Author Topic: Best place to buy in bulk?  (Read 6453 times)

brewer12345

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Best place to buy in bulk?
« on: April 16, 2013, 10:30:44 AM »
For a variety of reasons, I would like to buy staples in bulk.  Part of the motivation is savings, so I would like to find a place to buy at attractive prices.  I have found a local place to buy pinto beans (major staple in our house), but have yet to do the same for stuff like whole wheat flour, oats, cornmeal, etc.  Any ideas?  I see Costco offering pretty reasonable prices (40# of whole wheat flour in a mylar lined bucket with a gamma seal lid for $52 shipped), but should I be looking somewhere else for lower prices?

sol

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 10:36:32 AM »
We buy bulk at WinCo.

TLV

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 10:45:00 AM »
Restaurant supply stores (e.g. Cash and Carry). 50# of whole wheat flour for $14 this week at the one near me. You'll have to get your own fancy buckets, though.

kkbmustang

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 05:24:32 PM »
There's a new App by the author of zerowastehome.blogspot.com (Bea Johnson) that just launched, so isn't fully functional yet, called Bulk. People populate it with places to buy items in bulk, along with feedback and information about what types of items are available. Not great yet because it hasn't been totally populated, but I imagine once it takes off it will be. Her blog (and book) are amazing, too. Pretty Mustachian IMO.

KimPossible

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 10:01:08 PM »
Mostly WinCo, a few things at Costco.  I love WinCo.

clutchy

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 10:27:38 PM »
If i'm going to be doing anything like that I tend to support places like Costco that put a premium on their people and pay them well.  I feel it keeps the economy healthy and I like that.

ace1224

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 05:25:25 AM »
the only thing i have in a 50 mile radius is Sam's Club. 

ketchup

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 05:46:13 AM »
If i'm going to be doing anything like that I tend to support places like Costco that put a premium on their people and pay them well.  I feel it keeps the economy healthy and I like that.
This.  Sam's and Costco could not be more different in this respect.  Costco cares about their employees, and it shows.  Sam's doesn't care, and it shows.  My local Sam's has an annual turnover of 55% as it's goal.

ace1224

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 05:53:57 AM »
If i'm going to be doing anything like that I tend to support places like Costco that put a premium on their people and pay them well.  I feel it keeps the economy healthy and I like that.
This.  Sam's and Costco could not be more different in this respect.  Costco cares about their employees, and it shows.  Sam's doesn't care, and it shows.  My local Sam's has an annual turnover of 55% as it's goal.
whoa that's crazy.  next time i go i'm going to look at ours

Rural

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 05:58:36 AM »
No warehouse stores anywhere nearby. I buy 25 lbs TVP from Bob's Red Mill about once every year and a half; this is the bulk of our protein.

I stock up on Vidalia onions every spring from a local charity; I don't pay less than the grocery price of about a dollar a pound, but I get a charitable contribution out of the deal. I try to chop and freeze enough onions for the year, though I tend to run out in late winter and have to buy some store onions. I only bought 25 pounds this year and ran out in November; I've learned my lesson and will do 50 pounds hereafter.

Beyond that, I shop the store brands and do buy enough to constitute "bulk," mainly at Wal-mart or Sav-a-Lot. I buy produce in season, from a local swap meet and farm stands when I can (no official farmers market anywhere near, either).

Nords

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 10:30:12 AM »
For a variety of reasons, I would like to buy staples in bulk.  Part of the motivation is savings, so I would like to find a place to buy at attractive prices.  I have found a local place to buy pinto beans (major staple in our house), but have yet to do the same for stuff like whole wheat flour, oats, cornmeal, etc.  Any ideas?  I see Costco offering pretty reasonable prices (40# of whole wheat flour in a mylar lined bucket with a gamma seal lid for $52 shipped), but should I be looking somewhere else for lower prices?
A friend is part of two startups in that sector, one of them physically in your area and the other shipping all over the Mainland:
Netplenish
Mile High Organics

Neither is available in Hawaii, so I've been on the outside looking in for a few years.

Spork

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 12:21:31 PM »
If i'm going to be doing anything like that I tend to support places like Costco that put a premium on their people and pay them well.  I feel it keeps the economy healthy and I like that.

While this is true, it is way more than that.  Costco puts a premium on their customers as well.  Clean stores, good quality, awesome customer service.  (If you have a problem, you can take stuff back eons after you buy it and they'll smile and give you an equivalent product.)

Sams: they're cheap.  That's the nicest thing I can say.

That said: Costco is 2 hours away from me, so I go to Sams.

clutchy

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 07:37:56 PM »
If i'm going to be doing anything like that I tend to support places like Costco that put a premium on their people and pay them well.  I feel it keeps the economy healthy and I like that.

While this is true, it is way more than that.  Costco puts a premium on their customers as well.  Clean stores, good quality, awesome customer service.  (If you have a problem, you can take stuff back eons after you buy it and they'll smile and give you an equivalent product.)

Sams: they're cheap.  That's the nicest thing I can say.

That said: Costco is 2 hours away from me, so I go to Sams.

excellent points

snshijuptr

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Re: Best place to buy in bulk?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 09:40:02 PM »
I just went to Smart & Final near us today and picked up 20 lb of Tri Tip for $3/lb. They carry restaurant size and family size bulk without a membership fee. This is the kind of place where mayo comes in a single gallon jug.