Best and worst groceries to buy in bulk

Your family budget may rely on warehouse shopping, and it can be satisfying to drive home with a car full of bulk goods. But make sure you're buying the right things at Costco and Sam's Club.

 of 17
 of 17


Aug 20, 2013 8:05AM
Gift cards are the biggest scam that retailers have going.  Most people lose money left on gift cards and it has been shown that over $6 billion in gift cards goes unclaimed a year - not to mention the "fees" for inactivity.  Best to just give cash in a card like the old days.
Aug 20, 2013 11:49AM
There is no shame when grocery stores have sales that are loss leaders, to only buy those items. You could have a big bin of bulk peanuts for $1.50 a lb and on a shelf in the store there in bags for $1.29 lb ,shoppers will think it's a deal buying bulk.   We cook 2,3 or 4 times a week and the other nights we mix and match leftovers.  You can save tons of money that way also. Nothing wrong with actually eating leftovers. Been to cookouts and there are a couple burgers or sausages left and the host throws them in the trash.  Microwaves are for warming things up, Right?
Aug 19, 2013 6:49PM

Meat:  Buy a lot at regular grocery stores when it's on sale for lower than warehouse store prices.  Which happens roughly once a month.  You need to repackage it (preferably vacuum-seal) anyway if you want it to keep in your freezer.  If you live somewhere that this is possible, deal directly with a farmer for a portion of a butchered steer, you'll never get it cheaper (or fresher).

Flour: buy as much as you need for a single recipe?  Really?  Oy.  Somebody doesn't bake at all ever.  I suppose it's theoretically possible for flour to go rancid, but I've never actually seen it happen.  Admittedly I store it in airtight containers, but that's just a good idea anyway.
Aug 20, 2013 10:12AM
Grocery store and coupons can often beat warehouse.
Aug 26, 2013 8:27AM
I like the part where it encourages me to buy a lot of liquor. Thats great advice if your an alcoholic.
Aug 26, 2013 8:50AM

So in conclusion, buy a lot of what doesn't spoil and little of what does spoil.


Glad I wasted 3 minutes to figure that out.

Aug 20, 2013 12:22AM
Dang, I wish I hadn't clicked on this lame article.
Aug 19, 2013 7:34PM
beyond freezing, if you can - canning makes good sense if buying in bulk.  Initial costs can run some, for a canner, jars, lids and instructions but with the exception of lids, fleamarkets, yard/garage sales are good places to find everything else.  I got my canner from my mother and some of the jars we used growing up and then just bought what I needed when I could, like a dozen jars each month and a pack or two of lids.  Basicly any canned food you find in the stores you can do yourself, veggies, meats, fruits.  And the satisfaction of doing it yourself has wonderous effects on you wellbeing.
Aug 26, 2013 6:21AM
I buy my brand-name toothpaste at the Dollar Store for a buck.
Aug 26, 2013 3:26AM
I shop at Sam's Club. I don't buy meat from them unless it's a really great deal on steaks. But I do buy bulk on say Ketchup, A1, paper plates, toilet tissue and paper towels and etc. I only get stuff I use a lot and if they sell it in bulk I'm gonna buy it. But I do agree that you have to watch what the big bulk sells cause sometimes you can find it cheaper at your local grocery store. One thing we have noticed is that their sodas by case cost more than what we can buy at the local store. Honestly it's all about checking out the fliers and comparing....
Aug 25, 2013 1:14AM

The main reason, we store all Grain items (flour or flour type items in freezer....)

Is most all come with bug eggs in the mix..."Moths usually"..



For freezing what we do(see other comment), BTW, we have a 26 cu. ft. chest-type freezer.

Even if power goes off it will keep everything for at least 4 days, if not opened much. 

Sep 6, 2013 7:52PM
want to save money on food bills?  heck, thats easy. (i worked many years as a chef)   get a upright freezer or even two. (i like two, one for meats and fish, the other for every thing else)
next go buy some big pots and big bowls.  also get some beef flavor soup base and chicken.  then start makeing soups!   just ladle it into sandwich ziplock bags and freeze it. (now meat can stay fresh for years! )  we make soups in the fall when our garden is ready to pick.  beef ministroni, chicken noodle,tomato bazel,even a sea food chower.   i will make 15 gallons of each, then freeze. do the same with burritos, lasagna,meat loaf and so on....  our food costs are about 1/16 what most peoples are and what we eat is far far more healthy.  i spend between 28 and 40 cents a meal.  most people say i dont have time for that sort of thing.... i chuckle, i pend a 1/16 of the time cooking most of you do.  there is a reason factories assembly line things......(by the way, i own my own business now and i  run assembly lines all the time)   if most of you are paying 1000 dollars a month on food to feed your families, i could do it better with  200. its not harder, just takes a bit of revamping.  i store all my foods in ziplock bags. (cheep and easy)  i have pulled soups out of my freezer 5 years old and they tasted like i just made them.

