WHEN THE PRICE IS RIGHT A BULK BUY MIGHT BE RIGHT FOR YOU
Doing a bulk buy doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make a pit-stop to your local bulk food store. The term bulk buy is all about stocking up but not stockpiling everyday essentials that will help lower your overall grocery budget.
I’m sure you’re wondering if there is a difference between stockpiling and a bulk buy and the answer is yes and no depending on how you interpret the two.
Stockpiling in my opinion is buying in mass quantity for current and future use similar to grocery store shelves or an emergency shelter. When you bulk buy it may be just one or a few items that you buy in large amounts to feed more people or to stretch until the next sale.
Example: You buy 3 pounds of butter instead of 1 because it was on sale. If you were to stockpile it you’d have 20lbs of butter instead of 1lb.
What does stockpile mean?
a large amount of food or goods that are kept ready for future use
They have a stockpile of food that will last several months. – Cambridge Dictionary
What does bulk buy even mean?
to buy something in large amounts:Because we’re such a large family, we find it cheaper to bulk-buy foods we eat a lot of. – Cambridge Dictionary
When people ask me about our grocery budget and ways we can keep it so low feeding a family of three one of the top things you will hear me say is we buy in bulk when possible.
When we started the grocery game challenge our grocery budget was $225 in 2012 where today it’s $300 a month plus one more mouth to feed. It has gone up but not considerably considering the years passed and inflation. Mind you, prices are getting so expensive for food it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a food budget increase for 2019. This is probably a smart time to start stockpiling as well as utilizing a bulk buy on products when they are on sale.
These days things have changed a bit in our house especially after we got our Costco membership and Mrs. CBB went Keto. Back in the day we would stockpile pantry essentials that most Canadian households would to cut costs and eat a balanced, healthy diet especially when coupons came into play.
We still do today but not near as much as we used to because coupons aren’t near as good as they used to be and food waste was an issue. Around 10 years ago you’d find boxes upon boxes of cereal, crackers, granola bars, juice and just about anything you could get with coupons in mass quantities. These days our walk-in cold-cellar shelves are filled with boxes of paperwork and old tax returns mixed with some bulk buy food items, health and beauty supplies and other bits and bobs.
Both Mrs. CBB and I often have a laugh and share memories of the days when the room was so packed that it spilled out into the basement area. Our friends would laugh at us and say we had a grocery store in our basement and if there was a need to take shelter they’d know where to go. We literally had no room for anything more in our cold cellar after all of the health and beauty supplies and mass amounts of grocery items we would stockpile.
Today, we aim for the bulk buy which seems to work better for our family and still helps to keep our grocery budget in check. To be honest when we were stockpiling it felt good but at the same time it was stressful because there were expiry dates on foods that you knew you weren’t going to meet.
Even though eating certain foods past expiry dates is fine as the manufacturer often gives extra time beyond the date it became years for us. This was not right and certainly not a huge savings for us because we had to throw the food away. In essence it’s easy to get carried away with stockpiling and coupons just because it may be free, near free or perhaps a price you just can’t pass up.
Should you bulk buy?
Today our stockpile is much smaller and we limit what we bulk buy only because we don’t eat as much as we used to 10 years ago and we’ve changed our eating habits. I think it’s important to remind everyone that lists such as this bulk buy list that I’ve created for our family may work for you but it may not. This is part of our family diet and if you plan to bulk buy in the future it’s important to consider 3 things;
- How much can we afford to bulk buy?
- What foods do we eat often and lots of?
- What are the best prices for the foods we want to bulk buy?
Although doing a bulk buy shop sounds great if you aren’t prepared to for this type of shop you may end up
- Spending more money than you anticipated
- Buy far too much before expiry date
- Buying too much of something you’ve never tried before (and end up hating it) We’ve done that before!
Often people have eyes bigger than their wallets and just like everyone else we let our tummies do the talking. It’s so easy to get in over our heads at the grocery store especially when we find a great deal that wasn’t advertised. In the past we would get excited and just load up the cart.
That was a big mistake on our part but we’ve learned to balance what we plan to buy during a grocery shop and anticipate possible unadvertised sales as well. In some part our stockpile budget helps fund these little extras but we don’t often get high over heads into purchases such as 10 boxes of cereal like we used to. These days you may just find me with a bulk buy of oatmeal or 2 boxes of cereal rather than mountain tops.
Although Mrs. CBB no longer eats gluten I do so there are times when we buying extra pasta makes sense but then again a bulk buy on pasta for us may be 2 bags. Dry beans are an excellent example of a bulk buy if you can get a great price on them. Not only are they nutritious but they last ages in a cool area and only need to be hydrated and cooked for your meals.
There’s always space on our shelves for canned goods that we can bulk buy, but only essentials such as tuna, salmon, peanut butter ( I know it’s not a can but we stick it here), button mushrooms, tomatoes etc. During the winter months canned goods go a long way in helping to stretch meals.
There’s no stopping Mrs. CBB when she finds a deal on cheese. Literally you must look out as she will bowl a wheel of cheese down the aisle if she scores a good price. We all love cheese and it’s expensive to buy so if we can bulk buy cheese we use often we will.
Cheese may get moldy but it’s certainly not bad or doesn’t need to be tossed out. Just cut the mold off and enjoy your cheese. You can freeze cheese too after you shred it or in whole but be aware when thawed it doesn’t grate well if at all.
