Buying in bulk

We’ve been working on doing better about buying things in bulk, lately. There are two key reasons for this intention: First, the economy may collapse at any time and we don’t want to be caught without the basics to keep us alive while we get backyard farming (probably the back yard of our property up in the mountains, isolated from the inevitable clusterf_ck that urban areas will decay into) up and producing. Second, and this is both more realistic and more immediately relevant, money is tight for us right now and buying in bulk and cooking real food from scratch is not just better for us nutritionally and emotionally, but economically. (My art sales are okay (not quite amazing, just yet) and my book sales have left a lot to be desired so far this year, so we’re living pretty close to the point of ‘barely getting by.’) Between these two main reasons, which are accompanied by dozens of smaller points of interest I’m too tired to get into right now, I’ve been doing a lot more ‘slow food’ cooking lately from staple ingredients, and we’re ramping up to do a lot more.

Fry’s, this week, is having a “case lot sale”. You don’t have to buy by the case to get the low prices, but you can. We went to Sam’s Club, first (where I’ve been starting my bulk food purchases, in things like 25lb bags of rice), and compared the Fry’s sale prices with the Sam’s normal bulk food prices, and on everything but oats Fry’s prices were better. So we bought the big box of Quaker Oats at Sam’s Club and then went over to Fry’s. They were sold out of one or two items I wanted to get, so I’ll probably go back to try to get them (they stock after closing, so early morning is the way to go), but we did pretty good. We got 195lbs of food for about $90. 40lbs of flour and 40lbs of sugar will go a long way toward baked goods. Yes, there are fresh ingredients like milk, eggs, butter and the like that I can’t buy up in bulk, seal up in Tupperware, and put in the cupboard (Did I mention Mandy and I are also about to make a large order of Tupperware? There’s a lot at the house, but we 1) need more, and 2) want to be sure we have our own stuff, in case at some point we want to separate off from the rest of the family. We went to a couple of big “container stores” (who knew there were multiple competing chains of big stores specializing in only container sales? Huh.) and compared sizes, prices, and quality, and Tupperware wins, hands down. Oh, and yes, we bought evaporated milk.), but barring that apocalypse/depression I mentioned, that’s not much of an issue. Will probably go back and buy another 50lbs-75lbs of food for another $35-$47 before the sale is over.

Oh, and if the economy doesn’t look to actually be collapsing further, we’ll probably put a huge dent in this stuff before the end of the year. Otherwise, yeah, rationing, eh? Gotta remember to get a couple gas cans kept full all the time, too. Hmm… Maybe I should call dad and be sure we have plenty of ammunition, while it’s still cheap. Leave your suggestions for other items I should consider buying in bulk, whether because I’m poor or because the end is near, in the comments.