Save on Groceries: Buying in Bulk
Preparing a budget and clipping coupons are common ways to save money on groceries. While these methods will help lower your grocery bill, many people fail to consider the benefits of buying in bulk for even more cost savings.
There are many reasons one might consider buying food in bulk. In addition to cost savings, many people are interested in emergency preparedness, and buying in bulk is one inexpensive way to help build up your food storage reserves.
Families can face emergencies of many kinds. While some families want to be prepared for doomsday scenarios, others are looking to be prepared in the face of natural disasters or financial uncertainty.
Whatever your motivation, food storage should be considered by all families. You never know when that extra food could save your family in a time of crisis.
Shopping for Bulk Foods
There are many places you can buy foods in bulk. Wholesalers such as Costco are one option, but if you do not want to pay the costly membership fees, there are lesser known wholesalers such as Cash and Carry that also sell foods in bulk and do not require a membership fee.
Look around at your favorite grocery stores for bulk shopping options. Some grocery stores such as WinCo have large bulk sections where you can buy spices, nuts, dried fruits, etc., in bulk quantities.
Even wholesalers offer coupons and special offers, whether through the mail or online. These are good opportunities to stock up on meats and dry goods such as flour, sugar, oats, beans, rice, etc. You may have to buy bigger portions of meat than you are used to, but just cut the pieces down to serving portions and wrap them in aluminum foil for the freezer.
Shop the sales. Often you can find really good deals on only one or two items. Buy as much of those items as you can afford, and then next week stock up on a different item. Just make sure that you are only buying items that your family actually needs or eats. It is easy to buy something just because it is on sale, just stick to basics.
Storing Bulk Foods
You can store bulk foods in five gallon containers or by freezing, drying, or canning.
You can buy food grade five gallon containers at your local hardware store. Just make sure that they are made for food. They might cost a little more than regular buckets but they are ensured to be safe for storing food products.
Five gallon containers are great for storing most dry goods. If you go through a lot of sugar, flour, and oatmeal, then you will find it very handy to have a seemingly unlimited supply of them on hand. And it will also save you money.
Make sure to store your bulk items somewhere that is temperature controlled. Don't store them in your garage if your garage gets really hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.
In addition to storing food in containers, you can store food in the freezer by placing items in aluminum foil or ziploc freezer bags, or you can also dehydrate foods and store them in airtight containers.
Using Bulk Foods
It is important to rotate your bulk foods. If you have a lot of food stored up, make sure to use the oldest first so that it does not go bad. A lot of foods should be consumed within a year of being put into storage, so always rotate foods so that newest foods are consumed last.
If you are new to buying in bulk and food storage, it can be overwhelming at times. It's discouraging to not be able to always buy everything you want for your food storage. Just buy a little at a time, and you will find that it really adds up. Buying a little extra now will ensure that you and your family have plenty to eat when they really need it.
Copyright 2013, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.
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