Several people noticed all the bulk products I had on the floor space near my island. A lot of people had questions about what I buy in bulk, so I decided a post was in order to give you a bit of a “tour” of what we buy in bulk as a family of 10.
You can watch the video version of this post here:
So, let’s take a closer look at my bulk stash…
I keep my bulk items on the far side of my kitchen island. Our house is smallish, so storage space is limited. This is a great place because it is concealed, yet accessible.
Many of the storage containers I use are from previously purchased items, but the 5 gallon bucket is a food grade bucket you can find here:
You can also purchase these same buckets in the 1 gallon size here:
And I HIGHLY recommend you look into these gamma lids. They are on my wish list because opening the lids that come with the 5 gallon buckets is a pain!
OK, so the 5 gallon bucket in the photo above used to be my whole wheat flour bucket. I used to buy Prairie Gold white winter wheat flour. You can purchase a similar product through Azure Standard. However, I now have my rolled oats in that bucket. I also buy these through Azure. I keep this scoop in the bucket so I can fill a smaller container that we often take with us when we travel.
The reason I no longer buy the white winter wheat is because I now buy the Sprouted White Winter Wheat from Azure (a Granite Mills product). This is a Trim Healthy Mama friendly grain that I use to make bread that is on plan. (You can find my yummy Sprouted Whole Wheat Rolls recipe HERE!) I keep the sprouted flour in the packages it comes in to keep it as fresh as possible. (By the way, if you have freezer space, flour keeps well in the freezer!)
The other flour you see in the photo is Hudson Cream Unbleached Flour from Kansas. I’m originally from Kansas and this flour is a favorite in bakeries and restaurants across the state. It is very exciting to me when I can get my hands on some! It’s a little taste of home. To look for a retailer near you, click here. We prefer unbleached flour as our “white” flour. If I can’t get Hudson Cream, I buy Gold Medal from our local superstore. There are some options for bulk on Amazon, but I can’t attest to the quality of any of the options there.
Toward the back of the photo is a large container that holds Sucanat, purchased from Azure. I’ll be honest, sucanat doesn’t go very fast here and I will not be buying this in bulk any more. It has a great flavor, but it can easily overpower things and I don’t use a lot of sugar except for special occasions – and on those occasions I use raw organic sugar. I used to buy raw sugar in bulk, but I don’t use as much as I once did, so I purchase it from our local superstore in smaller quantities.
The 1 gallon pail on the left in the photo is an old coconut oil pail that now holds my almond flour. We use a lot of almond flour, so I buy this in bulk. I either purchase it from Amazon or from Azure depending on how soon I need it. (We have Amazon Prime, so if I order from there, it will be to me in 2 days with free shipping.)
The next pail over is coconut oil, as is the gallon container sitting on top of it (I’m about out of the one in the pail). These we order from either Azure or Tropical Traditions. The pail on top of the sucanat is Palm Shortening from Tropical Traditions. This is what we use in place of traditional shortening.
Up on the shelf, sits my Berkey.
We don’t use this as much as we once did because we used to live in a place where the water needed to be filtered. However, I really like how the Berkey water tastes, and it is a good emergency tool because you can literally take pond water and make it drinkable with this thing!
In front of the Berkey is a bag of cinnamon. Spices and seasonings are great things to buy in bulk, but cinnamon is a favorite here. We eat a lot of cinnamon, and we really like Vietnamese cinnamon. We used to buy it directly from Frontier, but there isn’t a co-op in my area, so this particular batch came from a health food store I brokered a deal with – they gave it to me bulk in an unmarked plastic bag for a marked down price (sounds a little shady, huh?). You can also purchase it from Amazon here. We prefer the Vietnamese because of its sweetness.
Next to the cinnamon is our favorite salt – Real Salt. I know this sounds crazy, but this salt tastes soooooo much better than any other salt I’ve ever tasted! While the salt shown in the photo isn’t bulk, you can buy it in bulk here. I cannot say enough good about this salt – just try it!
Next to the salt is our vanilla. We make our own vanilla using the cheapest vodka we can find and vanilla beans from Saffron.com. We buy the beans in bulk and often share with friends. You can read more about how we make vanilla in this post.
You also see peanut butter on the shelf in the photo because even though that peanut butter isn’t huge, it is a product that comes from ALDI and is bigger than the normal peanut butter container. Our ALDI has been carrying these for quite some time, and I love it! Yes, you could buy peanut butter in bulk online (Amazon and Azure carry 9 pound pails), but ALDI almost always trumps bulk prices. (more on that in a moment…)
Lastly, you will see a bag of beans if you look closely at the photo. I’m going to be honest…I don’t like beans. We are one large family that does not eat a ton of beans, so we do not buy them in bulk. However, we do sometimes end up with bulk beans from friends and family. The beans in the photo came from Ty’s uncle and are straight from the field. We have also been given bulk beans from Azure and a mixture of beans for soup a friend made from her purchase at her local Sprouts (she has been able to broker bulk deals through them).
Some other things we buy in bulk are paper towels, toilet paper, meat, unsweetened coconut, and school supplies. The meat is usually in the form of a side of beef which we keep in our extra upright freezer. Currently, that freezer is full of deer meat from the two deer our oldest son shot a couple of weeks ago.
A quick note on buying from warehouse type stores versus smaller stores…
We have an ALDI here. ALDI prices nearly always trump big box stores on every single thing. I’m okay with opening a million cans of tomato sauce from ALDI versus buying a more expensive #10 can from a big box store. The only thing I’ve found to be a better price at the membership type stores are paper goods and that just hasn’t been worth the membership fee for us (plus, the cost of driving to said store, which happens to be nearly an hour away). So, my advice here is to get a membership to these stores ONLY if the prices are better than what you can get elsewhere. And don’t hesitate to ask your local supermarket if they will give a discount if you buy in bulk from them. Small hometown grocery stores are your best bet for doing this.
I know this is a super heavy post, and I probably left you with even more questions, but feel free to ask your questions or make comments below, and if need be, I can always do another post on this topic. Ultimately, what you buy in bulk needs to fit what your family uses the most of and what you have space for. Buying in bulk does often have a hefty upfront cost that you have to consider, but if you look for good deals and save up a little in your grocery budget here and there, you can snag good deals when you find them and save in the long run!