My Story: Buying Bulk

contributed by Patrice

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Buying Bulk Food

I've noticed that a lot of frugal articles often give the same advice. Often the advice states that it's often cheaper to buy single bags of items such as flour and sugar but to stock up when a good deal is found. Often bulk buying is discouraged among some frugal minded people. I suggest that we take another look at buying single items versus buying bulk.

I find that buying a 25-pound bag of flour and sugar at $9.99 each saves me several months of shopping. I would have to buy five five-pound bags of flour or sugar in order to equal that one bag. For several months, I save myself from having to repeatedly buy these items, which saves on gas when I've run out of the item. Stocking up on the single five-pound bags of flour/sugar can also cost more than the one bulk bag, depending on the area you live in and the price at the store.

Buying bulk cans can also save money. In my local paper, Del Monte cans of fruit can be priced on sale as four cans for $5, which isn't much of a sale at all. I can get a six-pound can of Del Monte fruit from $2.99 to $3.99, which can be divided into seven to eight bags of fruit and frozen. This six-pound can has 24 servings. Having the fruit on hand means that I can easily add it to muffins, quick breads, pancakes, and I always have an easy snack or side dish on hand.

When buying bulk, the rule of thumb is to only buy what you need and can use within a reasonable amount of time. When closing up my 25-pound bag of flour/sugar, I pour what I can use into a plastic covered container and I keep the remaining fresh for several months by closing the bag tightly. I also buy only about three bulk cans of fruit at a time and freeze. I use the fruit in numerous recipes or just as a snack. I have also bought items such as bulk syrup, bulk cocoa mix, etc. that my family uses and that will save me from having to buy these items for several months. These items have lasted me sometimes up to five months.

I have saved money in numerous ways by buying bulk. Bulk buying, when used wisely, can be a great way to stretch those food dollars, and it's a great frugal investment!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by

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