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Buying food in bulk - where do you store it?

(11 Posts)
ItNeverRainsBut Tue 20-Jul-10 15:33:39

Those of you who buy food in bulk to save money - where do you store it? I would like to be better stocked up and also hope I could save some money by buying in bulk, but my kitchen is v small, and also tends to be fairly warm and relatively humid (even with using extractor fan above the hob). Do you have to have a large kitchen/proper pantry to do bulk buying?

stressedHEmum Tue 20-Jul-10 16:50:55

No, you don't have to have a big kitchen/pantry thing. I have the tiniest house you can imagine, 9ft square rooms, no storage space etc. and I have enough food storage to see us through at least 3 months in an emergency.

I have one lonely cupboard in the house, under the stairs. In it I keep my freezer (no space in the kitchen) and my OH's wardrobe (we don't have a bedroom.) I also keep a pile of big plastic, lidded, stackable boxes in which I keep things like packets of beans, lentils, yeast, sugar, breakfast cereal, pasta, couscous, semolina, bulghur wheat, angel delight, teabags... anything in a packet, really. I have shelves around it which are stacked with things like tinned toms, tinned beans, tinned fish, condensed soup, fruit juice, squash, dried milk, coffee, baking powder, tinned veg...things in containers or tins. I buy flour by the sack from the mill and keep it in the cupboard as well. It's a tight squeezegrin

In my kitchen units, I keep things like extra jars of honey, treacle, syrup, big boxes of things like brown rice, soya mince, barley, different kinds of beans. The box that I keep my unstored rice in holds 5kgs, likewise the box that holds my unstored pasta. Because they are in sealed boxes in a cupboard they are fine, even though the kitchen is tiny and humid from the constant cooking and they take up less room than lots of packets and parcels.

In my shed, I keep boxes of jars of things like jams, chutneys, pickles, rosehip syrup, pie fillings etc. that I make at harvest times to see us through the year. The shed is also where I keep the bulk bottles and boxes of washing up liquid and soap powder that I buy. I decant these into smaller bottles and boxes for the kitchen as and when I need them. I just keep things like packets of toilet rolls stacked in a corner of the bathroom. A bit unsightly but I have nowhere else for them to go.

I have a bit of a paranoia about running out of stuff and having no money to buy more, so I always buy more than we need so that I can store someblush It's cheaper, as well, to buy big packs of things and it saves on packaging.

nannyl Tue 20-Jul-10 19:15:20

i keep my spare stuff in the cool cellar

have a few shellving units down there with spares of anything and everything

ItNeverRainsBut Thu 22-Jul-10 11:55:38

StressedHEmum, your system sounds great. Can I ask where did you buy your boxes from?

stressedHEmum Thu 22-Jul-10 12:44:48

I just bought them in Asda. They were about 8pounds each or something. Mine are blue and have wheels in on the bottom which fit into indentations on the lids of others, iyswim, so that you can stack them. You have to be careful, though, because I had a couple delivered with my shopping once that had cracks around the wheels. It doesn't stop them working or anything, just makes them a little less mouseproof. I also have a couple of those plastic drawer unit things. They just came from Argos or somewhere. OH keeps his pants and socks etc. in one and I use the other for bits and bobs like extra soap/shampoo/toothpaste and whatnot.

My cupboard has a little square of floor space left, so that we can get in and out but not much else!

ItNeverRainsBut Fri 23-Jul-10 10:15:11

More questions...
Where do you bulk buy food from?

esselle Fri 23-Jul-10 10:43:22

I love buying in bulk. We built our own home last year and storage was a big consideration when it cam to chosing the floor plan.

I have a walk in pantry which is about 5ftx5ft and fully shelved. Another storage room the same size which is also shelved. We have a utility room and a double garage under the main roof which I have yet more shelves and a deep freezer.

I try to buy canned food, pasta, rice, flour, sugar etc from Costco. I also get my cleaning products, toilet paper (60 rolls at a time!) kitchen roll, toiletries and laundry powder there too.

I try to get all fresh fruit and veg from the markets. I also get my meat there and am slowly filling up my freezer.

I do not like running out of things and could get by for quite a long time if I needed too. I have found that 60 toilet rolls last 6 months! I also don't like taking my DCs out shopping - they annoy me!!

I don't live in an huge house just a regular suburban house in Australia.

stressHEmum You sound like a storage queen! I love storage and especially plastic stackable boxes!!

stressedHEmum Fri 23-Jul-10 11:14:40

I buy from different places, really.

herbs and spices I buy in big tubs from Redmoor online. Flour I buy from Shipton Mill, online. The rest I just tend to buy when I am doing my shopping. For instance, our local shop recently had 4 packs of John West tuna for less than 2pounds, so while the offer was on, I bought about 12 packsblushI buy big sacks of rice from Tesco ( we don't have any ethnic community around here, so no ethnic type shops to buy it more cheaply.) I stock up on things like tinned toms or baked beans on special offer, so I buy a few tins extra each month to squirrel away. I also buy things like extra pasta, sugar, tea, dried milk, yeast, lentils or whatever, every month. Just a little at a time but it mounts up.

I buy laundry things and cleaning things from Ethical Superstore in the BIG packs, also things like peanut butter by the case. The jam/pickles I make myself from wild fruit or veg from the garden, then it lasts all year, I plan extra sugar into my shopping all year round for this.

esselle, I wish that I had your storage space. I am envy I also wish 60 loo rolls lasted 6 months in here. We go through about 10 rolls a week! But then there are 7 of us, so I suppose I can't complain.

PestoEatsPasties Fri 23-Jul-10 11:21:52

We have a larder under the stairs and we use the garage for larger items such as loo roll and kitchen towel.

ItNeverRainsBut Fri 23-Jul-10 13:19:07

Well, I'm thinking I need to upgrade my containers. I have several plastic containers that I use for storing dried beans, grains, nuts, seeds etc, but they aren't fully airtight. I definitely need larger containers for flour.

We don't have an understairs cupboard or cellar though. I was thinking I could store some things like cans under the bed...

stressedHEmum Fri 23-Jul-10 13:33:38

Yes, INRB, I have seen people who keep tins and things in the drawers under their bed or even behind the books on their book shelves! Sadly, I can't do that because I don't have a bed (futon in the dining bit of kitchen) and the kids keep their clothes in their underbed drawers because the rooms are too small for a wardrobe or I would be using that space as well. But, as long as the things are in mouseproof, airtight, sturdy containers, then under the bed is a good place. It's also a good place to store non food things like soap, toothpaste, sanitary protection and the like and you don't need to worry about mice with those things.

You really need airtight containers for things like rice, flour etc. once the bulk package is open, particularly if you store it in a humid place. Stored grains/beans etc. can attract mice to so need to make sure that they can't get at them.

I would love a cellar or a garage or pantry. I dream about all the things I could do with oneblush

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