Looking to save big at the store next time you grocery shop? Get the scoop on what to buy in bulk with nutrition Expert Courtney Ferreira.
When you’re looking to save money in the grocery store, buying in bulk is helpful because food is always cheaper per unit when it’s purchased in larger quantities. The trick, however, is to be selective about what you buy. If you buy food in bulk and it spoils, then you’ve just wasted money.
Here are a few foods that you should be buying in bulk, either with a club membership or when a good sale is going on at the local store:
1. Frozen fruit and veggies.
Frozen produce is a great go-to for those weeks when you don’t have time to go to the grocery store. Have you ever bought frozen berries at the grocery store? They are expensive, painfully expensive. When you buy in bulk, the price per pound goes way down. I love getting the mixed, organic, berry bag at Costco, as well as the big bag of pineapple chunks. They don’t go bad, and as long as you are diligent about removing the air from the bag and sealing it then it won’t get freezer burnt. These berries are great in smoothies, yogurt, cottage cheese, and oatmeal. Run them under cold water for a few minutes and they will taste just like they are out of the produce aisle, instead of out of the freezer.
2. Fresh greens for smoothies, soups, or casseroles.
Greens aren’t just for salads! If you’re trying to get in more leafy greens, blending them in smoothies, or adding them in casseroles or soups is a great way to do it. Get in a variety through blends, such as a spinach, kale, and chard blend. However, keep in mind they won’t stay good forever. They typically can last up to about 10 days. Tip: If the greens start to look wet and soggy or smell, they are not good anymore.
3. Granola bars.
You may be thinking: why are we talking about a processed food? However, keeping granola bars in your house, car, or desk for emergency situations when you’re getting ‘hangry’ is a smart thing. Buying certain brands of bars in bulk can equal crazy savings.
For instance, buying a 5-pack or singles of Kind bars at Target or the supermarket can cost ~$1.30 per bar. If you buy the big box at your local club store, they can cost about $1.00 per bar. Look for sales at Target where you can find boxes of 5 for $4.50-$5.00 and look at your grocery store for a $1.00 per bar sale, where you can buy each flavor individually. When you see these sales, stock up! Although it may not seem like much, this really can add up over time
4. Meat and fish.
Buying protein sources is not cheap. Going to your local butcher is always a really good option because you get the best quality for the best price, but that isn’t always economical or realistic. Club stores really take the cake on this one since you can buy organic meat at a quarter of the price of what you might pay at your grocery store.
For conventionally raised meat, such as beef, your portions are bigger and therefore cost less per pound. Portion ahead of time and freeze for future use. You can use the meat even after several weeks in the freezer.
5. Nuts and nut butters.
Nuts and nut butters are not cheap, but buying in bulk can help especially if you have several folks in your household who regularly eat it. Club stores now carry raw and simple-ingredient nut butters for a few dollars cheaper than the name brands spreads, and in much bigger sizes.
Buying in bulk is not only a great money-saving trick, but it can make meal prepping easier since you will have a larger variety and amount of foods on hand. So take advantage of your club membership by shopping smarter, and never skip out on a good sale at the grocery store.
Adapted from the original article.
Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian based in Baltimore, MD with a passion for helping individuals reach their health and wellness through flavorful whole foods and freedom from counting calories, fat, and minutes on a treadmill. For more insightful tips on living your healthiest life, visit Courtney at the RealFoodCourt.