Being the mother of 6 children, I have had to implement tactics here and there to help me feed all these kids on a budget! One of these tactics is to buy things in bulk whenever I can.
4 Ways to Stock Up
- I stock up on the weekly loss leaders in the grocery store ads. This works best when I happen to be in the city where there are actual competitors. In my small town, they usually don’t have the prices marked down enough to justify bulk buying. Occasionally, yes, but most the time, no.
- I buy from a Natural Food Buying Club (like Azure Standard, Frontier and United. I no longer belong to a club but can have my mom order me something any time I need something.).
- I have certain things I buy in larger quantities from Sam’s and Aldi when I can get there.
- Amazon – I’ve not done this much yet….but I keep hearing they have some good bulk pricing. That will be next on my list of things to try!
The 10 Most Common Things I Buy in Bulk
- Oats– I buy this in 25 pound bags from the natural food coop. You can get it cut in several different ways. Quick Oats all the way to Steel Cut. I haven’t priced them for a while, but the last time I did, it was still cheaper to buy in bulk. Even if it weren’t, I like having a stock pile of them for those times when money is scarce and it’s an easy breakfast to make!
- Flour – This is another thing that I buy by the 25 pound bag. If I’m buying white I purchase it from Sam’s. If I’m buying whole wheat, I purchase from the Food coop. I bought some food grade 5 gallon buckets that I store the flour and oats in to keep them fresh and free from bugs.
- Shredded Cheese– Our family can go through cheese like it’s water. We eat quesadillas for lunch all the time. In our small town, cheese costs $4-$4.50 per pound. I go broke buying it at those prices. Instead, I buy 5 pounds at a time for $12 at Sam’s. That’s almost half price at $2.40 per pound.
- Potatoes – This is not something I regularly stock up on, but when there’s a good sale of $2 for 10 pounds, I’ve been known to buy several bags so that we have easy, inexpensive sides to pass around. Another favorite lunch for me is chili cheese baked potatoes. When I have cheap potatoes on hand, I can have this whenever I want to.
- Canned Goods – This is an Aldi buy. I buy them a flat at a time (usually 12 cans in a flat). This would include canned vegetables, cream soups and chili beans. Lots and lots of chili beans.
- Sour Cream – I could eat Mexican food every day. So can my kids! (Are you noticing a trend? First I mention quesadillas, then I mention chili beans, now sour cream…..it’s getting funny). We buy the large 5 pound jug of sour cream at Sam’s. It costs almost $6, but I love having the Daisy brand on hand. It’s got the least preservatives and tastes the best. A couple of times, we’ve kept it too long and it went bad, but overall, we eat it up each month.
- Tortillas – Quesadillas and wraps are our life support at lunch time. We love coming up with new ways to make them. We often have pizza quesadillas or just plain cheese quesadillas. We’ve even had BBQ Turkey Quesadillas. Regardless, my kids nearly freak out when we run out of tortillas. I know, I should make them myself, right? Well….I plan to….some day. I have the awesome electric tortilla press to help me out, so really I should. For now though, we buy them at Aldi for $1 a pack.
- Fruit– We love fruit. I hate paying the big prices for it though. Any time I find a deal, I will buy a ton. Sometimes apples and oranges are $1.50 a bag at Aldi. I will literally bring 10 bags home. Cheap snacks! They often have pineapple marked down to $1 a piece, too. My kids think they’ve hit the jackpot when that happens! This is the one thing that actually does go on sale in our town, so if it’s a local deal, I buy that first, but in general, I always find it cheaper at Aldi. I have heard from some that Aldi produce doesn’t keep as well as other stores. I’ve not really found that to be true, but I’m wondering if it varies by location. Maybe some locations get fresher produce than others.
- Pepperoni – In our small town, we can buy 10 oz of Pepperoni for $3. OR, we can buy 3 pounds of it for $6.xx at Sam’s. Which would you choose? We keep it in the freezer and pull it out any time we need it. We like to buy 2-3 bags at a time because it makes us sick when we run out. We refused to buy it at the higher prices!
- Spices – I’ve got so many spices now that I haven’t had to buy them in a while. My top things to buy in bulk are chicken broth powder, chili powder, basil, and yeast. I typically buy from Frontier which was linked through my Food Buying Club, but now that I’m not in the buying club, I would easily buy from the Bulk Herb Store. I love how she shares so much information about how the herbs work and what they do for you. Even if you don’t buy from the site, you should consider checking out the vast assortment of articles!
What do you buy in bulk that I haven’t shared about?
[Note: I know that I can also stock up by using coupons in bulk and getting things for really cheap or even free. I love doing that, too as time permits and I can get to the good stores!]