Behind the Doors – The Pantry Part IV
We buy many pantry ingredients in bulk from a large club store — mainly dry goods and paper products, as freezer and refrigerator space is often limited. For many people it’s well worth the cost savings to buy in bulk. The cost may seem high upfront because you are purchasing such large quantities, but most of the time when I compare club priced items to regular store priced items the club prices are much lower per pound or count.
Be aware of what you are buying and know that you will actually use it before it goes bad. It does not save you any money if you are throwing things out because they go bad. If you are just starting to really cook from scratch, I would suggest holding off from buying items in bulk, unless you already know you use an item frequently. Once you’ve been cooking for a while, take note of what you are always purchasing and then see if you can get a better deal in bulk.
The main positive reason for buying in bulk is to save time and money on frequently purchased, long shelf life products. This way you always have items on hand.
A few drawbacks — you need a place to store your purchases and you need enough cash to make the purchase. Saving money does not actually happen if you need to pay interest on a credit card in order to buy in large quantities. If this is the case one option could be to see if extended family or friends use any of the same products and split them. Just make sure you agree on costs, quantities, and brands.
Lower quality olive oil for cooking, high smoke point oil for frying
Pastas, rice, farro, quinoa
Canned tomatoes (whole or diced) – 12 cans per box
Canned tomato – 12 cans per box
Canned coconut milk – 8 cans per flat
Boxes of chicken broth – 6 boxes per packages
Canned anchovies in olive oil – 6 tins per package
Canned sardines in olive oil (boneless) – 6 tins per package
Macaroni and Cheese (boxed) – 12 boxes per package
Oatmeal – rolled oats (not instant)
Canned tuna – 8-12 cans per package
Canned salmon – 6 cans per package
Nuts – walnuts, almonds, pecans (other nuts I buy in small quantities as needed)
Active dry yeast – 1 lb. bag
Flour white – 20 lb. bag
Sugar – granulated white – 10 lb. bag, powdered – 5lb., and brown – 5 lb.
Maple Syrup (real maple)
Mayonnaise, Ketchup, and Mustard
Paper products, freezer bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, cleaning supplies, and personal care items.
Notice I don’t have any junk food (besides sugar) or prepackaged food items on my list. I purchase staple ingredients I use to cook real food. I’m not buying chips, cookies, or frozen entrees by the dozen. Be wise, if you know you are an impulse buyer, this may not be the place for you. Also, make a list and stick to it to help prevent impulse buys.
Part IV Review
1. Pay attention to what you are buying – is it less per count than the regular supermarket? Will you use it before it goes bad? Can you afford the purchase to begin with? Do you have a place to store your purchases?
2. Don’t waste your money on junk food.