Like my love of all things breakfast and dessert related, my obsession with buying food in bulk should come as no surprise. When I first started trying to healthier back in 2013, I really had no clue what I was doing. I’d always heard that eating healthily was expensive and in those first few months I didn’t question that myth at all. Looking back, I still cringe at how much I used to spend on food in the name of healthy eating.
It took a lot of trial and error and numerous trips to a variety of supermarkets, health food stores and farmer’s markets before I found, what I thought was the perfect balance between cheap food shopping and healthy eating. And then I discovered bulk food stores in 2014 and realised how wrong I still was.
Of my 5 tips for healthy food shopping on a budget, planning and buying food in bulk are the two I do almost religiously. I’m working on a series of posts on how I plan my grocery shopping but today I wanted to share 5 more foods that I always buy in bulk.
And, in case you missed them, here are the other 2 posts I’ve written on buying food in bulk:
Buying food in bulk (Part 3): 5 MORE foods you should buy wholesale
1. Canned Goods
I try not to buy too many canned foods because I know there can be some health issues associated with them, especially when it comes to the amount of sodium used to preserve it. But, there are a few canned foods that I always stock up on with they’re on sale. Some of them include tomato paste, pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes and coconut milk.
However, the most important ones, in my opinion, are canned beans. Most beans take for-freaking-ever to soak and cook and I never have the foresight to do either ahead of time. Plus, there’s that whole beans-can-make-you-deathly-ill thing, that I’d rather avoid. So, I stock up on canned beans when I can and just give them a good rinse before using.
2. Almond Milk
This one is actually something I’ve only recently started buying in bulk. Almond milk can get a bit pricey so I try to get it on sale when I can and buying as many as I can carry on my walk home from the grocery. I usually buy them three at a time and that lasts me for at least a couple weeks. It may not seem like much, but it’s loads better than buying over-priced milk at the convenience store when I ran out every few days.
Another option would be to stock up on actual almonds and make your own almond milk as necessary. I haven’t experimented with making homemade almond milk myself, but if you’re willing, you should give it a go. Just remember that the homemade stuff spoils a bit quicker than store-bought.
When I first started brewing my own tea at home, I would buy pre-ground coffee. Coffee doesn’t spoil instantly once ground, but in my opinion, the fresher it is the better it tastes. So I used to buy small amounts of grond coffee every single week. But then I discovered how easy it was to grind my own coffee beans (all hail the NutriBullet) and I haven’t looked back since.
Now, I buy huge bags of coffee beans, probably around once a month or less depending on the size and store them in the freezer. Then I grind the beans as needed in smaller batches, usually around once a week.
4. Rice & other grains
I mentioned oatmeal in one of my previous ‘foods to buy in bulk’ lists but I’ve recently started buying other grains in bulk as well. Things like rice, barley, quinoa etc. hold up really well if stored correctly, so when you come across a good deal, it’s usually worth it to stock up.
I keep my grains in airtight containers in the pantry or freezer depending on what it is and how frequently I use it. Most of them can last in the pantry for about 4-6 months and up to a year in the freezer. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.
5. Fresh Spices
For the longest time, I only bought dried spices in bulk. Most fresh spices spoil way too quickly, I’m my thumb isn’t nearly green enough to try growing my own. But, I recently came across a method for ‘prolonging’ the life of fresh spices, by freezing them in ice trays, that I definitely want to try out. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
What about you?
- How do you save money when eating healthy?
- What are your thoughts on buying food in bulk?
- Any other foods to add to the list?
Share in the comments below!