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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!




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

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