My husband has been encouraging me to buy more grocery items in bulk. It is not a new idea. I buy yeast in one pound packs and oatmeal in ten pound bags. I try to do a once a month "big" shopping trip with rarer quick grocery shops.
But Ed knows quite well how challenging shopping is with little ones. I thought I was managing three children well, but shopping with four put me over the edge! I love my children dearly, I just don't like taking them shopping!
Ed has encouraged me to think about the items I buy regularly and purchase a six month or one year surplus.
So my first move in that direction was honey.
I buy my honey from a friend who raises bees. A few years ago, one gallon of honey lasted us a whole year. As our family grew larger and I've replaced honey for white sugar in many of our recipes, our honey consumption has rapidly increased. The last gallon I bought did not last much more than two months.
Each time I run out of honey means a call to my bee-raising friend and organizing some way to get the honey from her since we don't live near each other. By purchasing a five gallon bucket of honey (60 lb) I saved myself (and my friend) phone calls, car runs, and general hassle for an entire year or more.
A few more thoughts as I consider making more bulk purchases...
Money - Buying it bulk means a larger immediate cash outlay. Since this was my husband's idea, he generously gave me extra cash to use for these extra purchases.
Quality - Obviously some items can't be bought in bulk because they will spoil before being used. Honey can last indefinitely without spoiling making it a safe choice.
Storage - I have plenty of storage space in my basement but before making any more bulk purchases, I need to get some more buckets. I don't want the mice to find my stockpile!
I already make many bulk purchases. When I buy fruit and vegetables and can and freeze for winter, I'm making a one time purchase to last me a year. My goal is to look at the things I purchase regularly that can be stored (mostly baking ingredients), find the best quality and price, and make some more bulk purchase this fall.
Do you buy in bulk? I love to hear where, how, and any other experiences or tips you can share!