Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Why Buying Food in Bulk Makes Sense

When people talk about "buying in bulk," there's the assumption that you have a grocery store with a multitude of bins that allow you to pay for items by the pound.  While living in Portland, OR, there was an abundance of these options in grocery stores, but where I live now, I have only found one store with 8 bulk bins that contain nuts, popcorn, rice, oatmeal, and granola.  I was a bit discouraged by the lack of options, so I did my research, made several phone calls, requested grocery stores to purchase items in larger containers, and compared the cost of purchasing small bags versus the added cost of shipping large bags.  No surprise, but even with the added cost of shipping, I could still save money by mailing large bags of oatmeal, flour, and peanut butter, to my doorstep.  I do want to clarify, that I purchase specific brands so I wasn't comparing store-brand labels.  If you watch closely, many companies offer free-shipping, especially during the holidays which give you an even larger savings.  Our bulk items are stored inside Rubbermaid totes in the cool basement.  

King Arthur Flour is our favorite brand of flour and we order it in 25 pound bags.  100 pounds will last us about 8 months.

We purchase our grains from Bob's Red Mill in the 25 pound bags.  Our family consumes about 50 pounds of oatmeal each year!

Okay, some of you readers may be laughing at this point with our oatmeal and flour consumption, but I challenge each of you to actually keep a log of what you consume, because I think you will be shocked to see how many bags or containers of a specific product you purchase every year.  Take for instance, peanut butter.  Paul enjoys a peanut butter and jam sandwich for school lunch.  I probably make peanut butter cookies and scotcharoos three or four times a year, and between Jon an me, we probably only have toast twice each month.  Given that information, I think you would be astounded to learn that we go through two, 9 pound tubs of peanut butter every year!!  Our brand of choice: Once Again Nut Butter.  The added benefit of this peanut butter is that it comes in a reusable bucket with a metal handle (makes a great compost bucket!)  Purchasing in bulk helps reduce a lot of the packaging waste...just think how many small containers we would be going through if we didn't purchase the bucket?

What else do we consume a lot of?  Cheese!  I was born in Wisconsin and have a serious love affair with cheese, eating it at least 5 out of 7 days a week.  Homemade pizza is a staple food for us.  We ask the deli department to cut a half wheel of Monterey Jack every 2 months. 


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About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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