Aug 25, 2013 1:00AM

I can't go through 17 panels of any slide show...


Number one item to buy is a small chest-type freezer 8-12 cu. ft. They are fairly reasonable when on sale...Along with most meats, veggies(prepared correctly), fruits and all grain items can be stored for at least 6 months some for years..

Protect meats for freezer burn (double wrapped) and maybe use plastic bag on outside for a year storage...Ham only about 6mo. maybe bacon too...We just opened last 2# tube of sausage, 1 year old. Good as 1st. tube we ate(put whole hog in a year ago).


All FLOUR/grain items can be stored a long time, pancake mix, cream of wheat, hot cereal mixes, etc... 4ea.-5lb bags of flour=about 1 cft...We also freeze bread and rolls from day/old store.


Veggies and many fruits can be bought or raised in season and stored/froze for long lengths of time.

Ziplock bag of sweet corn got lost in freezer eaten a few weeks back, delicious; From 2002.

As good as this years, new crop. Just about anything cooked or blanched can be frozen.

Learn to freeze, saves lot of money and easy to do. Put up what you know you will eat within 6m-1year..

Cool, dark, dry places will store about any condiments, sauces and cooking oils for months..

Yes "Peanut Butter", Salad dressings, Syrups, Miracle whip, coffee, canned goods like soup or p/beans, k/beans, hash, etc....Don't keep mayonnaise over 1-2 months.

We/I go about every 3-4 months and stock up.

Less trips, less hassle, shop for sales, buy what you need or will use up...Have fun saving money.



Aug 19, 2013 6:07PM
It's like watching wolves stalk their prey at these warehouse stores. Too funny.
Aug 20, 2013 9:57AM

I am not sure I agree on buy meat in bulk.  The shelf life of meat is 6 months at best.  If you know you won't eat that food in 4 months, don't buy it.

Even though I am alone now, I still buy (and save a lot) at Costco, more than enough to pay for the membership.  I got my eyeglasses at 50% of what I had paid 3 years ago for lenses only.  Buying vitamins will save you plenty.  Each time I go to Costco, I also do comparison shopping at the other stores in town and always come out a winner.

Aug 24, 2013 5:35PM
Cereal can be a good buy if you use it up fast enough before it goes stale, same for peanut butter, regular butter or margarine you can freeze. Laundry products sometimes are a better value but take your calculator to figure the price per load vs the smaller sizes. For us old folks the big containers are too heavy and bulky to handle. With gas at $4+ you can take that cost off your savings if you go out of your way. Usually if you go to a good market that has sales time to time and also double coupons you can do better, just watch the dates on stuff as often it gets marked down close to the expiration. Better yet just listen to your Grandmother. 
Aug 26, 2013 7:45AM
Rice is nice, but twice I have bought those big bags and they already had boweavils. (those little black bugs you typically find in rice and pasta)  I will have to mention that I like the Jasmine rice from Thailand.  So that' s the problem there, you don't know how long it took to get over here or how long it was stored in a warehouse there.
Aug 26, 2013 9:21AM
Sounds about right.  But if you are like me and shop sales with coupons, bulk shopping is NOT the best deal.  Especially when it comes to paper products, including diapers.  Also, you should never stock up on liquid toiletries: toothpaste, sunscreen, mouthwash, makeup, etc.  All that stuff has expiration dates of a year of less.  Razors and floss is okay though.  I always laugh at those extreme couponers on TLC's show.  They brag about how they have 7 years worth of toothpaste even though it all expires in a year or so.  More like hoarders...
Aug 24, 2013 6:24PM
Weak advice, everyone has different needed at different times in their life. A better subject would be how to store these bulk items for longer shelf life and more savings using thing out on the market, vacuum sealers, storage air tight containers, and smaller repackaging containers. If you are going to give advice and ideals, think about stronger useful ideals.
Aug 26, 2013 10:54AM
and now, a few words about toothpaste: 
do you buy a lot of big, family-size tubes of it?  you might be able to change that by paying attention to what happens when you brush. 

as you're rinsing your mouth, do you notice little blobs of toothpaste that have fallen into your sink?  well, one of those little blobs is about the size of the amount you actually used to brush.  this means that one of those little blobs is all you needed.  it also means that  you throw away more toothpaste than you use.

we learn from those flashy toothpaste commercials to squeeze out a graceful, curving strip of toothpaste.  subtle but powerful advertising might make you think that that is the amount you need to get your teeth clean.  well, here's the truth:  cleaning your teeth is mostly about The Way You Brush.  if you do it thoroughly, correctly and often and you remember to floss, that's good enough. 

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.