Don’t you just hate it when you have a recipe and need a “little” bit of an item, but have to buy a large size to get it? I know I do. That is, until we got an Earth Fare here in our local community and I got acquainted with the bulk food section. There, you can scoop out as much as you need and save loads of money! So today, let me give you the “scoop” on the best deals in bulk…pun intended 🙂
Since I prefer to buy organic whenever possible, I like the idea that I can find organic pantry items in the bulk section at prices cheaper than buying it prepackaged on the store shelves. I want to share a few of my favorite finds.
1. Rolled oats. Organic rolled oats (oatmeal) for 99 cents a pound? Yep! I love to buy the thick rolled oats and make apple crisp or a nice creamy oatmeal for breakfast. I usually scoop up a large size plastic cup full and only pay as much as a box of regular Quaker oats.
2. Organic popcorn kernels. Like that old fashioned way of popping your own popcorn? Well have at it! For around 99 cent a pound, you can buy enough popcorn to last you through a bunch of movie nights. I like to pop my popcorn in organic unrefined coconut oil…so good! Just pop in a skillet with oil and you are on your way to a munchy treat.
3. Rice. Can’t find basmati or short grain brown rice? You probably will in the bulk section. I usually measure out enough rice I will need for different recipes and put them in separate cups and labels. That way I don’t have to measure when its time to rock and roll cooking, because it has already been done. Smart huh 😉
4. Beans. You can find great dry organic beans for cheap. Pinto beans, lentils, garbanzo, whatever you are looking for can usually be found with ease.
5. Raisins. Organic raisins can be found for less than $2 for a nice sized carton. Perfect for that oatmeal or to use as a quick healthy snack.
6. Flour/sugar/cornmeal. These pantry staples are usually at great everyday prices, and you can experiment with different types that you need. Plus, I like the fact that I can find unbleached, all natural flour that is wholesomely good.
7. Nut butter. Fresh made peanut butter or almond butter is fabulous…and cheap! Grab a small cup, and just press how much you need. This is an excellent way to cut excess sugar out of conventional jar brands, and the freshness cannot be compared to peanut butter that has been freshly made from roasted nuts right before your eyes.
8. Speaking of nuts, you can find a good assortment of different varieties in the bulk section. Pistachios, sunflower seeds, walnut, cashews, pecans – all are fresh in big barrels. My husband likes to hang around this section of the store as I shop to “taste test” those organic jumbo cashews…every single visit 🙂
9. Candy! You probably wouldn’t think to check the bulk section for this, but from chocolate covered nuts, to pretzels, gummy worms, dried fruit, trail mix, etc., you will be like a kid in the candy store. Make sure to taste a sample and see which ones you like. It feels good to eat candy that is all natural, and you will be glad for those moments you reach for that exquisite bite of a sweet fix.
10. Spices. This has got to be one of the best deals in the bulk section. You can buy small bags of organically grown spices at a fraction of what you would pay if you buy the prepackaged bottles. Some hard to find spices can easily be found for pennies on the dollar. You will save a lot of money buying your spices this way.
So on your next trip to Whole Foods, Earth Fare, or your local health food grocery store, browse through the bulk food section and spend a while comparing quality and price. Buy only what you need, and bank on the savings. No need to buy a lot, because next week there will be plenty more where that came from, and you will consistently always have the freshest you can find. Have a great weekend!