What do you think of when I say “bulk food?” Do you picture 50-gallon drums of wheat that you have to grind into flour, or a 25-pound bag of peas, or giant tubs of mayonnaise? While those things do exist, they really aren’t practical for most of us. Just thinking about 25 pounds of peas makes my stomach hurt.
Buying food in bulk doesn’t have to be a waste of money and space in your house. With a little planning, buying bulk food makes lots of sense. It costs less than the individual packages at the grocery store. You have more food in the pantry so you don’t have to shop as often. Bulk containers also cut down on packaging waste. You need to store your bulk purchases safely, but that’s easy to do.
Here’s a peek at what I buy in bulk–and more important, what I don’t.
What I buy in bulk
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Bread flour
- Chocolate chips
- Fruit for canning
- Garlic and onion powder (although I’ll try making these in my dehydrator)
- Olive oil
- Pinto beans
What I don’t buy in bulk
- Brown rice (because it contains the bran and germ, it goes rancid after about 6 months)
- Whole-wheat flour (same)
- Veggies and fruits that we grow in the garden
- Things we don’t eat. You might laugh, but there’s no reason to buy 50 lbs of dried chickpeas if not a soul in the house will touch them.
How I store it
You want to keep your bulk food safe. It’s no longer a bargain if it spoils or gets spilled before you use it. The best way to do this is in food-grade buckets sealed with gamma lids. Gamma lids fit on your food-grade buckets and make them easy to open. They are waterproof, reusable, and stackable.
Don’t be alarmed by the fact that these are shown on Amazon in the pet food department. For most people, the only food they currently buy in bulk is pet food! And we know what happens if the dog eats through the bag, or if a mouse finds the bag in the garage. It’s like a gold mine for them and a huge mess for us!