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Old 02-26-2019, 06:06 AM
 
6,526 posts, read 6,898,945 times
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Do you go by unit price or total price out of pocket?
This could be about any item, that you do NOT stock up on, even if you could save a bit of money.

-- For example: will you buy a bigger spaghetti sauce at less money, even if you know you'll end up not using part of it?

Specifically my question now is about spices.
I've found online places to buy spices "in bulk" for less than buyers club prices. For example:
-- 1lb of basil for $6.99.....vs big box warehouse club's 3.5 oz for 3.99.

In this case the larger amount is less per pound (so you "get more for your money") -- but the smaller amount that costs more per pound, would be less out of pocket at purchase -- AND the smaller amount (the large brand name carton at a major buyers club -- would last me months and months and months, and months anyway.

But then again once a spice/herb is dried and open it can take YEARS for flavor to dissipate. SO why not buy months' worth.

So would you buy bulk spices that last almost a year....or smaller amount and cheaper as you go, even if "unit" price is more?
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:34 AM
 
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If I won't use it all, I don't buy it. Period. I find some type of work around if it's part of a recipe or I just make do without it.



For spices, I will buy bulk for those I use very often such as pepper, basil, garlic powder, and onion powder. If it's something I won't use often, I'll buy the smaller size. It's easier to store many small containers than many large containers. The large containers I have get stored in the pantry and I use smaller containers while cooking and refill them when necessary.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:43 AM
 
12,457 posts, read 17,101,632 times
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Unless it is a true shelf item I will not buy for the sake of buying. On the funny side - SO brought 25 pounds of salt for 1$ and 40 pounds of Basmati for 50$ home. We are set for a while.
Spices do not retain their flavor very long. I get what I need in relatively small quantities. Herbs grow in big pots and I have moved from drying to freezing. Works better for me. No more store bought mixes. It is so easy to make your own and a lot seems to bring out flavors differently when grinding peppers and spices with mortar and pestle.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:53 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
21,626 posts, read 27,142,200 times
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I don't stock up on things I won't use, no matter what the price.


As for jars of spaghetti sauce, the only thing I use those for is to make a quick no-fuss homemade pizza, which only uses a couple of tablespoons of sauce. I spice it up and the rest gets frozen in pizza size containers to be zapped in the microwave the next time I want a pizza.


For spices, some lose flavor fast, some last forever, I'll buy the big container of onion powder, but I buy cumin out of the bulk bins and get just enough to last a couple of weeks.


I buy the multi-color peppercorns in the 11 ounce bottle. My family goes through pepper fast and the 11 ounce bottle is only a couple of dollars more than the 1 ounce tiny bottle. Peppercorns store well and it gets used long before it gets weak. Other families might have 11 ounces of of peppercorns mummify before they were used and the 11 ounce bottle would be a waste of money.



For many spices, the best price is at the bulk bins at Winco. They sell massive amounts, so spices are always fresh and price is excellent. You can buy just what you need for that one recipe.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:03 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
21,626 posts, read 27,142,200 times
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Occasionally, the large bulk price is so cheap that it is still a money savings to throw half of it away. But sometimes the per ounce price of the largest size is more expensive than the per ounce price of the little size.


Example: I bought a 15 pound bag of potatoes for 99 cents (yes, good sale) . A single potato is costing 59 cents a pound.. I stored and used those potatoes for months and finally threw out the last four of them. Potatoes don't freeze well, or I would have frozen most of the potatoes when I first brought the bag home. I knew I couldn't use them all before I brought the bag home, but the price was so low, I could afford to throw some of them away and still come out far ahead.


If I knew I would only use one potato, it would have been cheaper to buy just one potato in spite of the difference in the price per pound.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:08 AM
 
1,127 posts, read 351,772 times
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Similar to others- I won't stock up if it's going to go to waste, even if the portion I use will be cheaper than a smaller portion bought at a lower price.

One hint if you have a garden: stale spices are supposedly good for keeping the critters away from plants. Can't hurt and at they very least it biodegrades instead of going into a landfill.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:18 PM
 
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Some times I DO think that if the prices is super good, it can be worth it to buy to much and throw some out. I know it's "wasteful" but if it's about the money, then it's about the money, not "it's a sin to waste food."