Berries are expensive so when they are in season I will bulk buy them if I find a deal and flash freeze them to use all year-long. Our son is a strawberry fanatic and loves to eat them frozen but chopped up into little bits. If we had the gardening space we’d grow them like we did raspberries many moons ago but he’s not a huge fan of them like he is the strawberries and blueberries.
Nuts for nuts
Nuts and nut flours are a big part of our diet so if we find a sale on almond flour or coconut flour we will stock up. I remember when Mrs. CBB found coconut flour on the reduced stand at Zehrs once. Talk about the happy dance. It’s not often she finds keto ingredients on the reduced rack.
When we go to Costco we might bulk buy bags of almonds, cashews, walnuts, sliced almonds and other nuts that we use on a regular basis. If they are on sale which happens once in a while that is the time to bulk buy them. We tend to freeze the nuts and use them as needed. Although some people might not like to freeze them we don’t find it makes any difference and it keeps them fresher for longer.
Time to Grill
Finally, meats are a big bulk buy item in our house if we can score a good price such as 50% off which is mainly all we ever buy.
Almost always we can find reduced meats in the butcher section of our grocery store and that’s the time we will bulk buy, separate and freezer for future meals.
For example, we bought a huge pack of drumsticks from Costco on sale for $13 which ended up in 4 freezer bags with 6 in each bag.
That’s four meals for our family which is a great deal. We didn’t bulk buy this time as I’m not typically a fan of chicken wings so I thought I’d better test these drumsticks out first before buying too much.
I absolutely loved them and all I did was put them in a freezer bag with homemade taco seasoning and some PC smoke flavoured oil and grilled them up. Just look how beautiful they turned out and boy were they delicious. Next time I will most certainly bulk buy a few packs for our freezer.
10 Foods We Bulk Buy When On Sale
Let’s go over our top 10 bulk buy items once again and hopefully it might help you to create your list too! Don’t be afraid to add more than 10 products to your list as this is just to give you an idea of what you might find on a bulk buy list for our family.
- Dry Beans
- Flour/Almond Flour
- Canned goods
Discussion: Name some of the products you would bulk buy for your family and tell us why?
June Grocery Game Challenge
Join the 2018 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) but before you do you must read The Grocery Game Challenge Rules and Print the 2018 Schedule which includes new prizes!
- Last shop May- How to successfully return food to the grocery store
Free Money Saving Tools 2018
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists created to get us on track working towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2018
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2018 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2018: $3600 or $300/month (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings or that you would like to track on your own)
- Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $300
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $300-$13.63=$286.37
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Optimum Points to Spend: 3,200,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet -$0
- Checkout51- $1.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 4 x 4L Bags Sealtest Milk $4.27 (5300 Optimum Plus points earned)
Total Our-of-Pocket $ 17.08 Stockpile
- Bulk buy chicken drumsticks $13.25
- Portobello mushrooms 5pk $4.99
- Spinach $3.99
- Asian lettuce bag $3.49
- Mozzarella Cheese $20.99
- Instant Coffee $10.99
- Splenda $24.99 Stockpile budget
- Bananas $1.59
- Tomatoes $5.99
- Cucumbers 3pk $2.29
- 4 x 10% cream $1.95 each
- Sour Cream x 2pk $3.59
- Atlantic Salmon $25.00
- 3 x whipping cream $4.15 each
- Strawberries $3.99 2lbs
Total Our-of-Pocket $120.40 plus $25.00 stockpile
Farm eggs $6.00 for 30 x 2 $12.00
Total Our-of-Pocket $12.00
Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month : $286.37
- Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
- Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month $210 Saved
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $1
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $116.54
- Total spent this week: $149.48
- Total spent so far this month: $149.48
- Total over/Under spend this shop: OVERrrrrrr!!!
- Total left to spend for the month: $136.89
- Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $169.42+March $228.70 + April $337.84+ May $275.79 + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
Holy smokes did we ever spend this shop BUT we did load up on some goodies that will last us a couple of weeks. I suspect next weeks shop will be a no shop week and the following week just a few bits of vegetables will be needed. We have more than enough milk, eggs, cream and meat in the freezer to last us the month. The best deal was the chicken drumsticks for us as it will give us 4 meals and they were so good!!
2018 Coupons and Coupon Apps
If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll add it below.
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of the links below don’t open properly please report them to my email address or use comment form.
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals
Grocery Game Challenge 2018 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated to reflect changes for the 2018 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is prize payout?- I’ve changed the prize to yearly so I’ll be tracking everyone’s shop and draw accordingly for larger prize payouts.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month? Ideally you would want to have all your shops in by the end of the month for review in order to make improvements for the next.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget does not include such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014 we no longer included such items in our grocery budget so we could see our actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon. Some of these coupons have an expiry date and others no expiry date so be sure to check.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning;
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2018!
Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?
- Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
- Check out my new Free Recipe Index
- If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving List
- Don’t forget to Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder by Email to get my daily email. Once you subscribe you MUST VERIFY your email account so check your spam folder and inbox for that email! By Subscribing you get all the inside scoops first plus any new finance tools and tips.
- If you notice and broken links or errors please email me or leave a comment below.