Why should you buy in bulk?
She stood awkwardly and after clearing her throat to swallow down the nerves, she stated meekly, “My name is Karen and I buy in bulk.”
Buying in bulk can be a huge time saver when you need to make a quick and easy meal.
Where I live in Florida, we only have Sam’s Club so my examples will come from there but am fairly certain this will work across the board in other warehouse clubs.
I have found buying food in bulk is a great way to stock your pantry and freezer. Now, that isn’t to say that you will not find better deals at your local grocery store with BOGO’s or coupons, I shop that way too. This will allow you to simply throw meals together from your pantry and freezer to have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Also, in full disclosure, I do have a second stand up freezer. My family has always had one since before I can remember. My dad grew up on a farm and then every year we bought half a cow from my uncle. Sounds crazy, no? This beef lasted us for almost an entire year for everything from ground beef to patties, to roast, to steaks. (Can you tell I’m a midwestern girl at heart?)
Here are some bulk buys you will always find in the Mishmash Freezer:
Frozen veggies: these come in a pack of 6 individual steamer bags. That’s correct from your freezer to the microwave to the table. Can I get an amen?? I usually have broccoli, mixed veggies, and a Normandy blend. (Notice the regularly packaged veggies too)
I also buy most of my lunchmeat from Sam’s as well. My kids will only touch turkey but there is ham available too. This comes in a double pack so I stick them in quart sized freezer bags and… voila! Lunch meat ready to go. Take a pack out of the freezer when the fridge pack is almost finished.
Here we have a box of 80 hot dogs. Yes, you did read that correctly, 80 hot dogs. For these a grab a huge stock pot and boil them all at once. Actually, the dogs are packaged in two packs of 40 so I boil each set separately but in the sitting. Once they are boiled, I put 10 at a time into quart sized freezer bags and refreeze them. When you want hot dogs for dinner, simply remove the baggie from the freezer and defrost/heat in the microwave.
Next to them are the hamburgers. These are in a box of 48. I take four at a time and put them into (wait for it…) quart sized freezer bags. (you can see them sticking up out of the box) Heat up your George Foreman, griddle, or grill and you’re ready to go.
A little below the burgers is the bag of chicken nuggets. Having two kids under the age of 10 makes this a necessity. (Not shown, the 12 pack of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the pantry to go with the burgers, dogs, and chicken nuggets.)
FIve pounds of shredded cheese? Yes, please!! My kids love cheese. To ensure I always have some on hand, I grab these monster bags and my (can you guess it yet) quart sized freezer bags. A pound goes into each bag and it easily defrosts in your fridge. (I’ll have more about this process in an upcoming post.) I also buy the 160 slice package of cheese. Simple divide this into sandwich (gasp- I know… you thought I was gonna say quart again!) sized baggies and put in the back of your dairy drawer until you need them.
Have you ever bought beef in a tube? You haven’t? I say you should start. They tend to weigh just over nine pounds but for around $2.77/lb, you cannot beat the cost. Sometimes a snag two pounds right off the bat to use for meatloaf (Again, part of an upcoming post.) otherwise it all gets browned at the same time. And what does it go into?? (You guys are so smart!!) The quart sized freezer bag gets a pound of beef. When ready to use, open the bag and toss that puppy into the microwave to defrost.
Now it’s time to sneak a peek into the Mishmash Pantry
Carbs!! Who doesn’t love carbs?? Okay, maybe it’s only me, and my little man who usually wants to eat it plain… I swear he’s adopted sometimes! Carbs are my downfall (diet-wise) but the staple go-to for easy, fast, and filling meals. I tend to have spaghetti (or angel hair), penne, and elbow pasts on hand. Again, most are from Sam’s Club but others are bought at the grocery store, like the lasagna noodles.
Here you’ll see quite a bit of my canned collection. I keep chicken noodle on hand. (Colds seem to strike us year around down here) Cream of chicken is another must have. If you prefer cream of mushroom that’s alright too. (I have never been a mushroom fan.)
The other thing that you’ll see that I MUST have is my canned chicken. Hey now! Don’t knock it. You buy canned tuna, right? This is pre-cooked and ready to use. I don’t have the time, energy, or patience for shredding chicken or anything like that. I skip the middleman and go right for the good stuff. Besides Coco and Mikey (two of the cats) would have a conniption if I stopped using it.
What else does The Mishmash Kitchen have?
A few other things not pictured that I have on hand is long grain white rice, (again, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it) boxed mashed potatoes, alfredo sauce and spaghetti sauce are other must-haves. For school, Sam’s Club where I nab my peanut butter and individual bags of chips.
Now, a few things I generally never buy at Sam’s
cereal- I almost always get this cheaper as a BOGO deal or with coupons
sour cream- unless you are throwing a massive fiesta, it is huge and will spoil before you can use it.
As I always like to say, “If it doesn’t come from a jar, a can, a box, or the freezer… it doesn’t get made!” (except for my pot roast. I make a killer pot roast!!)