Guide To Bulk Food Buying for Students

You can save cash on your food bill by buying in bulk and here’s just how to do it right.

What does bulk buying mean?

First off, this is NOT the bulk food buying we’re on about:
food warehousevia Flickr/Nick Saltmarsh

Rather, we’re talking about just getting the most grub for your cash by spending more upfront to save in the long run, even in small quantities.

While the more you buy of the product the more you’ll have to pay in one go, the price per portion goes down and so long-term you’re actually spending less money than if you were to go into the shop repeatedly for the same thing.

Buy in ‘bulk’ in even small quantities.

The key takeaway is that buying in bulk can include relatively small quantities. For instance, buying a pair of chicken breasts each week will cost a lot more in the long term than getting a big pack of eight or so together. If you eat chicken regularly or plan to cook a lot of it, make savings by buying the bigger packets. The same goes for pasta, cereal, sauces, tins, or anything else you regularly get through.

But make sure you’ve got space for it.

You’ll probably have plenty of room to store tins and other cupboard basics but you may be limited in the amount of stuff that you can keep in your fridge or freezer. So don’t buy SO much that you don’t have anywhere to put it.

And make sure you’ll actually eat it.

If you only have a bowl of cereal every month, there’s little point in buying a load of it but if you eat it every morning you can definitely benefit by saving cash buying in bulk.

Stock up on these foods in particular

Things in tins – from chopped tomatoes to beans and tuna – will last for years, probably even forever. Rice, pasta, potatoes and cereals will also last for a good 6 months or more if kept right, so buying big packs of these always pays off.

Other great bulk buy foods include sauces (ketchup, etc), herbs and spices, salt, pepper, and so on. These are all things you’ll probably be using regularly enough that buying loads will save money.

Buy frozen fresh food (or freeze it yourself)

Don’t waste! You probably won’t get through bulk buys of fresh food, such as fish, meat, fruit and veg quickly enough before it goes off. However a lot of fresh products you can find ready to buy frozen, or freeze yourself when you get home. Huge bags of frozen veg from cauliflower to peppers are great purchases if you’ve the room to keep it.

It’s not just food

Kitchen supplies like paper towels, washing up liquid as well as toilet paper can also be purchased in bulk, but again be sure you’ve somewhere to store it all.

ALWAYS check the price

student recipes easy simple  - 5

The rule that buying in bulk saves money is true in general, but not all the time. Always compare the prices PER PORTION (e.g. price per 100g) to see what works out the cheapest. In some cases, buying multiple small packs may work out cheaper, especially when there are offers on.

Where to buy

In most cases your local supermarket will offer products in big enough quantities to make it worthwhile – remember you’ll need somewhere to keep it all so you’re not looking for crates of food.

Amazon also sell a load of food in bulk (what DON’T they sell?) and you can also use specialist online bulk buy websites such as EatBig.

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