Thursday, June 18, 2015
My Latest Bulk Buy
I have to say- I'm just a little spoiled by my bulk buying habits. I am able to get what I buy in bulk for such ridiculously low prices, that when I run out of them and need to buy them at a normal place, even a normal "cheap place" I have such a hard time paying the regular prices, since I am so used to the super cheap prices I generally buy them for.
Then there's the convenience aspect. I love having the food available in my house all the time, and to not need to run out to the store to buy again and again, especially if it is something I use often, like certain spices...
I really have to thank my friend Marion for getting me into bulk buying, who originally clued me in as to where I could buy bulk items locally, when she introduced me to the bulk baking supply store. This store is still my main bulk supply place.
In the past, in order to buy bulk, someone would have to travel to the not so near city, to this store's warehouse, to pick up a bulk order, but Marion figured that if a few people pooled their bulk orders together, they would reach the minimum order amount for this company to make a delivery for free, so that is what we've been doing lately.
I partook in the order that Marion placed, and today went to pick up what arrived at her house.
My order cost roughly 158 dollars, and while it seems like a lot, these things will last me quite a long time, I know.
Firstly, I bought spices, by the kilogram (2.2 lbs) package.
Locally, they sell 100 gram or so packages in grocery stores for about 1/3 of the price of the full kilogram packages, give or take. And since I go through spices quickly, buying them in bulk means that I end up saving a lot, because each 100 gram package gets used up pretty quickly. It also saves me a trip to the grocery store, and the headache of needing to borrow from a neighbor because I'm in the middle of a recipe and I realized that I was out of a certain spice. (Happened today, actually- I was trying to make a fermented beet salad, and realized that I had no cumin left! Fortunately my bulk order included not one, but 2 kilograms of cumin, so that was solved pretty quickly.)
The spices that I got were mostly between $3.42 and $4.85 for each kilogram package, or $1.55-$2.20 per pound, which is literally a fraction of what you pay per pound here, even when you are buying it from the cheap places, like the bulk bins... (Nutmeg was quite a bit more expensive- but still much cheaper than buying it any other way.)
Spices that I got- paprika, hot pepper flakes, coriander, 2 packages cumin, garlic powder, nutmeg and turmeric. They no longer are carrying the ginger powder that I ordered from them in the past- that was annoying- or I would have gotten that as well.
I only bought spices in bulk that I use often, that I know I will end up using up before they get buggy. I already have cinnamon, basil, and oregano from my last bulk order, or I would have bought some of those as well.
I also bought a 27.5 lb box of raisins for a little more than 2/3 their usual rate in the bulk bins- at $2.60 a lb. I bought these in large part to take the place of dates in some recipes, like larabar type treats, since dates generally also cost 2.60 a pound here, but they include their seeds, so you actually are paying more per pound for the dates than you are for raisins.
And raisins happen to be high in iron and lots of other nutrients. (Yes, sugar too, which is why teeth should be brushed after eating these.)
Last but not least, I ordered canned pineapple- 2 large cans, each 6.71 lbs. Pineapple canned in pineapple juice, no added syrup.
This, I'll admit, is a treat for me. It isn't so cheap, and I ordered it to be used as such. On the rare occasion that I do want some pineapple, canned pineapple (without added sugar) locally generally costs between $1.70 per lb and $2.06 per pound- at the cheap stores. At this bulk price, it costs $1.27 per pound, which is significantly cheaper.
You may wonder how it actually is cheaper, since if I open a 6.71 lb can of pineapple, I'll have to use it up all in one go, otherwise it'll spoil, and therefore it'll be a waste of money.
Well, that's why this is what I'm planning on doing with these-
Opening the cans, and straining them to remove the fruit juice. The fruit juice will then be frozen in small portions, to be used in recipes that call for pineapple juice. And the pineapple will be frozen in can size portions, again to be used in recipes that call for canned pineapple. This is what I do with my homemade soaked and cooked beans as well, and it works perfectly.
I had ordered cheap coconut oil, but it didn't arrive- and that's good, because I wouldn't have had a way to get it home- already getting my huge box of raisins and 2 cans of pineapples and all my spices on 2 buses home with my stroller wasn't super easy (I dropped the cans of pineapple on my foot more than once!), so I don't know how I would have managed with my coconut oil- would have had to make two trips.
Anyhow- there's my bulk order.
Really excited about it!
If you want to learn more about bulk buying, you might find these posts interesting:
The Different Types of Bulk Buying- Pros and Cons
Bulk Buying- With No Extra Money
What do you buy bulk? Do you find it gives you a significant savings, or more convenience than anything else? Where and how do you buy bulk?