Buying in Bulk

Shoppers have enjoyed the convenience of buying in bulk for a number of years. My own bulk buying experiences have been hit and miss at best, but I recently discovered just how convenient buying in bulk can be.

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There are a number of advantages to buying in bulk:

  • some items are available only in bulk
  • you can choose the quantity
  • bulk prices are usually less than packaged prices
  • less packaging
  • less additives and preservatives when you make your own meals and mixes
  • more variety
  • often healthy alternatives not always otherwise available

When you buy in bulk it’s a good idea to get your cupboards in order. There are a number of ways you can store bulk items:

  • recycled plastic containers and glass jars
  • Rubbermaid or Ziploc containers (4 4-cup Ziploc containers cost less than $2)
  • resealable bags
  • for some items (e.g. oatmeal) you can re-use the original container

A key to bulk storage is labeling. Make sure all containers are air-tight and clearly labeled and dated. Bulk items have a long shelf life because they have been prepared with long-term storage in mind.

I’ve always wondered if bulk items are as fresh as packaged. In my experience bulk items have been very fresh–even raisins! You’d be amazed at all the things you can buy in bulk. Here’s a partial list to get you thinking of the possibilities:


  •  flours
  • cornmeal
  • spices
  • chocolate, carob, peanut butter, butterscotch chips
  • raisins
  • sugars


  • granolas
  • oats (regular, quick-cooking)
  • rice (all kinds)
  • cereals (all kinds)

Dried Fruits

  • pineapple
  • apricots
  • raisins
  • papaya
  • bananas
  • apples
  • cranberries
  • prunes
  • dates


  •  split peas
  • navy beans
  • pinto beans
  • kidney beans
  • soy beans
  • soup blends


  • spaghetti
  • lasagna
  • elbow macaroni
  • egg noodles (all shapes and sizes)


  • peanuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • almonds (whole, slivered)
  • walnuts


  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • peppers

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