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Buy in bulk/stock pile tribe

post #1 of 360
Thread Starter 
You know who you are. You buy the 50 lb bag of flour and use it all. A quarter of a beef is too small, you buy the side (or more??). Your freezer is huge and so is your pantry area or storage area.

So,

Why do you buy in bulk?
save money?
hate to shop?
live too far from shopping?
All the above?
None of the above and other?

I hate to shop. I also like to save money so I buy things in large amounts on sale or in wholesale coops, or things like a side of beef etc.

This is not to debate but to share ideas etc.
post #2 of 360
I do stockpile, usually with coupons. I only coupon for what I will actually eat or use. I don't go get free shampoo or anything just because I can get it for free with a coupon. I do get some free/really cheap items with coupons that I can donate to the homeless shelter.

I try to keep 1 year worth of stuff around. Here is what I have 1 year worth:

toothpaste
toothbrushes
shampoo
face wash
face moisturizer
baby wash
laundry detergent
baby wipes

tea
pasta
frozen veggies
canned tomatoes
spices and seasonings
cold cereal

And then 1 month of:

rice
beans
tortillas
tomato sauce
chicken broth


I love to shop, but I buy in bulk because I am on a very limited budget.
post #3 of 360
I think I belong here. I stock up on loss leaders and use coupons when I can. I do it because I enjoy it. I drives me nuts if I have to spend full price on an item. Last month it seemed like I stocked up on chicken, beef, cheese, crackers, and cereal. This week I'll be buying and freezing milk. I buy in bulk because it's cheaper.
post #4 of 360
Oh, I am in.

We live in a small house, but I cram food into every square inch. Under the coats in teh coat closet. In DD's closet. Random nooks and crannies.

Why? Because I HATE to pay full price for anything, including food. I actually am not sure how much I have if measured in months/years.

I really don't mind shopping and we do typically make a weekly trip, but I don't like having to shop. Shopping with a 3yr old and 1 yr old can be intense. Stockpiling takes the pressure off of having to run pick up mustard half way through preparing dinner.

It is great knowing I can always make dinner from the pantry, and even if the oatmeal bin on the counter runs out, I have more. It brings me a sense of security. Especially knowing DH's industry is dying and he could be included in their next round of layoffs.

I stockpile primarily from coupon sales. We have a small square foot garden and fruit bushes, but everything gets eaten with nothing to preserve.

I would like to find a co-op or other source for bulk flours and beans, but rice and sugar I typically get free or super cheap anyway. Any tips?
post #5 of 360
:

Oh yes, this just makes sense to me. I am in the beginning stages, but have already made so much progress financially, and it has been a HUGE stress-saver. I started out devoted because of our finances, but the "peace of mind" factor has been a very pleasant surprise.

I have two stores that I have been making sure we go to each week and take advantage of their sales, matched up with my coupons. I have also been taking advantage of some of the steals online. I keep an eye on Amazon, and have had things shipped to my house for free with no tax that are absolutely cheaper than I would pay in the store. So, do we need 6 boxes of popcorn TODAY? No... But we will eat it, and would have bought 6 boxes over the next few months anyway.

It literally PAINS me now to pay full price for anything. And last night, I needed to make a trip to the grocery, I had worked on the list for hours, matching up coupons, sales, etc... Plus I had a bunch of coupons that were getting ready to expire (1/31), so I just felt I *had* to go. Well... Things did not go well here yesterday, and, long story short, I didn't make it. I cannot get it off my mind today, because I know that because I didn't go take advantage of those things while they were on sale, I really missed out. None of it was anything that we needed urgently, but it was all things that we will need down the road.

So, in short, yep, I think I belong here!
post #6 of 360
Oh, yeah, that's me. I love having a stockpile of food. I buy my flour and oats in 50 lb quantities and, yes, we use it all up! I started doing it awhile ago to save money and truthfully, it saves lots of time as well as money. I love almost never having to make an unexpected trip to the store. And I love that if we are having a crappy month, financially, I can go to the bare bones on the grocery budget and still have plenty. I am actually working right now on extending the pantry because the kids are eating more and I am starting to run of things between shopping trips. I shop through a food buying club, a warehouse store occasionally and Trader Joes and the local supermarket (supermarket usually just for produce). For some reason, it just seems comforting to have food stored....
post #7 of 360
I agree, I bulk buy because it saves time and money. It always amazes me that people don't think shopping is time consuming- I read in Affluenza that as a nation, we spend more time shopping than we do with our kids. Pathetic.

