When chasing down the best deals, I sometimes find it a little overwhelming trying to decide between coupons, sales and buying in bulk. Bulk stores like Costco and Sam’s Club can offer some consistent savings on staple items that are well-used in any kitchen.
As long as you are careful to be selective and only utilize the bulk savings for items that have a long shelf life, or that you will consume in bulk quantities, there can be a number of good deals at the bulk store.
No. 1 – Raw, Natural Almonds (not the roasted/salted kind) Natural nuts like almonds and walnuts are a regular staple in our diet. They are great for a protein snack, an excellent topping for yogurt, and a great source of healthy fat. But, on the downside, they can be fairly expensive. A 16 oz bag at the grocery store runs around $10. At my bulk store, I get a 48 oz bag for $18. That is around $4.50/lb compared to $10/lb.
Why I Eat Almonds Every Single Day
No. 2 – Coconut Oil We use a lot of coconut oil. I have never really liked the taste of olive oil so we switched to cooking with coconut oil when we cook in our cast iron. I also use it as a moisturizing ingredient in my face wash. And, I use it in place of shave cream.
But, coconut oil is one of those things that is a bit on the pricey side when you buy it at the regular grocery store. The prices vary between $10-$26 dollars for a 16 oz. jar at the regular grocery store. Because we use it for cooking, we tend to go on the higher end of that range. At the bulk store, we can get 56 oz for $15.
5 Benefits of Cooking with Coconut Oil
No. 3 – Toilet Paper I am pretty brand-loyal when it comes to paper products. Specifically paper towels and toilet tissue. I am probably much more picky than most. But the stuff that fits the bill for our home is the store brand at our bulk store. It is the perfect combination of soft, but not too thick. The rolls are also a good size so we aren’t flying through them. In fact, one $18 case of toilet tissue lasts us around 4 months, so we only have to buy it a few times per year.
No. 4 – K cups (coffee) for Kuerig Home Brewers We are a Kuerig family. But, at the same time, we are really picky about what K cups we like. Luckily, we were finally able to find a brand that we can agree on at our bulk store. On average, even with sales, we were paying around $0.75 per K cup at the grocery store. I am now thrilled that the bulk store started carrying an ‘approved’ brand of K cups and we can now get them for around $0.45 per K cup.
No. 5 – Tall Kitchen Trash Bags I seriously cannot even remember the last time that we had to buy kitchen trash bags. We probably buy less than one box per year. When we bought bags at the regular grocery store, we spent $6-$7 dollars per month. At the bulk store, we can get 200 bags for $12.
No. 6 – Dijornio Frozen Pizza’s Although these are not he healthiest choice, my husband enjoys having them in the house and sometimes I want pizza too. Spending a few dollars on these usually saves us from spending $30+ on delivery pizza so we do it. Dijornio pizza’s are usually between $5-$6 at the grocery store. At our bulk store we can get three pizza’s for $10.67. That’s just a little over $3 a pizza!
No. 7 – Long Grain Rice In favor of reducing the amount of processed foods that we eat, we have chosen to skip the convenience of instant rice and spend the extra 15 minutes cooking real rice. The quality is much better and when we do indulge in a rice dish, we feel that its a better choice. The price is amazing too, 10 lb bag of premium long grain rice for $5 at the bulk store, compared to $4-$6/box for instant rice at the grocery store.
No. 8 – Pancake Mix, Mrs Buttersworth Syrup Weekends are the only time that we cook a full breakfast. During the week it is all about efficiency and portability. But, once per week we cook a full, traditional American breakfast with bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Our bulk store carries our favorite pancake mix and syrup.
No. 9 – Original Blue Dawn Dish Soap There are dozens of different varieties of dish soaps on the market in different colors and fragrances. Some have additives to keep your hands soft or boost grease cutting power. I used to be a junkie for all of the different marketing gimmicks until I realized that I kept switching because none of them worked very well. The original blue dawn dish soap works best, and it is available in bulk at a good price. I pay around $6.75 for a 90 oz bottle, compared to $3 for a 21 oz bottle at the grocery store.
No. 10 – Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips Although not something that we need regularly, getting these in bulk is the best deal. And, if we have them on hand, they make a good mix-in for pancakes, muffins or granola. I am brand loyal to Nestle Toll House on chocolate chips, so this only works for us because our bulk store carries this brand. At the bulk store, we pay $10.67 for a 72 oz bag of chocolate chips, compared to $2 – $3 for a 12 oz bag at the grocery store.
The downside to shopping at bulk stores is that most of them operate on a membership program. This means that they make you pay an annual membership fee in order to shop in their store. I was against the idea of paying $40+ per year just to have access to a store. We have found a way to shop at the bulk store for free. If we lose our free membership in the future, I still feel like we have found enough savings to justify the cost of the basic membership.
Our regular grocery shopping routine is a combination of our local bulk store and our local discount grocery store. We are fortunate enough to have a Kroger-brand discount grocery store in our area which can provide store-brand alternatives for lower costs, but there are some products that I just cannot sacrifice my brand loyalty for. The bulk store is a pretty good solution for us on some of those items. For the rest, we have found ways to trim the standard list of needs and wants. 10 Things you Should Stop Buying to Save Money