With gas prices rising, it seems that even people that weren't buying in bulk before will now buy bulk products. If you're going to buy bulk and haven't before, you might want to start out small. If you are working on getting a years supply of food like some LDS families do, you can use the LDS Food Storage Calculator to help figure out what you should get.
you are looking for organic or locally sourced ingredients, you can
usually find a co-op type farm that delivers on a route on a specific
delivery time line. For the North West, check out Azure Standard.
You will have to order a minimum amount if you are not a part of a
preexisting drop, so call to see if there is one in your area. If you're
not in the Northwest, a Google search should be able to find you a
co-op that delivers in your area, or ask around in your local organic
Buying bulk food online is going to cost
you a pretty penny in shipping, and if not in shipping, then in
packaging. A lot of it will be packaged as "emergency food". If you want
it to be as long lasting as the "emergency food" that is selling on the
websites there are a few things you can do, but you will need to
package it well. Most of the "emergency food" is in 5 gallon buckets or
super pails (which I think are 6 gallon buckets) with the actual food in
a Mylar bag and an oxygen absorber. So all you need to do to keep your
bulk food you buy from the store as fresh is put it is buckets with
Mylar bags with and oxygen absorber. NEVER put an oxygen absorber in
with sugar unless you want it to be a brick. When you seal the bags, you
need to make sure that as much oxygen is out as possible. Google around
for more information, I am not an expert on this.
you are going to use your food in a reasonable amount of time you can
just put it in buckets for storage. You can either buy buckets, which
are a little pricey (you need FOOD GRADE plastic, DO NOT use anything
that held anything toxic such as paint, primer, paint thinner,
chemicals, etc) or you can go to your local bakery and ask them if they
have any extra buckets. They will usually have extra frosting buckets
laying around. It helps to call ahead and have them save them for you.
Sometimes they will charge you $1-2 for each bucket, but at the store
buckets go for about $5-7 so you're still saving money. If you don't
want to pay, try calling a different bakery. If the lids they provide
you with don't work, you can buy lids. Lids are cheaper than buckets.
WILL have to clean out the buckets. It's what you get for getting
cheap/free buckets. Even if they look clean, you want to clean them out
well, with soap. Hopefully you have a utility sink because, well,
they're buckets. Otherwise try to set up a station outside near your
hose and use a non-toxic soap that won't kill outside plants.
What to Buy
what you eat. Packages have been shrinking. I have noticed it. I don't
know if you have noticed it, but cereal boxes are getting smaller, cans
are getting smaller, and I am getting less for the same amount of money.
There is one thing that doesn't change. A 25lb bag is a 25lb bag. A
50lb bag is a 50lb bag. 25lbs of oatmeal is nutritious, will make great
cookies, breakfasts, won't shrink, and is great on the budget. A 25lb
bag of rice usually cost less than a 5lb bag of rice. I paid $11 for our
25lb bag of rice. How much did you last pay for rice? Oatmeal? My 25lb
bag of oatmeal was $15. You can even buy Sea Salt in bulk if you are so
inclined! Granted, it will last you for a bajillion years, but for $8, I
just couldn't pass it up. I got all of my bulk foods from WinCo. They also have a ton of different kinds of beans.
buying in bulk is great. I love it, you can find a lot of different
products, and it can save you a lot of money. Find what works for your
family. If you buy something they're not going to eat, it's not really
saving money. If you buy products you regularly use and are in regular
rotation, you will be doing yourself and your wallet a huge favor.