The bigger our family gets (don't worry, it's not getting any bigger!) the more I shop in bulk. One of the main things I wanted when buying our home was a nice sized pantry. I love having lots of food in the house, I don't know why, I get major anxiety when we run low on food, I am just odd. I probably don't shop as smart as I should. I don't use coupons to their fullest, I don't drive to 10 stores to buy 3 things at each place. To me, time and ease of shopping mean almost as much to me as price (ssshhh, don't tell my husband!)
Anyway, where I come from there is no Sam's Club, no Costco, BJs. This was all a whole new world to me when moving to NoVA. Out of the 3 big box stores near us, I liked Costco the best, it also happens to be the closest. Right next to our preschool, how convenient!
I usually try to only make one trip per month. Here are the items I like to purchase in bulk. (Remember these may not be the best value or price, just what we prefer).
1. Printer Ink. I don't know why I buy it here, but I do. Also they will refill your old cartridges for cheap, but I usually forget the pile of mine to take in.
2. Paper Plates. I know I am so horrible, but I use a ton of paper plates for the kids meals....so much easier than all the dishes I would have to do.
3. Chocolate Milk. I buy the Kirkland Organic Chocolate Milk Cartons for Lilly. She is the only one (so far) that likes it. I love that it doesn't need to be cold stored. I put a few in the fridge at a time, and the rest stay in the pantry. This is a special drink (we drink water all day) so a case lasts me a long time.
4. Apple & Eve Fruitables . Again this is a special treat so a case of these probably lasts at least 6 months.
5. Croissants. My kids and husband really like these. They are great for breakfast and for sandwiches. I actually bring these home, bag them up, and put them in the freezer. We take them out and heat them up from frozen.
6. Rotisserie Chicken. I won't leave the store without one. No. Matter. What. They aren't just great for a quick dinner, but I will take a whole one, cut it apart, and store it in the fridge. It is great for lunches, to put into a meal, anything really.
7. Ground Meat. I know this IS NOT the cheapest, but I like the quality, and convenience of buying 6lbs and then freezing portions.
8. Other Meat. I don't always buy other meats from Costco, but do stock up there occasionally.
9. Fruit. Their produce is awesome. We go through SO much fruit in our house, so it works well for us, because it is never in the house long enough to go bad. (we don't get all our fruit there, typically, bananas, strawberries, grapes, pineapple)
10. Frozen Chicken. Again not the cheapest, but it's what we like.
11. Eggs and Milk.
12. Frozen Shrimp.
13. Ketchup and Ranch Dressing. We like a certain brand for each, and go through a good bit, so it works for us to buy in bulk.
14. GoGo Squeez. Matthew LOVES these. I buy them here occasionally, but also buy them in the other flavors at my regular grocery store.
15. Goldfish, Ritz Crackers, Applesauce. These are all snacks I like to keep on hand at all times. I WILL NOT but the snack sizes of these because the snack version of the goldfish is way to big for my kids to eat in a sitting (and at preschool they have to throw the leftover away) I buy the big box, and make my own smaller portions.
16. Bread. We like the Natures Own Honey Wheat.
17. Toilet Paper and Paper Towels. I buy the Kirkland Brand for paper towels, and Charmin for Toilet Paper.
18. Chobani Champions Yogurt Tubes. Unfortunately the Costco closest to us carries go-gurt (which we don't eat) but another Costco only about 10 miles away has the kind we use.
WOW! That seems like a lot, and I am sure I am missing something. A lot of these things, I buy once every few months, to only a few times a year.
Also, I do have a good pantry space, but with that, I lack in fridge/freezer space. All we have is our LG side by side in our kitchen. Our next house, which we hopefully will have a garage will have another fridge/freezer. That is why there are not a ton of cold items on the list.
If you want a list of the best buys financially speaking check out this post by The Fun, Cheap, or Free Queen, she is a smarty pants when it comes to being on budget and getting the most for your money!
**Just so y'all know this post contains affiliate links :)