The what looked like costco article about bulk foods was from Clark Howard. I can't agree with most of what was said. To be fair, this person may very well live in a different part of the country, I am , many of you know, a big fan of buying in bulk and stocking a pantry. My mantra is to pay the very least you can for a product. Buy quality, buy it on sale, preferably with some kind of a coupon. Most of what we buy is 50-68 or more percent off. We eat for less than what most people spend on their morning coffee at the big bucks store. Buying good food cheap is my thing: it's just what I do.
My take on her list of bulk foods to buy
1) cheese. I almost never pay 2.75 a pound for regular cheese. Costco has motts for 2.00: Mexican blend closer to 2.35 . Their blue cheese is a remarkable price. Today. All bets are off when the government buy out has happened and we see the consequences.
I paid 1.98 a pound last week at Safeways and got a twenty percent basket coupon on it as well.
2) spices. Some large bottle spices at Costco are a deal especially if it's a spice that you use a lot. I suspect Italian -and Mexican typical spices are popular as well as Asian in some families. Spices that you use less often and expensive spices, you are better off getting on the bulk isle at Winco. A one inch type "jar" of dill was over six dollars. Enough to fill the "jar" in the bulk isle was less than .20.
3) dry pasta . Dry pasta, stored properly, according to a BYU class I listened to, has an eight year shelf life. I always stock pasta. The big, but here is that I usually pay between .38 and .75 a box ( some 12 oz, some 16) for the pasta in the blue box using sales and coupons.
4) canned goods are not necessarily a good buy at Costco. The green beans are comparable and have less sodium. Canned goods are good to stock, but in moderation especially the canned meat or fish that have a shorter shelf life. They do have a boxed tomato, roasted red pepper soup that is organic and sells for about 1/2 the price compared to a regular chain grocery store.
5) oats. Hands down the best buy of oats I have found at a dollar a pound. They are a dollar a pound at the store with that name, but the quality isn't as good . We get ten pounds at a time and use it every day.
6) meat: And, pray tell, when has anyone got ground beef of any quality for two dollars a pound? Maybe in 1980! Winco has had it for 3.18 a pound for 7 percent fat. I don't find Costco meat cheaper except for sausage in chubs and bacon. Costco wholesale was cheaper, but I didn't like the texture.
7) grouping together produce: onions and peppers, strawberries and apples. The strawberries I saw were past their prime and the apples I bought were in fact rotten. I should have taken them back. I have had strawberries that were good before, but the price of apples is prohibitive. I can't pay almost a buck an apple. Produce at other places and the fresh food market is cheaper and you can pick your item,so you don't pay for one bad piece, jacking up the price. Bananas are , hands down ( pardon the pun) the Best Buy around as well as the baby romaine. It's less expensive and lasts longer
Things to stock : Rice, beans, oatmeal, Popcorn. Frozen veggies in five pound bags.
Best buys at Costco on butter, cottage cheese and sour cream.
I shop at Costco. We love Costco.
Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from a different perspectives.
The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until they goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you use on a weekly basis.
This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week.
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level.
You often are paying 1/2 price for your food. This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget. You spend more time on the
locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen )by
cooking more efficiently.
Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap. My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending