Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8 - More Buying in Bulk Tips

Buying in bulk may not be for the faint of heart.  It takes work if you are really committed to getting the ultimate bang for your buck.

Recently I was at the store with my list.  I needed some baking supplies.  I get all of my all-purpose flour at Costco:  25 pounds for around $7.    My basic bread recipe calls for 4 cups of flour, so at 112 cups/25 pound bag, that will make 28 loaves of bread.  Holy cow!  Not a bad price, and that is a LOT of loaves of bread!

And if your family eats 1 loaf of bread a day for sandwiches or toast or whatever, that means the 25 pounds of flour could last about a month for bread exclusively.  If you were planning on storing flour (for bread) for a year, just multiply that by 12, so 12 - 25 pound bags of flour, {or 6 - 50 pound bags of flour}, or 300 pounds of flour.  

Any other baked goods would have to be accounted for separately, so if I want to make the yummy Crazy Cake recipe down below at least twice a month, then I'll have to store 6 cups of flour/month more, plus oatmeal cookies twice a month at 6 cups of flour total, so 12 cups more per month, times 12 months equals 144 cups of flour, so 1-1/2 25 pound bags for the year's supply.  Have I lost you yet?

This might help some:

*U.S. All-purpose flour has a density of 4.5 cups per pound.

50 pounds * 4.5 cups/pound = 225 cups

*Granulated sugar has a density of 2.4 cups per pound.

50 pounds * 2.4 cups/pound = 120 cups

Next on my list was some baking cocoa.  I always check the prices at my local Winco grocery store.  

They have a HUGE bulk foods section, and they also post the per-unit pricing on all of their shelf tags, bulk foods included.  Cocoa in the package on the shelf was 41.3 cents per oz., or $3.30 for an 8 oz. package/$6.60 per pound.

Dutch baking cocoa in the baking aisle of the bulk foods came out to $4.35 per pound, or 27.2 cents/ounce.  Quite a bit cheaper!  I'm plenty willing to package the cocoa myself at a $2.25/pound savings!  You can't let the cheaper price on the packaged foods fool you; a little basic, practical math goes a long way to saving money in the grocery store.  And if you don't trust yourself doing math, bring along a small notebook and calculator to help you and keep track of the pricing on the common items you buy.

Now what to do with all of those baking supplies?  Why, make Crazy Cake, of course!

Crazy Cake

Combine the following dry ingredients in a large bowl:
3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. soda

2 c. water
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. vinegar

Mix and pour into greased and floured cookie sheet or 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees until center springs back. 20-30 min. for sheet cake, 30-40 min. for 9x13.

This recipe uses all shelf-stable ingredients.  I love making this cake because mixing it is like a chemistry experiment, but one that won't blow up the classroom. The baking soda and vinegar react to each other and bubble up. It is the perfect cake to make if you're out of eggs and need to take a dessert somewhere, or need a treat for a Family Home Evening  or dinner you've been invited to.

If you want to print this recipe, just click the print icon below on the left. Then hover and click on anything that you want to remove. 

To follow along with my previous posts, click here for Day 1!

To enter my giveaway go here!

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