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Storing Bulk Purchases


Buying in bulk will save you significant amounts of money on real food but figuring out what to do with a 25 lb bag of rice can be complicated. You want your food to stay fresh for as long as possible; you don’t save any money if half of your purchase spoils.

I have found 3-5 gallon buckets to be the best way to store my dry goods. I have gotten all of mine for free from the bakery of a local supermarket deli. I just stopped in one day and asked if they could save me the buckets that their frosting comes in. The next week I picked up six buckets, all bearing signs of highly processed cake topping. I scrubbed them throughly, let them dry and filled them up with the organic goodness of rolled oats, black beans, brown rice, and other treasures.

If you belong to a local buying club that purchases from Hummingbird, they offer their food safe buckets at very reasonable prices (around $3 for a 5 gallon bucket). Azure Standard carries 5 gallon buckets for under $5 each.

It is best to put these buckets in a cool dry place. For us, our basement pantry serves that purpose well. The back of a closet or pantry or even tucked under your kitchen table are all options. I keep a small amount of each item in mason jars in my cupboard or fridge so I don’t have to pull out the big buckets each time.

When you are evaluating a bulk purchase, think about how quickly you will use it. Many dry goods have a very long shelf life but will taste better if used sooner. Also consider if it fits in your budget as spending over your budget is certainly not saving you money!

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  1. Pingback: Stretch your Dollar: Coupons « Whole Savings - April 3, 2011

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