Years ago I used to drive all over to save money. Then someone pointed out to me the time and gas money I'm spending to save pennies. Most of the time it's to save a couple of dollars, but the person did point out something I hadn't thought of and put into the dollar saved calculation. But I DO still drive around sometimes, if I can't compare online. AND even then you still might have to go to the store. I like to put my hands on things, feel and touch them for myself. Clothes, shoes, furniture, housewares...I need to see and feel.

As for spices, I'll have to price compare:
-- large containers like those at Costco/BJs, vs
-- prices at ethnic markets (I got THE best deal I've seen on Indian/Mideastern spices at an Indian market, 7 oz each of turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, etc for $1.99!) But it's waaaaay out of my way.
-- online bulk prices -- PLUS shipping
-- large price club sizes, but at the grocery store (where I'd shop anyway, so no special trips, no extra gas used)
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:54 PM
 
12,457 posts, read 17,101,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Occasionally, the large bulk price is so cheap that it is still a money savings to throw half of it away. But sometimes the per ounce price of the largest size is more expensive than the per ounce price of the little size.


Example: I bought a 15 pound bag of potatoes for 99 cents (yes, good sale) . A single potato is costing 59 cents a pound.. I stored and used those potatoes for months and finally threw out the last four of them. Potatoes don't freeze well, or I would have frozen most of the potatoes when I first brought the bag home. I knew I couldn't use them all before I brought the bag home, but the price was so low, I could afford to throw some of them away and still come out far ahead.


If I knew I would only use one potato, it would have been cheaper to buy just one potato in spite of the difference in the price per pound.
Try freezing mashed potatoes to use in yeast doughs and sups.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:29 PM
 
24,902 posts, read 32,004,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Do you go by unit price or total price out of pocket?
This could be about any item, that you do NOT stock up on, even if you could save a bit of money.

-- For example: will you buy a bigger spaghetti sauce at less money, even if you know you'll end up not using part of it?

Specifically my question now is about spices.
I've found online places to buy spices "in bulk" for less than buyers club prices. For example:
-- 1lb of basil for $6.99.....vs big box warehouse club's 3.5 oz for 3.99.

In this case the larger amount is less per pound (so you "get more for your money") -- but the smaller amount that costs more per pound, would be less out of pocket at purchase -- AND the smaller amount (the large brand name carton at a major buyers club -- would last me months and months and months, and months anyway.

But then again once a spice/herb is dried and open it can take YEARS for flavor to dissipate.. SO why not buy months' worth.

So would you buy bulk spices that last almost a year....or smaller amount and cheaper as you go, even if "unit" price is more?
Well that isn't true at all. I only buy larger quantities of spices that I use a lot of, like cinnamon. But I would never buy cinnamon from a warehouse club anyway.

As for the rest of your question, no. I would not buy larger quantities that were less expensive, knowing that I would not be able to use all of it. I don't like to keep hoards of food.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:27 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
17,133 posts, read 7,671,135 times
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Spices, like shoes, are one area where I don't care about the price - I go for quality. I agree with the advice to buy small quantities frequently, and to buy from specialists. Penzey's, Mountain Rose Herbs, and World Spice Market are well-known and respected online sources. I've ordered from all three and have been completely satisfied.

I am a single person, and I make heavy use of my freezer to deal with the issue of buying food in larger quantities.

I stock up on canned and frozen goods. This means buying larger sizes. The first time I open the can/jar/bag, I divide it up into 1 cup or 1 pint containers, and freeze them.

For fresh fruits and veggies, can or dehydrate them to preserve large amounts. You can make your own frozen hash browns (google it). And sometimes I do, but the common fresh fruits and veggies in the grocery store are inexpensive enough that I don't bother unless I'm dealing with garden harvests. After I've put the effort into growing them, I'm sure not gonna let them go to waste!

Last edited by jacqueg; 02-27-2019 at 03:35 AM..
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