I don't hate to shop, but I would if I had to go all the time. Which is funny, since I have been shopping all weekend, , but this is the time to shop the sales, at least around here. (BPA free water bottles and button down shirts for hard to fit DH, plus all sorts of other stuff, all on sale! Whoo hoo!)

Anyway, back on topic... there was a thread around here just a couple of days ago about how some things at the regular grocery stores are cheaper per ounce if you buy them in the smaller containers, and how annoying that is, both from a frugal-shopping-simplicity standpoint, and an environmental standpoint. I have noticed this, too, and found that the best way to have the best of both worlds is buy in very large quantities.
post #8 of 360
I'll admit to not enjoying grocery shopping with three monkeys, and not wanting to have to pay full price for most items. So I look weird to cashiers when I trundle up to the register with a cart full of oatmeal or cheese or chicken or something.

Plus I just feel happier with a full pantry. Might be something leftover from my grandmothers who grew up in the Depression - a stocked pantry could make or break you to some degree.

Haven't done the side of beef thing. Yet. But I am hoping to send hubby out elk-hunting with a neighbor and trout fishing this summer (or whenever the seasons are - that's next on my to-learn list). Then we can make him all the jerky he can eat and I can have smoked fishies.

And then I'm going all extreme and squeezing more and more into our backyard and turning it into food I stick in the freezer or pantry (canned or dehydrated). Now to find a produce scale so I can actually calculate how many pounds of food I'm actually bringing in from the backyard...

For a giggle, my Christmas present this year? A dehydrator.
Two years ago? An awesome pressure canner.
When I was all nesty this last pregnancy? Hubby relented and we went and got some of those big food-grade buckets and a few gamma-seal lids.

So now I'm working on actually eating out of the pantry and freezer the next 2-3 months so I can scrounge up room for when things start ripening again this year. *sigh* No more freezers. No more freezers. I can't let hubby let me get another freezer.
post #9 of 360
I stockpile for many of the reasons you state, Amy.

We keep a year's worth of most of what we eat. We raise a large garden every year, and I do put up food from that, but I also keep seeds. Seeds can be expensive and it's important to be able to sustain yourself the best to your ability. I realize not everyone can have a garden. I can't have cows and goats and chickens where I live. So you do what you can... but it goes so far beyond just having 10 extra boxes of pasta, imho.

I guess 2 main events/aspects of my life formed this desire to keep a larder... My father grew up during the great depression and passed it on. I lived in Russia during the early 90's and realized how important it is to have more than enough food for just a week or two.

So, I keep a year's supply of basics except for flour and wheat berries. A few years ago, right after we moved back from Germany, my mother moved in and I did an evaluation of what we eat. I think that it's very important to do this. You shouldn't just start stockpiling without really looking at what you consume. I don't bake bread every day. I'm not good yet at baking from home milled wheat. As I get better, I'll add that to my larder. I keep 75lbs. of rice... that's about 700 1/2c. servings. We don't eat it every single day, but about every other day. That's a year's supply for our family. We buy a side of beef every year (that's usually around 250lbs. of beef) and I keep about 50lbs. of chicken/pork/lamb/fish. That's a year's worth of 3oz. portions of meat for all of us. I keep a year's supply of fruit and vegetables based on the past yield from my garden. If we had a problem with our garden and had no other means, we'd be in short supply of fruits and veg. However, I keep a year's supply of vitamins. We have about 30 days of water, but the means to sterilize from other water sources.

I have more I can talk about, but need to get the kiddo ready for school. Glad to see new dialogue about this subject.
post #10 of 360
Thread Starter 
We did a 1/4 of meat in 2008 and blew thru it by June. So did a side this year and picked it up this past weekend. Hanging it was about 381 lbs. We are going to see how we do this year and maybe do the side later in 2010 (like march) or do a quarter later. We have to put in for it by summer though. IF all else fails, I will do a side and have a few people go in on it.

