Money Saving Tip: Rethink Bulk

I’ve gone back to buying in bulk lately, mainly to save money. There are a few things when, if purchased in bulk, save far more than the best sale or even coupons can!

Common Questions about Bulk Buying:

What if you don’t need that much? Only purchase items with a long shelf life or go in with another family, purchase together, and divide it among yourselves.

What if I don’t have a membership to a warehouse club? Many employers offer discount memberships and some warehouse clubs even offer free days where non members can shop. Beyond that, you could always ask someone with a membership to get it for you – and maybe bake them something yummy as a thank you!

I currently have memberships at both Costco and Sam’s Club. I’ve found that both offer some things unique to their store. For example, I love being able to buy chicken in the special “freezer packaging” that Costco has. A big flat of chicken breasts are sealed in individual packages with two per package – which saves me having to divide up the chicken like that to freeze once I get home – for the same price as Sam’s chicken, which still comes on a styrofoam base all squished together.

At Sam’s, I can buy dried beans in bulk, something I’ve yet to even find for sale at Costco. Each has their advantages – The savings on meat and produce alone pays for my membership, but for most families a membership to just one will suffice.

This week’s example of saving money by buying in bulk is sugar.

Did you know that sugar keeps indefinitely? All you need is an airtight container. That makes this an ideal item to buy in bulk if significant savings can be found – and I’m here to show you that they can. 

Now, let’s see how much we save:

In case you haven’t noticed, sugar no longer comes in 5 pounds bags. The new norm is 4 pounds, with a higher price tag even though the amount is less. Welcome to economics :)

Now I usually buy generic sugar but the price difference isn’t that significant so in the interest of comparing apples to apples, we’re gonna use name brand sugar for this price comparison.

This is a 4 pound bag of Domino Sugar on sale for $3.79, but the regular price is $3.89 so we’re gonna use that.

 25 pounds of Domino sugar at the

grocery store would cost us  $24.31

Now let’s look at what Sam’s Club has to offer…

A 25 pound bag of Domino Sugar at Sam’s Club is a whopping $11.53

That is a savings of

$12.78 – OVER Half off!

Here is what Costco has…

The same amount of sugar but a different brand, Dixie Crystals, in a less glamorous packaging, is $9.99

 A Savings of $14.32!

Sure, this may seem like a lot of sugar but it keeps indefinitely! You may not go through 25 pounds in a month, but I’m sure you can go through 25 pounds in several months…or a year…or five years. Either way you look at it, this is a substantial savings.

But Christy, how do I store 25 pounds of sugar?

Oh I’m so glad you asked that!

There are several ways to store it. This big yellow lidded bucket you see is one method. I buy these in three packs at Sam’s Club and they’re airtight and hold about 10 pounds of sugar each.

You can also store it in gallon sized zipper seal bags.

BUT my favorite way to store bulk food items that I won’t use right up is in clean 2 liter bottles, like cokes come in. These are food grade containers, airtight, bug proof, and cheap to get. The pour spout on the top makes it easy to use them to refill sugar canisters and jars as well.

Take empty two liters, rinse them well with warm water. Then add a teaspoon of bleach and fill halfway. Put the lid on and shake well to sanitize the bottle, then rinse well once more. Allow to sit, unopened, for several days to dry. I like to keep several empty bottles on hand for things like this. When I’m ready to fill one, I just grab a small funnel and in minutes I have sugar, beans, or whatever I need safely stored away until I need it.

If you drink cokes, this is an incentive to purchase 2 liters over cans, and that saves a lot of money as well! If you don’t drink cokes, it’s usually easy to find someone who does.

Pictured above are 3 liter bottles that I use for dried beans and such. Rice and sugar store really well in two liters but some of the larger beans are just easier to get through a 3 liter opening. By the way: The only place I’ve found 3 liter bottles is at the Dollar Tree, in case anyone decides to hunt them down. :) 

So there you have it, a money saving tip that will help you pay less than half of what you currently pay for sugar. Thanks for tuning in and stay tuned for more! Same bat time, same bat channel ~winks~

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Comments

  1. Gale Norby says

    This is so helpful. Here’s an anecdote of what NOT to do. When i was newly married, i learned to store extra flour in my freezer. It worked so well that i thought i would try it w/ sugar too. It absolutely does not work w/ sugar & a 5 lb. bag becomes a 10 lb. rock. This is a great article. Thanks so much Christy!

  2. Wondering Why says

    I bought dry goods such as plain flour and corn meal last summer in bulk and stormed them in my fridge. How long can I continue to use these items? I do not know the expiration dates… They are all plain without baking soda/power added to ‘em.

    Thanks

    ~W

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