There are a number of advantages to buying in bulk:
– some items are available only in bulk, so that can mean more variety
– you can choose the quantity, perhaps you need only a teaspoon of a certain spice – a whole jar isn’t necessary
– bulk prices are usually less than packaged prices
– less packaging to go into the landfill
– often healthy alternatives not always otherwise available and also allows you to try something new without a big commitment
When you buy in bulk it’s a good idea to get your cupboards and pantry in order. There are a number of ways you can store bulk foods without breaking your budget.
– recycled plastic containers and glass jars
– Rubbermaid or Ziploc containers that can washed and reused over and over
Watch Craigslist and Freecycle for free or inexpensive containers. On Freecycle everything is free, which also means you can post a free “wanted” ad
A key to bulk storage is labeling. Make sure all containers are air-tight and clearly labeled and dated. Without that date, who knows if the flour is recently aquired or if its a year old. Watch the dates and use oldest first.
The important thing to remember when buying in bulk, is that a deal is only a good deal if you actually use the products that you purchase. Doesn’t really make much sense to stock up on raisens that are on sale if no one in your family likes them.