One of the best ways to eat whole foods and make the most use of what little time parents have is to buy in bulk and learn how not to waste.
What I mean is this: most people go to a warehouse store and buy six giant green peppers. Then they get home, make one dish that calls for two peppers and the other four peppers sit in the fridge and go bad. But if you think ahead with your bulk items, not only will you save money but you'll have meals almost prepared ahead of time before you go to make them.
I've compiled a list of some tips on buying whole foods in bulk and how to make the most of your money.
1) Use your freezer to stay prepped: Things like onions, celery, and peppers are great examples on how to make things versatile and last long. If you buy a bunch, slice half and place in baggies in the freezer for easy access for a quick stir fry. With the other half, dice and place in a small container in the fridge. Add to a skillet in the morning for your omelet or for dinner with in a chili or Mexican dish.
2) Find multiple uses: If you buy a large package of strawberries and for some reason that week, your three-year old decides that "stwawbewwies are ucky," adapt. Boil them on the stove with some honey and store for a quick, healthy ice cream topper. Put them in the blender and freeze in ice cube trays with toothpicks for "baby ice pops."
3) If you buy meat in bulk, such as ground meat, take the time out immediately when you get home from the store to break it down. Set one pound aside in a bag for meatloaf, one pound for meatballs, and make the last pound into three large burgers. Label each bag with weight of meat, date, and intention of use - sometimes this reminds you what you needed it for. Wrap any burgers individually in plastic wrap so you can take one out at night for a quick breakfast or lunch the next day.
4) Portion: Take your snack items, like raw fruits, veggies, and nuts and place them in small containers or baggies on Sunday for a quick and easy grab for the week's lunches and snacks. If you count calories or Points, label the outside of the bag with the totals as you portion them to keep an easy tally.
Do you buy your whole foods in bulk? How do you make the most of your money and time?
by Kainalu55March 8, 2012 at 2:09 AM
i buy some foods in bulk. i do tend to waste things like fruits when we buy them in bulk so we're better off just buying a couple apples rather than a whole bag. As for meats, we buy in bulk then just freeze them seperately in ziploc bags
by Mrs.Pool2BeMarch 8, 2012 at 6:53 AM
I don't buy in bulk but would love to give it a try. I am still figuring out how to make the most of my time and money when it comes to grocery shopping.
March 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM
Have you tried setting up a weekly menu plan and shopping list? I find this helps when trying to save money/time while shopping?
by gacgbakerMarch 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM
We do purchase a lot of things in bulk- we are a family of 6 so things go fast and bulk is most of the time cheeper.
by goddess99March 8, 2012 at 9:50 AM
Sometimes we but pork chops or chicken breasts in bulk but that's it. And only if they are on sale for a good price.
by elasmimiMarch 8, 2012 at 9:57 AM
I never buy fresh produce in bulk. Mostly paper and cleaning products.
by bamababe1975March 8, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Great tips! I don't buy food in bulk save for dry or canned goods usually since I don't have the storage space.
by LOswald0314March 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM
I've never bought fresh veggies in bulk but chopping and freezing them is a great idea.
by LuLuRexMarch 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM
I don't buy too many things in bulk but I love the idea for snacks!
by amonkeymomMarch 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM
Great tips! I need to remember that I can freeze extra fruits & veggies as well as meats and premade sauces, etc.