Buying Food in Bulk
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I find that to buy in bulk you really do have to see if you are saving money. Some bulk items do cost more than a smaller package per ounce.
I like to have my pantry and freezer stocked. There are three of us so when I buy meats in bulk I separate it into three serving size. I find that I can find huge bags of shredded cheese, and sliced cheese, a lot cheaper at the warehouse club store.
I bring it home and separate it into smaller packages. The shredded cheese I put in baggies, suck the extra air out with a straw, and package these baggies into an empty bread bag. Sliced cheese I also put in baggies, suck the extra air out, and store it in the fridge.
I buy huge bags of cereal, put in in canning jars and use the attachment on my Foodsaver to vacuum seal them, they stay fresh. I also do this with crackers, cookies, etc. That way not only do we stock up, we do not over eat since it is in small portions.
I rotate canned goods and frozen items. I vacuum seal meats to stay fresh.
I agree with Alpa; a lot of things like TB and paper towels are not usually cheaper buying in bulk. Watch the unit price. Better be careful buying large bags of produce at some of the stores. I used to work in a warehouse club and the people working in the produce department go thru the bags on a daily basis and take out rotten produce and never replace with another.
You may think you're getting a 5 lb bag of apples, oranges, etc but oftentimes you're not. After watching that going on for 4 years I never buy anything in a bag in the produce department without first weighing it. Like the warehouse clubs where they don't have scales I don't buy there. I've seen it too many times that I've become skeptical. If something says 5 pounds, etc that what I expect to get.
To help prevent forgetting what is in the bottom of the freezer - pack "like items" in tall slender boxes. When the box is full, tape it closed, flip it over and start using from the bottom "oldest" items.
I totally agree. I have been buying restaurant size mayo,ketchup,and mustard for awhile now. It seemed like everytime I turned around we were running out now we just refill the containers from the big ones. It is cheaper I can buy a huge container of Hellmans for a little under 8 dollars and the 32 oz jars are 3 dollars or more so I am getting a significant savings on that alone.Also I can reuse those containers for storage.
To keep track of the food I put in the freezer I use color coding....I have different colored markers... When I stock up on an item I use a special color for that date...then on top of the freezer I tape on a paper showing the kind of food, the date, the color and how many....each time I take one out I just mark it down....easy to see how many...plus it's easy to spot with the color mark on the package. Also I try to keep the items together in one particular area.....sometimes I have to place a piece of white tape on an item...then put my color markings on it.....
If every two weeks, you buy two bulk items for the household, you will never be behind in groceries and staples. Great idea and more money left over at the end of the year!
By Bev Sobkowich
And, if you live in a warmer climate, after you purchase in bulk, hang some shelves in the garage and store the canned goods, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. on the shelves where there is always room to load up when items are on sale.
When shopping I always try to buy in bulk. A better deal for hamburger is always bulk. When I get home I take all of the plastic bags that had my veggies in them and set aside. I then divide the hamburger into 1 pound pieces, I know they aren't exact since I don't weight them but they are close, then I put a pound into the bag press all the air out and tie shut, I then put in another pound and tie it shut.
I can get two pounds bag and just pop into the freezer. When needed I cut the bag above the tie and put the other piece back into the freezer. The other pound is ready to thaw in a bowl with the exposed side down. I then can throw the bag away and have not spend a dime for a bag. I also do the same with the 5 pound bag of leg quarters, however, I put only the amount I need per meal as it takes up more room. This has worked out great for me for years. Hope it helps others cut their grocery bill.
Sounds like a good topic for a new request Jo, we will make one and publish in tomorrow's newsletter.
Have we had a thread on keeping track of all this bulk produce?! Having meat languishing at the bottom of the freezer for years until unfit to eat isn't saving anything. The reason I ask is I have just bought a large freezer mainly to save money but also as I have a yearling cow that I raised from a calf that's getting a bit big to play 'chase Mummy' so it will be butchered. I also have 5 lambs that someone gave me that will go the same way eventually. I am in need of a simple method to keep track of what I have and mark off what I use from the freezer. I have been leaning towards a simple paper method - a form taped to the lid as I know if I'm cooking and have to break off to go to the computer I will probably forget! Does anyone have any fool proof methods?
BTW, one thing that comes to mind is whole Sirloin Tips. When they put a really good deal on them I like to get one and either cut it up two or three ways (one for stew, one for roast, maybe grind one for chili, etc.) I have used a whole one to make a large stock pot of stew.. just be sure and bag and freeze what you don't use in a couple of days.
Most things I don't buy in bulk, I just wait for a good special and load up. One thing though, stuff like beef stew, chili, etc. I make a big pot of it and freeze the left-overs in single serving freezer bags. I live alone so I have to be careful doing stuff like this; things will only keep for so long in the freezer. But the main thing is watch the unit prices, and make sure your store's 'special' isn't still higher than the same item at another store's regular price. And be sure you're comparing apples to apples. Some stores here advertise their beef as USDA Choice, and others just as USDA Inspected, and there's a big difference. If it doesn't say "Choice" it's probably "select", which is a step or two above dog food.
Since there are only two people in our household now I still buy in bulk, bring it home and separate it (like chicken, etc) in smaller meal size portions and put in the freezer. It really helps save me money and time.
By Rose Lewis
To keep perishables such as Whole Wheat Flour, Nuts, etc from going rancid I store these items in the freezer.
I buy bread (at the discount bread store), bags and bags of flour when it's on sale, and 2 lb. bags of yeast (so much cheaper in bulk), and they all keep nicely in the deep freezer. Since most of our cooking is from scratch, I also keep large quantities of Tomato sauce, tomato juice and spices.
I'm the same way. I buy anything we use alot of in bulk. I buy shredded cheese, meat, paper products, vegetables, macaroni, etc. I have 3 freezers, and all my packaged products go there along with meat, chips, bread, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts, yeast and the list goes on. We have cereal bugs, so anything not in cans or jars goes in the freezer.
I buy meat in bulk - hamburger, pork chops, boneless chicken breast, steaks. Then I bring them home and package them in serving-sized portions and freeze them. I do the same thing with shredded cheese (the cost savings vs. time savings isn't worth it for me to shred my own).
I buy juice boxes and some snacks in bulk, IF they are cheaper that way. You always have to check.
We buy a lot of things in bulk. Toilet paper, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, rice, beans, flour, sugar (lots of 5 lb. bags when on sale, canned goods, evaporated milk, ramen, pet food. I buy when it is on sale so try to get the lowest price. Anything that will last a long time that we use up.
We always get canned goods and toilet paper in bulk - make sure you'll
use whatever it is you're buying or it's never a good deal!
- Tracy in Watauga, TX
Some of the things that I buy in bulk are juice boxes and snack bags of cookies or chips. They're good for school lunches or car trips. It depends on the 'unit price' when I shop for anything... buying in bulk is not always the cheapest way.
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