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I buy a lot of our dry goods and beans in bulk, usually in 25 lb. bags. This includes pinto and black beans, yellow split peas, brown and white rice, cornmeal and oats, etc. These are items I also cook with a lot, and the bags last several months.
Here are some examples of how much I save by buying this way in bulk:
Cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill) 25 lbs. $13.39=$.53/lb.
(Bob’s Cornmeal not at my local Safeway, Store Brand is 43% more)
Black Beans Fiesta Brand 25 lbs. $15.57=$.62/lb.
(69% more expensive at my local Safeway)
Rolled Oats (Bob’s Red Mill) 25 lbs. $16.98=$.67/lb.
(79% more expensive at my local Safeway)
I currently buy most of my bulk items at a Warehouse Store called Smart Food Service in Concord, CA. I have verified with my Price Book that the items I buy there are the lowest price compared to every other store in my area. You may have a similar store in your area. Costco also has some bulk items, but I’ve noticed less and less over the years.
There are other ways to buy in bulk, such as the bulk bins in various grocery stores. However, if you are trying to reduce your monthly grocery expenses, you should first know how the prices compare. Sometimes these bins are more expensive than regular prices!
I keep track of prices with my Price List, and only buy something if it is at the lowest price. After awhile of keeping track of prices, you will know fairly quickly if something is a good price. Your buying habits will shift, as you have the power to buy your desired food “at the lowest price.”
I store cornmeal, flours and brown rice in my large garage freezer in ziploc bags. Other items such as beans and white rice I store in a dark closet, and keep canisters filled in my kitchen to make daily cooking easy.
By buying this much at once, I save about 75% on average overall on my dry goods and beans. Over time, your monthly food bill will greatly decrease by shopping like this. Think of the initial cost as an investment in your future savings. You could start small, by just buying one bag each month until you are well stocked.
Happy Saving! 🙂