Lots of people buy in bulk, and you don’t even have to be a part of a big family to do it. Some ingredients I buy in bulk because I use a lot of them, and 1) it is easier than running to the store all of the time, and 2) it is cheaper.
See? The Fudgelet believes in bulk too…bulk quantities of toys!
Other ingredients I buy in a larger size for quality’s sake. Obviously where you live and where you shop will determine the best values for your ingredients. Additionally, what you will be doing with the ingredients matters. If you like to make bread for special occasions, you are probably better off buying yeast as needed. The brand of yeast I have been using is sometimes tricky to find in smaller packs, but I also use it enough, that it is ok. So much so, that I just bought it for the first time in bulk. If the yeast packets are the “small” size, and the jar is the medium, then I found the large at Costco. I go through a jar faster than it expires, and the cost of 2 jars is more than the large pack at Costco, which will fill much more than 2 jars. There is the chance that I won’t go through it all before the expiration, but it is still a better deal. Plus, yeast is one of those ingredients you can store in the freezer and have it keep longer.
Another ingredient I buy in a larger size is chocolate. I still regularly buy chocolate chips, chunks, bars, candies, etc. in their smaller packages, but when I want to melt chocolate, I want something a bit more pure than the chips (which have extra ingredients, usually). Small bars are fine, but I have started buying the 16 oz blocks from Trader Joe’s. I like not having to open tons of packages when I need chocolate for melting. Plus, I like the quality of it better than the brands I can buy at the grocery store. I could go to some fancier stores, such as Whole Foods, and buy the blocks of chocolate they sell, but it is more costly, and the TJ’s is closer than the Whole Foods for me. For you, it might be different.
Then, there is buying in the bulk aisle without buying a large amount. When I restock my spices, I often check the bulk area first. I can usually get a better price, and I can check by smell that they are still fresh. It’s also a fun way to try some new things without buying a large package and wasting it. Don’t forget to hold onto your old spice jars, though. I keep them to dump the new refills in (with a funnel).
We also buy the standard meat/sugar/etc. in bulk. For sugar and flour, I like to buy the doubled version (e.g., 10 pound size for flour) because I can refill my container, and have more leftover. This way, if I am in the middle of a recipe and use the last of my container, I know I still have some more. But, I am also not buying a huge amount and having to worry about storing it and keeping it fresh until I need it. Oddly enough, I can only get my sugar like this at Costco. My grocery store only carries the normal sugar and the huge package. Costco, oddly enough, sells the “medium” version.
What are your favorite ingredients to buy in bulk?