Thursday, May 8, 2014

CHEF TALK, Learn How to Save Money with Bulk Buying and Long Term Food Storage.


Learn How to $ave Money with Bulk Buying and Long Term Food Storage

We all like to save money, to some of us the ‘Buck Thrill’ is a way of life. Couponing is one favorite, takes a lot of time and being organized but it pays off. The fact is we do not all have the time to cut coupons and go to stores where the coupons are on offer at that particular time.

How to buy in bulk

Another good one is buying in bulk. This can be the ultimate bang for you. The warehouse type of stores are getting more and more “small” customer friendly and better still, they have quality stuff. Problem arises, what should I do with a 10 pound jar of pickles, there are only two of us in my house hold.
Well, you just have to be smart about ‘bulk’ buying and then these warehouse stores will work for you.


First of all make a decent shopping list, if possible plan a weekly menu (or at least have some recipes on hand before you walk through those doors). Discipline yourself when you shop. With that, you do not overbuy and come home with all sorts of stuff you do not need.

       Buddy shop, go Dutch with a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague and share things that are too much to handle for your family.  
This works definitely for dry goods like toilet paper and multi packed smaller packaging (24 small packets of nuts in a big plastic bag). But how about large meat cuts you would normally avoid buying. Best 'to be vacuumed' money saver. The 7 or 8 Lbs strip loin below can be transformed into 24 or 25 great steaks in no time. Vacuum share, freeze and save money!  

Make sure to shop with an ordinary shopping cart, these flat bed carts cheat your eyes, even the biggest packaging looks small on those things.
Go with the treasure hunt idea in mind. This is what I like and this is what I am going to cook with. Share your ideas with your buddy shopper and share the purchase. 

It works for him.....
Learn about new ingredients and how they can work for you. This is a great way to explore new foods, healthy and nutritious produce that you would normally stay away from.

There was a time that the thought of buying meats in a warehouse store would make ones stomach coil. Not anymore, times change and these bulk stores are an excellent place to buy top quality meats. If you do not see what you are looking for, ask. Bulk stores are realizing that people are interested in cooking with local and seasonal ingredients.

Money savers

And then there is another great money saver. It is your vacuum sealer. Why? You just read the answer, your bulk buying pays of even more with the help of your vacuum sealer.
Studies reveal that that you may save up to $ 2.700.00 per year with the help of your vacuum sealer. 
Find them here:

One of the best aspects of storing vacuum sealed foods is that it is extremely economical. Vacuum sealed foods last 3 to 5 times longer than ordinary packet fresh foods.  As a result the food maintains its color texture and appearance longer. Further, because vacuum sealed foods can last longer, you can buy in bulk, ‘save money’ and re-pack in the portion size that suits you.
Bring this to your advantage and make menu planning, buddy shopping and idea exchange a fun thing. Larger packing sizes are no concern anymore, vacuum and freeze perishables. Freezer burn is eliminated because vacuum packed food does not come in direct contact with the cold air in the freezer.

Advantages of vacuuming                                                                    

No more issues

Dry foods, such as brown sugar that you do not use on a daily basis, do not become hard because there is no air to absorb the moisture.    
Insect infestation is eliminated in the flour and sugar you bought in bulk.
The pores in fresh protein foods, meats and fish, open up when vacuumed. This allows better marinating and faster marinating times.
Less air in packaging will give you better organized storage options.

Some problems may arise when vacuuming liquids. Here are two tips to avoid that.

  • 1      Freeze the product in a vacuum bag, then seal. The seal will prevent air from entering the bag.
  • 2      Leave products like ready cooked meals and sauces to chill overnight. They will get a much firmer consistency. Many sauces will even gel up. When you vacuum the chilled products you will get the desired result.

Your money saver


To conclude: Vacuum sealing your food and non-food preps is an economical and extremely effective way to save money and maintain a varied pantry. If you plan to use this method of saving money, prolonging the shelf –life of products and buddy shopping, I assure you a fast return of investment in a good quality vacuum sealer.   

By: Marinus Hoogendoorn


Charli said...

From my experience, I’ve learned to only buy what you need and not what you think you’re going to use. When I got my Sams Club membership, I stocked up on everything I thought I’d need and things I thought I’d use but wound up wasting a lot of money on food I didn’t really need and didn’t have the space to store.

I never thought of vacuum sealing food such as brown sugar – how clever! Would you recommend vacuum sealing rice as well?

Heidi said...

This is an interesting post, Marinus! I never really considered how I using my vacuum sealer might save me money, but you’ve made some great observations. What are the drawbacks of vacuum sealing though?

Sean said...

“Leave products like ready cooked meals and sauces to chill overnight. They will get a much firmer consistency. Many sauces will even gel up. When you vacuum the chilled products you will get the desired result.” I can attest to this. I vacuum sealed my wife’s beef stew and when I came back to eat a few days later, the sauce was somewhat gelled and still delicious.