ,
Legumes/Nuts/Seeds; Almonds (whole and slices), Chia, Peanuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds,Walnuts, etc.
Miscellaneous; Bird Seed, Honey, Nutritional Yeast etc.
Whole Wheat Pasta; Angel hair, Matteotti, Rotini, Shells etc.
Seasonings; Literally everything- you name it, from Himalayan pink salt to black pepper, flaked herbs, to spices like turmeric, chili powder, smoked paprika, and they even have different kinds of mixes, rubs and pre-made seasonings.
There’s an incredible amount of variety when buying in bulk, you just have to explore what your local stores have to offer. Those are just some of the many items you can purchase, because there are far more options than what’s listed above. There are plenty of similar stores to WinCo or Costco throughout the country and you’re one search on the internet to finding out what stores are near you. Your well-being is the most important investment you can make, so if you can help yourself out nutrition-wise by eating healthy and save money while doing it, that extra money can be put towards investing in yourself.
The best thing about buying in bulk is you don’t have to go shopping as often. We plan our trips for a bulk run once a month or every 2-3 months depending on what we’re making for meals. Any small run to the store is usually for bananas or any other produce, which we limit ourselves to once a week. Even when going to those quick trips to the store we try to do it on our way home after work or walk there after dinner. Limiting how many trips we make to the store saves on gas and avoids impulse purchases of junk food or anything else that we may want but don’t need. Discipline is the most important practice when it comes to living a healthy and productive lifestyle and shopping in bulk really helps in avoiding the boxed goods that aren’t beneficial to our health or our savings. A nice motto for grocery shopping is: Shop to last. So be sure to really get your money’s worth. Buying your food in bulk is one of the best ways to ensure your food last for longer than one meal.
There are plenty of options when it comes to storage. You can use glass containers like empty salsa jars, cheap mason jars etc. Or you can use plastic take out containers. As long as they seal so they’re air tight and no moisture can get in, you can use them to store your beans, flour, rice, etc. Really, you can use whatever kind of container you want, but remember: the better you store your food, the longer it will last. When purchasing items in bulk and storing them in jars you can better gauge when you need to shop. With everything in our society growing in cost, the best investment you can make is saving money where you can. Grocery shopping in the bulk food section allows for money and time to be saved when purchasing food. In order to get the most of your dollar be sure to explore the wide variety that the bulk section that your local grocery stores have to offer.