20 Items Worth Buying in Bulk

A while ago I stood in the store, wavering between a “bulk” and normal-sized package. While trying to decide if I could use up the bulk package quickly enough, my eyes zeroed in on the price per ounce. That instantly settled the question. The bulk package was quite a bit more expensive, per ounce, than the regular!

Buying in bulk isn’t always a bargain. Sometimes you end up paying more, just for the bulk packaging.

And of course, buying in bulk isn’t worth it if the package is just going to sit in the back of the cupboard and invite weevils, ants, or other pests into your kitchen. (Or meet a less dramatic end and simply expire.)

There are two important questions to ask before making bulk purchases: “Do we use this often enough that it won’t go bad?” and “Does it actually save enough to buy it in bulk?”

Since Aldi is my favorite store, a bulk purchase needs to beat Aldi, either in quality or price… and be one that I use enough of to avoid a dismal fate at the back of the cupboard.

These are 20 items that are worth it for me to buy in bulk.

Buying in bulk can save big... or cost you big. These 20 items are ones that we use regularly and that cost WAY less to buy in bulk.

[Links to some products in this post are my referral links.]  photo credit 

20 Items Worth Buying in Bulk

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a family staple and ordering in bulk saves so much. We order 50# bags from our co-op (if you are in their route, I highly recommend CLNF!) We eat oatmeal for breakfast once a week and use it to make granola, energy bites, protein bars and much more.

2. Grains

One of my very favorite kitchen tools ever is my grain mill. It’s an investment, but if you love baking with fresh wheat or other grains it is totally worth the cost! I order chemical-free white wheat and other grains from CLNF for making fresh bread, muffins, waffles, pancakes, and much more.

3. Flax seeds

Flax seeds are a great source of fiber and make a good egg-replacement in baked goods. Now that we have our own chickens, I don’t run out of eggs nearly as often as I used to, but it’s awfully handy to have on hand when I do. I also add flax to healthy snacks like energy bites and protein bars.  (From CLNF)

4. Organic raisin

Since raisins are so heavily sprayed with pesticides, buying organic raisins was worth it to me, especially since I can buy them in bulk from CLNF for not too much more, per pound, as regular raisins from Aldi. {They have raised their prices quite a bit since last time I ordered. But for me it’s still worth it.}

5. Coconut Oil/ Coconut Chips

We go through a LOT of coconut oil. Prices vary considerably depending on the quality, but I’ve ordered it by the gallon from Tropical TraditionsSoaper’s Choice, and CLNF.

We also buy shredded coconut and coconut chips in bulk from CLNF. It’s delicious in granolaenergy bites, protein bars, and cookies. Plus, I use it to make my own coconut milk.

6. Olive oil

I don’t buy enough items at Sam’s to make it worth buying a pass (and we don’t have a local Costco), but they usually offer two weekends a year when you can shop without a pass. So, I try to stock up on the few items that I find worth getting those days. Olive oil is one of them. Thankfully, it stays good for over six months.

7. Raw nuts

Despite what the expiration date may say, nuts sometimes go rancid. I stock up on almonds, pecans, and walnuts on my twice-yearly trip to Sam’s and store extra bags in the freezer.

8. Cheese

We are really blessed to have a family member who works at a cheese plant and sometimes picks up extra cheese for us. Other times my sweet mom picks some up from Sam’s for me. I buy the blocks, shred and freeze it.

9. Raw Honey

Whenever possible, we order straight from a local bee keeper. Due to the honeybee problems, sometimes that isn’t possible and honey is another bulk Sam’s purchase.

10. Maple syrup

Real maple syrup is amazing. And expensive. And worth it to me (since most regular syrup is mainly corn syrup and food coloring!) We order by the gallon, straight from the producers, which helps cut down on the cost… and usually ensures that we don’t have hot hootenanny ready to eat, but no syrup to put on it.

11. Vinegar

Good for things as diverse as ear infections and a hair rinse, vinegar gets used up quickly. We buy it by the gallon.

12. Yeast

Buying packets of yeast is WAY more expensive than buying in bulk. Personally, I prefer SAF yeast, which I order from Amazon. Once opened, I store yeast in the freezer and have never had it lose its potency. (One of my goals for the year is to learn to make amazing sourdough bread that doesn’t need purchased years. I still have a long way to go though!)

13. Frequently-used herbs

If you drink a lot of herbal tea or make your own herbal remedies, buying herbs in bulk makes sense. Most herbs will stay fresh for at least a year if you store them in air-tight glass jars in a dark cupboard. I get this delicious peppermint tea plus herbs for making tinctures and DIY salves in bulk.

14. Coffee

Joshua’s parents are amazing at finding local deals on bulk purchases. Thanks to them, we get good quality freshly-roasted coffee beans in bulk from a local coffee company. If you go through a lot of coffee, check to see if your local coffee shop sells bulk beans. We save at least 30% on good quality coffee by buying in bulk. (We grind it ourselves, so it still tastes fresh every morning.)

15. Chicken & beef

Often, if you can trace the meat to its source distributor, you can get great deals on bulk purchases to store in the freezer.

16. Local, in-season produce

If you like putting up your own foods like applesauce or salsa (and haven’t managed to grow your own apples or tomatoes), buying produce by the bushel from local farmers can really save!

17. Diapers & Wipes

I do not coupon, so maybe I don’t get the best deal ever, but love Subscribe & Save with Amazon Mom. 15% off and diapers delivered straight to my front door works for me!

Same goes for wet wipes.  (I’m super picky and way prefer Huggies Fragrance-Free!)

18. Toilet paper

Another Subscribe & Save bulk purchase which I’m happy not to try to squeeze into a shopping cart that is already holding two or three kids!

19. Personal products

About half of the personal products we use are worth getting in bulk. Things like shampoo and castile soap for making natural DIY foaming soap.

20. Vodka

Yes, vodka. The cheap kind. Not for drinking, but for all sorts of DIY projects, like homemade vanilla extract and DIY herbal tinctures.

Buying in bulk can save you hundreds of dollars... but it can also lose you lots of money. Here are 20 smart bulk purchases.  photo credit 

Buying in Bulk

Buying in bulk can either save or waste a lot of money. Even if the 20 pounds of millet flour seems like a great deal, if it just sits in the pantry and goes bad, it’s not such a great deal after all.

But by only purchasing items we regularly use and making sure that the cost per pound is actually lower, we save hundreds of dollars a year on our food purchases by buying in bulk.

I’m really curious. What things do you think are worth buying in bulk? 

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    • anna says

      That’s awesome Kristen! We just have a semi-truck come every few months and drop off a huge shipment, lol. 🙂


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