13 grocery items you should buy in bulk to save money

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Joey Skladany is an In The Know cooking contributor. Follow him on instagram and visit his website for more.

Between ingredient shortages and supply chain issues, a trip to the grocery store has become even more of a headache. Food prices are at an all-time high and many shelves remain empty as retailers struggle to keep up with customer demands.

For your next trip down the aisles, here are 13 foods you should strongly consider buying in bulk. Not only are they more stable, but your grocery store will likely save a few bucks if you buy them in larger quantities. Plus, you never know if and when they’ll be available again, so it’s always best to plan ahead and grab the opportunity to buy when they’re in stock.

Dried beans and Lenses

Although the nutritional value may decline over time, these bad boys can last 10 years or more if stored in a cool, dry place. And you know what they say about beans: they’re good for the heart. The more you eat, the more you…


Many varieties of hard cheese enjoy heavily discounted prices when purchased in larger blocks. This eliminates the labor costs associated with shredding and grating, which means more cheese for less cheddar.

frozen berries

Brands pick strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more to immediately freeze and package. This not only preserves their vitamins and antioxidants, but extends their shelf life for up to six months. They also come in larger sizes than standard pints and quarts, so you get more for your money. Frozen berries also make a deliciously healthy snack if you’re craving something sweet and cold that isn’t ice cream. Sigh.

Frozen Meat

Meat is still considered a luxury for many families, although it can now be found and purchased in bulk in one trip down the frozen aisle. From chicken wings and steaks to seafood and plant-based iterations, all you have to do is thaw the appropriate amount in the refrigerator about six to 12 hours before a meal (depending on size and thickness ) and prepare as you would anything fresh.

Frozen vegetables

Like berries, many nutritious vegetables can be frozen when harvested and thawed later. Opt for hardier varieties like broccoli and butternut squash so you have less water to drain once the fruit is heated.


Although not all spices share the same longevity, many can still look great in a spice rack or cabinet for years to come. Consider buying your most commonly used varieties like garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper by the pound to save on costs.


Craft honey can be quite expensive, but the sweet liquid (and tea’s best friend) has impressive longevity and is always cheaper when purchased in excess.


Oats are already an affordable grocery option, but when purchased in 64-ounce (or larger) canisters, they’re practically a bargain. Don’t remind Mr. Quaker of that. The oats will also last up to a year and can be presented adorably in oversized glass jars.


Oil, especially olive oil, is something you will likely use every day. Products like these will ultimately save you money in the long run if purchased in bulk, so it’s probably in your best interest to bite the bullet upfront and enjoy the savings as the months go by.

The vinegar

Oil mate has one of the longest shelf lives on this list. And varieties like apple cider and distilled serve many purposes, from cleaning solutions to homemade skin care products.

Dried fruit

Most dried fruits can be stored for up to a year because they are already free of bacteria-causing moisture. But if you’re craving something fresh, apples are your best bet. They last longer than most fruits and can be sold by the bag.

Dried pasta

Like beans and lentils, your dry pasta can last for years in a cool, dry place. Canned tomatoes can too, so buy each ingredient in bulk and bank on every Sunday night for pasta (much like jerseyshoreexcept without all the hair product and fake self-tanner).

Peanut Butter

Of all the nut butters, the peanut will last the longest. Aside from the almond, it’s usually the cheapest option as it comes in commercial-size jars that can feed larger families – or those who just can’t get enough of the legume to spread and eat it daily. (We are not passing judgment.)

If you liked this story, check out these essential tips for cleaning different types of protein!

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