Dry Goods and Staples: Costs for Packaged vs. Case vs. Bulk

To give you an example of the savings that are possible by buying in bulk, this chart details MOTHER EARTH NEWS author Craig Idlebrook’s buying experience in Maine. The best option — buying in large quantities through a food club — provides an average savings of 54 percent for 14 staple products over the supermarket price for the packaged versions. All prices are per pound.

Case: Multiple individual packages in a box (usually 10 or more)

Bulk: Minimally processed or whole foods in large containers; not packaged in smaller portions

 

Item

 

Supermarket
Package
Price

 

Case Price

 

Cost
Savings

 

Bulk Price

 

Cost Savings

 

Club Bulk
Price

 

Cost Savings

 

Required
Quantity for
Bulk Price

 
organic whole-wheat pasta  $3.29 $2.63 $0.66 (20%) $2.99 $0.30 (9%) $1.99 $1.30 (40%) 10 lbs
organic peanut butter  $6.49 $5.19 $1.30 (20%) $4.49 $2.00 (31%) $3.63 $2.86 (44%) 9 lbs
organic canola oil  $5.99 $4.80 $1.19 (20%) $4.19 $1.80 (30%) $2.81 $3.18 (53%) 35 lbs
organic whole-wheat flour  $2.00 $1.60 $0.40 (20%) $1.09 $0.91 (46%) $1.05 $0.95 (48%) 50 lbs
organic dried black beans  $2.91 $2.33 $0.58 (20%) $199 $0.92 (32%) $1.26 $1.65 (57%) 25 lbs
organic long-grain brown rice  $2.50 $2.00 $0.50 (20%) $1.49 $1.01 (40%) $1.15 $1.35 (54%) 50 lbs
organic whole rolled oats  $3.49 $2.79 $0.70 (20%) $1.09 $2.40 (69%) $1.12 $2.37 (68%) 50 lbs
organic sunflower seeds  $4.98 $3.98 $1.00 (20%) $1.69 $3.29 (66%) $1.99 $2.99 (60%) 50 lbs
organic raisins  $3.19 $2.55 $0.64 (20%) $2.69 $0.50 (16%) $2.09 $1.10 (34%) 30 lbs
nutritional yeast  $14.07 $11.26 $2.81 (20%) $6.59 $7.48 (53%) $4.97 $9.10 (65%) 50 lbs
popcorn  $2.59 $2.07 $0.52 (20%) $1.39 $1.20 (46%) $0.66 $1.93 (75%) 50 lbs
almonds  $9.78 $7.82

$1.96(20%)

$5.29 $4.49 (46%) $4.80 $4.98 (51%) 25 lbs
natural chocolate chips  $6.53 $5.22 $1.31 (20%) $4.09 $2.44 (37%) $2.55 $3.98 (61%) 50 lbs
honey  $5.05 $4.04 $1.01 (20%) $3.79 $1.26 (25%) $2.55 $2.50 (50%) 60 lbs

Read Save Money on Groceries for more money-saving ideas.

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