The Do's and Don'ts of Saving with Bulk Bins
When we hear the phrase, "buy in bulk", a lot of us think of warehouse clubs, where buying higher quantities gets you a lower bulk rate. But today, we're going to talk about the bulk bin section of your grocery store - you know, that aisle with the clear bins filled with beans, nuts and grains? With bulk bins, buying only what you need is what's going to help you bag the most savings!
Let's start with spices. Things like cinnamon can be ridiculously overpriced in the bottle. If you look at how much you're getting versus how much you pay, this stuff prices-out at around $60 a pound! But, head over to the bulk bins and you'll only pay about $8 a pound! That's a savings of over 80%! And this doesn't only apply to spices! Grains, beans, dried fruit, coffee and tea can also be super-low cost in the bins.
Now before you start hoarding pounds of cinnamon in your basement, remember that all these ingredients have a shelf life, and the key to saving is to buy only what you need. Nuts and seeds can only hold for a few months unrefrigerated, and spices can go stale and lose flavor after about 6 months so it's important to know how long your items will last and store them in a cool, dark and dry place.
Lastly, remember that just because some items are cheaper in the bulk bin section, it doesn't mean that all items will be cheaper by default! Like with most groceries, make sure to compare the per-ounce or per-pound prices to make sure where the best deal lies.
So don't let the lack of flashy packaging and marketing fool you! Check out the bulk bins, and you can save a lot of money, and keep your ingredients fresh as well.