Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
A couple weeks ago, I was working on my budget and made a not so startling discovery: Recipe testing isn’t exactly cheap – I’ve had 3 failed recipes and counting this week alone – and I’m not exactly rolling in dough #unemployedstudent.
Because of that, I was forced to developed a system for grocery shopping that works to my advantage cost wise. I touched on it a little in this post on grocery shopping mistakes but I wanted to get a little more in depth on what foods I buy in bulk to save money in the long run.
Unless you need certified gluten free oats, I highly recommend buying your oatmeal in bulk, especially if you eat it as often as I do. I get my oats at bulk barn or at the baking goods store in my neighbourhood. I buy huge bags of rolled oats every month and store it in my pantry. It works out to be cheaper than buying smaller bags on every grocery run, and frees up room for other things in my grocery bag on my bi-weekly trips. I do have to say, that the big bags can be a bit cumbersome, so I usually portion out about 4 cups at a time into a glass container for everyday use. But other than that, I’ve had no issues with oats going old or anything like that.
Tip: If you have even a halfway decent blender or food processor, you can save even more money by making your own oat flour from oatmeal instead of buying oat flour.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is expensive. There’s no getting away from that fact. I used to buy small containers of it at the grocery store, but they only last for about a month and those repeated 10+ dollars add up quickly month after month. But, I recently found a tub of organic coconut oil, bigger than my head (not an exaggeration) for about 28 bucks and I snapped it up. I’ve had it for more than a month now and I’ve only used about a quarter of it so it’s already cheaper. Sure, it might seem like a hefty upfront investment, but it’s worth it, I promise.
This one may seem a little weird because fresh produce is something that you usually don’t want to buy in bulk since it spoils quickly. But here’s my reasoning:
At least once a week, over rips bananas go on sale at my grocery for insanely discounted prices. It’s something like a couple dollars for bag of like 20+ bananas. These bananas are past their prime and a bit beat up, but they’re perfect for freezing or immediate baking. At first I only used the frozen bananas in smoothies, or to make banana ‘ice cream’. But now, I know they can be defrosted and used in baked goods like banana bread or cookies- probably the best discovery I’ve made all year.
2. Chocolate Chips
Not everyone may need to do this one, but I go through chocolate chips at an alarming rate. I used to buy them at bulk barn, then switched to the Enjoy Life brand when I went dairy free. That got expensive really quickly so I’ve been on the lookout for a solution. Then, last month, I found dairy free chocolate chips at the bulk baking goods store and I grabbed the biggest bag they have. Like with oatmeal, I keep some of the chocolate chips in a glass jar for easy access, and the rest goes to the back of the cupboard. I haven’t reached the bottom of the bag yet, which is a pretty novel experience.
1. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are two more expensive foods I use a lot. But, these days I buy multiple pounds of almonds, walnuts, peanuts and chia, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds relatively cheaply at Bulk Barn and then don’t think about them again for months. I store the nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in mason jars in the cupboard and the chia and flax seeds go into the freezer. I also grind up some chia seeds and flax seeds at the beginning of the week and keep that in the fridge in small mason jars to throw in smoothies or vegan baked goods. Simple, relatively cheap and the abundance of mason jars makes me feel fancy. That’s a win-win situation right there.
What about you?
What foods do you buy in bulk? Any to add? If you’re a food blogger, how to you stay within your food budget?
Share in the comments below!
Need more grocery shopping tips? Try these: