NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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How Much Cereal Did I Buy?

How Much Cereal Did You Buy?


          Buying food in bulk can be a real money saver, but buyers need to be mindful of the actual cost per item and whether the food items are items you really use. One of the biggest issues families and individuals encounter when buying food in bulk is spoilage. 

          Some issues you will need to think about before you buy in bulk include:

• Will you be able to use up the bulk items before they go bad? A good buy that spoils before it is used is a negative to your food budget, not the positive it was meant to be. 

• Sometimes you can find items for less per ounce, in smaller packaging. Compare the cost per item or per ounce with other simi­lar items or other sized items to get the best buy.

• Consider the cost of joining a wholesale club. Will this cost still make any savings you might get worth it?

          Where to buy food in bulk?  Wholesale clubs like BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Cost­co, which require you purchase a membership, are not the only places to purchase food in bulk. Others include:

  • Local farmers’ markets - These can be a great way to buy local and fresh foods in bulk and at good prices. If a bushel is too much for you, try swapping part of it with other mar­ket goers.

• Some food chains – Some food chains specialize in low-cost food that can be bought in bulk.  Almost all grocery stores have at least one special per week that is available in bulk at a discounted price. 

• Amazon. This is another place to purchase bulk foods. Many items are shipped free-of-charge if you spend $25, which makes this a great way to get bulk foods delivered to your home. www.Amazon.com

          After finding your favorite food item at a super price in bulk quantity, the next step is storing foods in bulk. Do you have enough storage space and/or freezer space for your food? It is in a location that is easily accessible?  Are the storage shelves sturdy? A good idea is to use clear air-tight bulk storage containers, so you can see what is in them. For larger dry food items, many bulk buyers use 5 gallon buckets with lids that seal. Label them with content and date of purchase or use by date.  Consistently even room temperature, low light and low moisture levels will help your bulk items stay fresh longer.  Start with purchasing a little at a time to create a small reserve of foodstuffs that you know you will use.  Happy Savings!


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