I have a huge huge freezer which of course this week is filled to the rim! As a rule, I like to have at least 1 month worth of meals on hand and I supplment by going to the grocery for fresh ingredients but then I started my organic delivery about a year ago. They do fruit and veggies and I also added hormone free milk and eggs. Again, I am not into shopping as a sport and in the end it was cheaper to have things delivered than pay $4 a gallon for gas last year to run around.

I buy a 50lb bag of flour and with our weekly pizza making plus we make about 1-3 loaves of bread a week, we go thru it.

We just started making our own granola and are getting better at it and tweaking it! We all eat it daily so it makes sense. Someone mentioned the amazon and I watch sales there and have things shipped for free as well. I will get about 100 fruit leathers and they will last months.
post #11 of 360


I stockpile about 2-3 months of food and about a years worth of everything else. I shop with coupons and in bulk. I agree with a pp, now that I am into this, I shutter at the thought of paying full price for anything (well except maybe wine )

I stockpile for savings obviously but also for preparedness. We do other things along these lines too, but I think that's for another thread.

I'd love to keep this tribe going and alert each other to excellent finds and hear what everyone is up to!

:
post #12 of 360
Velochic, That is a great point about the seeds. I am sporadic about seed saving, but am learning more for '09. I have been mulling over ways to squeeze in a few more edibles onto our tiny lot, but reality is I can't even grow 1/10th of what we eat.

Options I am mulling over:
* a neighbor gardens and sells some produce. I thought about offering to help in exchange for a small percentage of the harvest.
* I am putting together a seed co-op with friends and family. My square foot garden will never use up a full pack of seeds of anything.
* I have asked my MIL if I can put in a few edidibles at her house. It is one town over, but we see her weekly.

Thoughts?
post #13 of 360
I probably belong here. Unlike the rest of you, I do like to shop. And while I do like to buy things on sale, I've never been great about couponing and getting items nearly free. My primary motivation to keeping a stocked pantry is that it just seems like a smart thing to do. I grew up with a stocked pantry and freezer, and it seems normal to me.

Over the years, I've gone back and forth between having a year+ of food on hand and letting it dwindle to just a few months. I also realized that I could do a better job keeping a pantry inventory. Last month, I somehow ran out of ketchup and fruit spread- both are items that we use frequently, and I buy frequently. But I guess I didn't watch carefully enough. So I need to get into the habit of checking the pantry before every grocery trip; I used to do this, but have slacked off.
post #14 of 360
What lovely timing!
I was just telling DH yesterday that I have issues. Major issues. It borders on hoarding, except it's all good stuff!
I'm seriously stressed right now because I have no butter or shortening in the house so I can't just go make some muffins. But I CAN go to the freezer and pull out one of half a dozen containers of muffins or banana bread. I also have dozens of containers of ready made cookie dough, cookies, bread, meat that was on sale and too cheap to NOT buy...I buy the HUGE bag of rice, the 18kg bags of flour or rolled oats, the bale of sugar (25kg), the gallon of molasses...it's disturbing because I don't know anyone else who does this!
But I work out the cost per unit and it's SO much cheaper and if I can find a place to keep it, then it only makes sense.
I get strange looks at Wal-Mart because their butter is $0.75-1.00 cheaper than the grocery store, so I'll buy 10lbs when I'm there. Same with milk, when it's on sale (it tends to go on sale in the quarts rather than bags) then I'll really stock up.

So I buy in bulk and hoard away because...it's cheaper, it's so much easier to know that I have a full pantry/cupboard/freezer and can make healthier food for my family on a whim.
Oh and I do live in the middle of nowhere, so if I run out of something, I can't just run to the store. I prefer to keep my shopping trips to a minimum.
post #15 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingJoy View Post
* I am putting together a seed co-op with friends and family. My square foot garden will never use up a full pack of seeds of anything.


Thoughts?
You should check out the seed swap (there's a link from a sticky in Diggin' in the Dirt). Lots being offered and any amount of seed can be traded.
post #16 of 360
I stockpile. Not everything that we eat but the big necessities. Peanut butter, pasta (DH is Italian so we eat pasta 2-3 times per week), applesauce, cereal, soups, canned fruits and veggies. We eat a LOT of fruits and veggies so when they go on a good sale at the grocery store I usually go fill up a cart. I buy a variety of different ones and fill the pantry. (I get funny looks because instead of bringing in my reusable bags I'll bring in a couple of milk crates and have them stack the canned goods in those. I get them into the side door of my van and have DH lift them out and put them in front of the pantry so I can put them away.)

