10 March 2010

My Frugal Ways, Part Deux: A Trip to the Bulk Bin

photo of Yum Yum yawning

The next time you happen to be in your grocery store, take a look around and see if they have bulk bins. We do a great deal of our shopping at Winco (Idaho) and they have a huge bulk bin section. The amount of money we save buying from those bins is incredible. Some of the items featured there are: Nuts, Dried Fruit, Noodles, Parmesan cheese, Parmesan Romano cheese, Beans, Rice, Spices, Honey & Peanut butter station, Baking goods, Breakfast Cereal, Snacks, and Candy. These are just the categories, the actual selections are massive. For example, there are thirty items in the Noodles section alone, with prices in the noodles section ranging from $0.75 - $1.28 per pound (the cheeses and specialty items in that section are a bit more expensive).

Can you see the potential for savings here? If your store has a bulk bin, please check it out, because you can save a great deal of money by buying some of your staple items there. Why pay twice or three times more for the same item, with the only difference being, that it's in a nice, pretty package. Why pay for the advertising, when you can get the same thing for less money. Not sure if you'll like the product, just buy a small amount and give it a try. Chances are, you will not be able to tell the difference.

Now, I'm not saying that everything in the bulk bins will be less expensive, so you'll need to do a little research to discover that for yourself. Yes, it means spending a little extra time in the store, but if you end up saving money, wouldn't it be worth it? When you go to the store, take a pencil and paper and do some comparison shopping. Check-out the prices of the products you usually buy and compare them to the same items that are in the bulk bins. Once you have a list of those products from the bulk bin that are cheaper, why not give one or two of them a try? Also, find someone you can ask to discover how often the bins are refilled, because the more often they are refilled, the fresher the product.

I realize that some of us have our own individual comfort zones when it comes to trying new things at the grocery store, so just try one or two items the first time. I'm hoping that you will discover that trying new things can not only be exciting, but economical as well.


  1. Another great tip! We have Winco's here too and have checked out those bins quite frequently especially the bulk walnuts and almonds. You didn't mention they have rows of Jelly Bellys and chocolate in bins! We try to stay away from those. :D

  2. BeadedTail: That's great! I really like shopping there! We get our pistachios from the bulk bin (I love those things). I know, I stay away from those areas, too; just too tempting right now. We've also started getting our spices from them as well. Much cheaper than those little bottles and I don't notice any difference in taste.

  3. Is that YumYum in the photo? LOL I buy a lot in bulk, just not a lot from those bins. I've found it a better deal for us to buy the restaurant sizes on things like the spices. I guess it just depends on the product!

  4. Storm, The Psychotic Housewife: Yes, that's yum Yum. We caught her in mid-yawn. when we used to belong to Costco, we would buy those big sizes, too. We just couldn't afford the membership price.

  5. Years ago (and I'm talking decades)...lol there was a store I shopped at that had a huge bulk section. I loved the variety they had and the prices were great. Sadly the stores around here now don't have anything other than candy in bulk.

  6. Ann: That's too bad. However, I could probably force myself to buy candy in bulk :)

  7. Google restaurant supply stores in your area, most you don't have to pay a membership fee to use. We have one out here called Cash & Carry, some things are a little higher than Costco, but most things are about the same price, and the variety is usually better than Costco. I love going there! :)

  8. Storm, The Psychotic Housewife: Thank you! I just did and we have a Cash and Carry here!! I didn't even know it. I'll be dropping by there and looking around. Thank you for the tip.



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