Buying in bulk is only cost effective if you can use all the products before they go bad. Otherwise, you are wasting money and food. If you are new to buying in bulk and not sure what you should buy and what you shouldn’t buy, this list will help save you some time & money.
- Never buy something in bulk that you haven’t tried yet. If you don’t like it, you are going to be stuck with it a while. We made the mistake of buying a 6 pack of spaghetti sauce that we hadn’t tried before only to realize it was the kind with chunky tomatoes that we don’t like so I was stuck sifting the chucks of tomatoes out of the sauce for the next 3 months.
- Condiments – As tempting as it sounds, there’s no way you will be able to finish that giant jar of ranch dressing before it goes bad.
- Cooking oil – Oils will start to break down 3 months after its been opened. You would have to do a lot of deep frying for this to be a worth while purchase.
- Frozen food – It sounds like a good idea because frozen food can lasts up to a year in the freezer (if stored properly), but what you have to keep in mind is that freezer space is limited unless you have a chest freezer. So that huge pack of veggies is going to take up a lot of space and will mean that later down the road you will make sacrifices (like a tub of chocolate ice cream) because you won’t have any room left in the freezer. I have personally experienced this dilemma and it took a long time to free up freezer space.
- Produce – Unless you plan on having an apple for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next month, there’s no way you’ll be able to eat that big bag of apples before it starts to rot.
Tip #1: I have heard a lot of people say not to buy nuts in bulk, while that might be true of some nuts, I have bought a 5 lb. bag of peanuts and it lasted over 6 months and we ate it all. So just keep in mind for every rule there is an exception! 🙂
Tip #2: When in doubt, always check the expiration date and determine if you will be able to use it all by that date.