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Buying Staple Foods in Bulk

Most people pay expensive store prices for their food. These store prices are often more expensive than the food itself should cost. Most of the excess store costs for the food we buy comes from the packaging and marketing of the product. Obviously packaging and marketing are of much less value than the food itself, so why pay for it? If you are on a tight budget, or even if you are financially fit, you can cut down your food bill costs by changing what you eat and how you buy it. One approach to saving money while still eating good food is to buy staple foods in bulk.

There are a variety of foods that can be considered staples. Staple foods are usually those foods that are easily accessible, have a high-energy content and are able to be stored for long periods of time without perishing or spoiling. Four of the most common and accessible staple foods are beans, corn, rice and wheat.


Beans are a long time staple food that can be cooked a diversity of ways to increase taste. Beans are high in carbohydrates and protein and come in a variety of types. Black, red and pinto beans are three of the most common culinary bean types in the United States. Beans by themselves don't always supply your complete protein needs, but when they are combined with rice or corn your bodily protein needs are often met.

Many modern American's buy their beans precooked in cans. Don't. Not only do canned beans not taste as good as beans cooked from scratch, their nutritive value is reduced, the price is more expensive per ounce and you are putting your trust in the industrial canning process. It is most likely that American's buy their beans in cans because they are pre-cooked and flavored. This is not a good enough reason to buy canned beans, as beans are one of the simplest foods to cook from scratch.

Dry beans can be bought in bulk. Your local supermarket should have dry beans in at least five-pound bags. Look for them next to the legumes. It is recommended to buy as much as you can store at any given time. This will give you an extra supply in case of an emergency. If you are not satisfied with buying in five-pound increments, you can buy ten, twenty-five or fifty pound bags of beans from most natural food stores. Depending on the size of the bag, it may need to be ordered by your local natural food store. You can often get discounts from the store when ordering in bulk, as they don't have to waste their time stocking the goods.


Rice is another good staple food to buy in bulk. Like beans, rice can be bought in five-pound bags from your local supermarket. Rice can be difficult to cook for some, however it is simple as long as you follow the methods labeled on the package. A rule of thumb is to have two parts water to two parts rice. Place the rice and water in a pot and bring it to a boil. If you let the water boil off and don't forget to stir occasionally your rice should come out fine.

Brown rice is recommended over white rice as brown rice is less refined and as such contains more nutrients and helps prevent colon cancers due to its high fibrous nature. If you want to buy rice in larger increments, check with your local supermarket or natural food store.

Rice can be prepared many ways. It can be boiled and then eaten with beans and corn or whatever other dish you choose, or it can be fried. You can also boil it along with some milk and then add cinnamon, raisins, and cranberries to the concoction to create a unique and healthy dessert.


Corn is another versatile staple food. Combining corn with rice, beans and another vegetable or fruit virtually completes your dietary needs. Many American Indian tribes in the eastern United States had corn, squash and beans as their staple foods as these foods supplied the majority of their dietary needs.

Dry corn can be bought in bulk from you local natural foods store or from your local feed and grain store. Buying from a feed and grain store is cheaper. If you chose this method, note that the corn you get is perfectly edible, however since it was meant for animal consumption it has not been as thoroughly cleaned after it has been harvested. As a result you might find some dirt or bugs mixed in with the corn. This will require you to do your own filtering of the corn before you consume it. You can still eat it as is if you like.

When you buy corn in bulk you have many cooking options. You can mix it in dry with a salad, or you can boil it and season it how you like. You can also make corn nuts with them by boiling them in vegetable oil or you can grind the corn into flour using a grain mill and then bake corn bread or a corn mash with it. There are diverse amounts of ways you can prepare corn, each providing a different and unique taste.


Wheat is the fourth and final staple food being recommended in this article. It is easy to buy in bulk, contains a high carbohydrate and gluten content and certain forms of wheat have a high protein amount as well (i.e. cracked red winter wheat).

When buying wheat in bulk, you can either purchase it from your local natural foods store, or like corn you can buy it from your local feed and grain store. Buying from a feed and grain store is cheaper, however like corn it means the wheat has not been as thoroughly cleaned after it has been harvested. If you buy from a feed store, make sure to check the bag for a bug infestation. Small bugs called weevils often infest wheat; watch out for them if you buy from a feed store.

Wheat comes in a variety of types. The two main types of wheat are red and white wheat, with winter and spring variations. Red winter wheat often has the highest protein count and it is good for baking breads. White wheat has a lower protein count and is better for baking pastries and lighter breads. Before buying wheat in bulk do some extra research on wheat types to decide what type of wheat is best for your needs.

You can eat wheat a variety of ways. You can eat it raw in a salad, or you can grind it into flour and bake bread. You also can soak the wheat overnight and it will begin to sprout, which increases its nutritive value as it turns it into a vegetable as well as a grain.


Once you purchase your staple foods in bulk you should store them in reasonable containers such as glass mason jars, or even recycled soda and milk cartons. If you are using plastic as a storage container be sure to store it in a place you are sure will keep rodents away as they can chew through the plastic. Plastic also has a tendency to leak small amounts of chemical molecules into your food as plastic is made with petroleum and chemical byproducts. This is more a worry if you are storing acidic liquids in plastic, however it is possible for the chemicals to leach into your dry bulk foods as well.

If you are trying a new food it is recommended you buy it in small quantities first before buying it in bulk. Try a few recipes and make sure you like the food before buying it in larger quantities. This will save you the heartbreak of purchasing a food in bulk only to find out you don't like it. The foods listed in this article are inexpensive and nutritious. They should serve as a good and cheap starting ground for learning how to buy and prepare bulk foods. If you try this bulk buying method you will see your shopping bills decrease and your health increase. - Gestalt

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