Keys to bulk buying, storage and learning to stretch grocery dollars. - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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Keys to bulk buying, storage and learning to stretch grocery dollars.


If, like us, you are preparing your long term pantry for whatever reason (weather, gas savings, economic future) you may be a tried and true veteran of this longstanding homestead traditon or you may be new at it and ready to take the plunge.  Either way, it doesn't matter if you live in the country or the city, buying in bulk can be a money (and time) saver if you do it right. There truly are some key points to keep in mind when learning to buy in bulk.

First, just exactly what IS bulk buying? Well, it's not just buying a lot (as in multiple items all at once). It IS buying larger than typical amounts of the same item. One can of organic green beans is always going to cost more per can than if we can find them in the case. Then, each can is substantially lower in price, because we have 12 or 24 of them.

Secondly, buying in bulk often, but not always, is less expensive in the long run. Time saved, gas saved and quantity discounts (as above mentioned) add up to being dollar stretches.

Third, bulk buying doesn't have to be done in the big warehouse stores. When a local market had tomato sauce on sale of $.30 a large can, I got about 8 of them. There are still 7 of them in my pantry and that sale was 3 months ago. The price has risen again, but there I have 28oz of tomato sauce for thirty cents sitting ready for us to use.  Most of the time I can tomatoes, but the sauce takes too long for me and heats up our kitchen in the summer. This bulk buy was/is a big time/money saver for us.

Fourth, remember not to buy it - even if it seems like a great deal - if no one in the family will use it, or eat it before it goes bad! Fresh veggies are aften a good buy in wholesale clubs, but if you have 4 heads of romaine lettuce to throw out, then you have still wasted your hard earned money.

Fifth, learn how to store bulk items.  Dry items need to be kept in a moisture proof container. Even large bags of rice and oats are easily stored for months on end in the right container...see here....

  .... For meats, repackage into meal sized amounts and freeze. For cheeses, if you don't mind crumbled cheese, just freeze. If you do mind it, slice and freeze or shred and freeze.

Lastly, bulk buying can also work for items that are more household related than just food. Find out how long that $9 giant pail of laundry soap lasts by writing the date you started using it on the top in a magic marker. At the end when it's empty, you can see if it was a savings or not. I'll bet it was.

 Buying bulk can be a bit of a learning curve, but by keeping a few things in mind we can see how bulk buying stretches our dollars each month!

Best Blessings and enJOY the journey!

Donna Miller



BradyV said:

We're living in a troubled economy that is pushed to use third party resources such as a payday loan just to survive. This doesn't have to be the case however. I recently read an interesting article on the payday loan blog at explaining how to save on your biggest monthly household expense, your food bill! The article covered a few interesting topics such as buying food in bulk, shopping off a planned list and then only once a month, comparison shopping, and weekly advertisements. Shopping this way takes a little foresight and financial planning but is a great way to save money. Some of the other things that were spoken of were planning meals around cheaper staples such as beans, rice, and pasta, which can be prepared in a variety of ways that make great tasting yet inexpensive dishes.

You can read the two part article yourself entitled "Grocery Shopping for Big Savings" on the <strong><a title="Grocery Shopping for Big Savings" rev="vote-for" href="">payday loan</a><strong> money blog at

January 19, 2009 11:47 PM

SWelker said:

Really good advice.  Buying in bulk does tend to save more in the long run, as you spend less over a quarter (fiscal quarter - 3 months) and/or year than buying smaller more often.  A good way to spot deals in bulk at stores other than Costco or Sam's Club is to follow the time honored tradition that people associate with being a cheapskate - clipping coupons.  There are a lot of great ways to find shopping tips like <a title="READ" rev="vote-for" href=""> this website</a> which has a great financial blog.

January 22, 2009 6:34 PM

annettec said:

We buy in huge bulk with friends and neighbors and enjoy prices far under retail. Works great if you know how. There are no storage problems and we all benefit from very nice discounts. We also split the cost of many durable items and share them through a kind of checkout system. Lower costs, less clutter and waste... I can't imagine why more communities are not doing the same! I just started a blog about it, and I'm feeling a bit like an evangelist. :-)

June 9, 2009 4:53 PM

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About Millers Grain House

Donna Miller is the wife of almost 29+ years to the love of her life Joseph, the mother of three home-school graduates and has one daughter-in-law. She is the hostess of the radio shows Your Preparation Station, Surviving on Shoestrings and Encouragement in the Kitchen . She and her husband are the Organizers of WNC Preparedness Group in Asheville, NC. She is an Adjunct Instructor for Frontier Christian University. She teaches local classes and ladies retreats for people to learn hands-on lost skills. She is a teacher, author, sought-after speaker and trainer. She and her husband are the owners of Millers Grain House and are the founders of PREPARE Magazine .

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