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Living on a Budget #3: Buying Staples in Bulk

January 15, 2011


Having a well-stocked pantry is, in and of itself, a great money-saver — this way, you can transform any food scraps, left-overs, and bits into a delicious meal. Buying your spices, herbs, seeds, grains, and beans in bulk is an extra way to get more bang for your buck. I have found that bulk items, especially herbs and spices are significantly less expensive than pre-packaged ones — sometimes they cost half as much or more! Plus, your pantry looks so much nicer lined up with cute little jars!

Here are a couple interesting articles about buying bulk food staples:

from Earth 911

from Tip Hero

Do you buy in bulk? What are your experiences?

More Living on a Budget:

#1: Freezing Food

#2: Crafty Bits

#4: Cleaning Up


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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Neal permalink
    January 15, 2011 8:48 am

    We save a fortune by buying basic foods in bulk. We buy huge bags of rice and flours, we also stock up lots of dry beans, herbs, spices, and grains. These foods were made for storing, so why not buy a large amount and save some money? We find that it keeps us from eating out or eating unhealthy convenience foods when we know that there is always something to make. I always joke that “I’m going to make dinner out of nothing” because I can always create a meal plus leftovers from our pantry stock and a small amount of perishable items.. I once did a cost breakdown of a week of meals, we create many of our meals for less than $1/portion, even with some premium fresh ingredients (cheeses, quality meats) in the meal.

    About 2 years ago we also started baking all of our own breads; everything from pizza crusts to hot dog buns to sandwich/toasting bread. It’s such an easy thing to do, I could never see us turning back to the substandard store-bought breads. It also controls how much bread we eat (because you only have as much as you’ve made). I see people at the grocery with 3-4 loaves plus other breads in their cart, either they have an extremely large family or they are simply eating too much of it.

    Overall, actually learning some cooking skills and investing a small amount of time and creativity has saved us a fortune in grocery bills. It’s just a small amount of planning.

    • January 15, 2011 1:12 pm

      A resounding “YES!” That is spectacular–and I completely agree on all fronts.

  2. January 15, 2011 10:16 pm

    Girl…..were bulk buying fiends! I have two pantries …the kitchen one 5wide by 4deep holds everyday stuff…basement pantry is 12 by 10ish feet w metal shelving. It holds the extras. My goal is to eventually have a one year supply of foodstuff from my garden in my longterm pantry. Since we’re selling the house I stopped stocking it but…its still full.

    Check out the gals at ….they’re awesome and have a program called baby steps. Its REALLY great,very cheap or free if you don’t want it all at once and start a step at a time.


    • January 17, 2011 1:40 am

      Thanks for the tip!

    • javaking permalink
      June 27, 2011 7:20 pm

      I am a single male in Chicago living only on a little short of $1100. a month disability so I have to buy staples in bulk. I have also learned to do my own baking (mostly muffins I freeze) and scratch cooking to stay on my diet. Doing this I have not only have lost 59 pounds but my food bill is now averaging less than $125.00 a month. Last month I set a record by spending only $88.03!!!!

    • June 28, 2011 8:30 am

      That’s great! I wish more people would do this!


  1. Living on a Budget #1: Freezing Food « Speckless Blog
  2. Living on a Budget #2: Crafty Bits « Speckless Blog
  3. Living on a Budget #4: Cleaning Up « Speckless Blog
  4. Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Lentils « Speckless Blog

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