Often, stores such as Fred Meyer and Winco offer a bulk section of items like grains, candy, dried fruit and dog treats in bins for you to take what you need instead of purchasing prepacked items.
But, when is buying bulk food cheaper than prepackaged items? Here’s a few tips to keep in mind:
* Compare price per unit, ounce or pound. This can be found on the price tag for both the bulk foods and the prepacked foods.
* Compare what you NEED to what is sold in the prepacked items. If your recipe calls for an ingredient that you’re not likely to use again, don’t purchase a pound when you can go to the bulk section and purchase the half-ounce you need.
* Watch for sales. If you constantly purchase certain items, watch for sales. Both bulk and prepackage items go on sale, often every six weeks, so you can expect a sale on that item. Try to purchase enough of the item to last you six weeks — until the next sale cycle hits.
* Coupon. Is the prepackaged item cheaper with your coupon? Typically, there are no coupons for bulk-bin items. So if you have a coupon for the prepackaged, make sure you consider the discounted price when comparing the price per unit.
* Large amounts. If you are needing large amounts of an item, talk to your store manager. Typically, if you are purchasing several pounds of something, the manager can sell you the large bag they receive, and often at a discount! Just ask.