Do you buy food in bulk? Purchasing food in bulk is a great way to save money throughout the year and prepare for emergencies. Take a look at some of the best items to buy in bulk and how long you can expect them to last.
Buying Flour and Grains in Bulk Quantities
One of the best items to purchase in bulk is flour and grains. Wheat flour, oats, rice, cornmeal, and other grains are much cheaper in bulk, and last quite a long while if you store them properly. To avoid getting weevils and other bugs, pack your grains in airtight containers, such as large 5-20 gallon buckets. You can purchase large buckets online, but you also might be able to find them from a local grocery store for less money. If you have enough freezer space, freezer storage can keep the grains from spoiling or developing a rancid taste.
Typically, grains will last at least a year, but usually not longer than 5 years without losing some quality.
Bulk Pasta, Beans, and Cereal
Some bulk stores will also sell beans, pasta, cereal, or other dried goods. Without packaging, you can save hundreds of dollars each year. Pasta, beans, and cereal can be stored in large 5-20 gallon buckets as well. Any container with an airtight lid is perfect for storing these items. Generally, you shouldn’t have to freeze any of these items.
For the most part, you should try to use these items within 5 years.
Spices and Baking Essentials: Buying in Bulk
Purchasing spices and baking essentials like baking soda, powder, and cocoa in bulk is one of the best ways to save hundreds of dollars. Spices are astronomically priced in most grocery stores. We’ve had to pay over $8 for a tiny bottle of spice more than once. Not all stores carry bulk spices, but if yours does, it is a great way to save money. Just like with anything else, airtight containers are ideal for spices. Make sure you label the spices so that you don’t forget what they are!
As far as I can tell, if no bugs get into the spices, they should last at least 10 years. Of course, the longer you keep spices, the less flavor they will have. I still have some spices from when I was first married nearly 8 years ago, and they still taste good.
Buying Cheese in Bulk
Typically, we think of purchasing dry goods in bulk, but purchasing cheese in bulk is a great way to save money as well. The more cheese you buy, the cheaper it will be. Cheese actually keeps a long time, because the rounds are coated in a thick rind (sometimes wax) that deters mold. The best way to store a large block of cheese is in a cool place. Wrap the wheel in wax paper, and let it sit until you need it. When you cut into the block, however, you will need to re-wax the open section to prevent mold growth.
Saving Money with Bulk Goods
Purchasing bulk items is a simple way to save hundreds of dollars each year. The other advantage to bulk items is that when you need more, you don’t have to travel far to get it! Most bulk items will last at least a full year before spoiling, so it is a great way to save on all of your dry goods throughout the year.
What do you buy in bulk? How do you store your items?
More Bulk Food Resources:
- Bulk Food Storage in 5-Gallon Buckets
- Pantry Substitutions: Cooking Dinner with Stockpile Food
- Quick and Easy Chili- A Prepper Recipe