I also stockpile toiletry items. DH was so surprised one time when he ran out of bar soap. It had never happened before! We've been together 12 years and he ran out of soap once. I usually buy things like that at Sam's Club or Costco (my parents have a Sam's membership and we have Costco so we can go to either).

I buy meat on sale as well... I probably have 9 months of beef, chicken and pork chops in the freezer right now. If I wanted to be picky about it I'd probably want to get some more ground beef for meatloaves, chili, meatballs, tacos, etc. but if I had to eat out of the freezer I have plenty.

I don't stockpile things like flour. I don't bake bread... although I've recently started making muffins from scratch. So perhaps I will start stockpiling flour if I end up using more of it. Even with my holiday cookie baking I've still got about 1/3 of a 5 lb bag left.

Oh, and my reasons for stockpiling:
#1) My parents always have had a stocked pantry. If there was an unexpected bill and the budget was short my mom could make just about anything from her pantry with no worries.
#2) DH travels often. I like to be prepared for those times so that I am not running to the store for one crucial ingredient with all 3 kids.
#3) It makes sense (financially and timewise) to buy more of the same thing while you're already at the store. Especially for things like peanut butter... it goes on sale and I buy 10 of them, I KNOW we'll eat them. Why make a trip the next week for peanut butter?
#4) It saves money. Partly because I can "shop" out of my pantry when I'm making my menus for the week - if I already have all the ingredients for a dish then I'll put it on my list - and partly because if I go to the store less often then there aren't many impulse buys.

Beth
post #17 of 360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bscal View Post
My parents always have had a stocked pantry. If there was an unexpected bill and the budget was short my mom could make just about anything from her pantry with no worries.
One of the big reasons to have stocked food. I have gotten some of our best meals from not having a lot of money left over for groceries. I also learned how to "use my pantry" when we started doing pantry challenges here several years ago.

One thing I do- use what I stockpile. I have heard of people have stuff on hand but never use it- saving it for whatever. I remember someone on mdc what to do w 50 lbs of hamburger meat she had in the freezer because the next supply of 50 lbs of meat was coming for this year!
post #18 of 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
I remember someone on mdc what to do w 50 lbs of hamburger meat she had in the freezer because the next supply of 50 lbs of meat was coming for this year!
I think that was me!! Actually, we are getting our side of beef in Feb. In August, our friend butchered an entire steer for extremely lean hamburger... we ended up with about 50#. Because we're having our side butchered more into roasts than hamburger, as we have done in the past, I just needed the room for the side of beef. Which we now have thanks to having friends over for roasted chicken 3 times in the past month. I needed to free up about 1 - 2 cu.ft. of the meat freezer.

We eat what we store and store what we eat... however, as anyone who wants to stockpile should be warned about... sometimes that means you eat a lot of one food for a week or two if your eating habits are not set in stone.
post #19 of 360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I think that was me!! Actually, we are getting our side of beef in Feb. In August, our friend butchered an entire steer for extremely lean hamburger... we ended up with about 50#. Because we're having our side butchered more into roasts than hamburger, as we have done in the past, I just needed the room for the side of beef. Which we now have thanks to having friends over for roasted chicken 3 times in the past month. I needed to free up about 1 - 2 cu.ft. of the meat freezer.

We eat what we store and store what we eat... however, as anyone who wants to stockpile should be warned about... sometimes that means you eat a lot of one food for a week or two if your eating habits are not set in stone.
I dont think it was you- this was a few years back in a Jan pantry challenge. Well now that I think of it...LOL
DH loves when I read your posts out loud and always says he wishes we knew you IRL, he thinks we could raid your stash and you would not even notice!
post #20 of 360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
We eat what we store and store what we eat... however, as anyone who wants to stockpile should be warned about... sometimes that means you eat a lot of one food for a week or two if your eating habits are not set in stone.
That is like the beef thing. We have 20 lbs of stew meat. We will most likely eat about 8-10 lbs before May 1st but then wait until after its cold again like in November to finish out the remainder.
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