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I know, you’ve all heard it before. Anyone who’s done a moment’s research into keeping costs down, particularly with groceries, knows that buying in bulk is the way to go. So I realise that this isn’t an original suggestion but I don’t think my time is wasted by writing about it anyway. 2015/03/img_1958.jpg

That’s me, gleefully presiding over our trolley at the Cash and Carry down in Canning Vale in Perth. Mostly, these places are reserved for catering businesses, commercial kitchens and any outlet for selling foodstuffs. But with RAC membership you can get in on the goodness too! The staff make faces at you but eh, whatevs. They can bite me.

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Seven meals’ worth of refried beans for $5. Beat that, people.

We went with a list, after eating breakfast – you know, following our own rules. We got staples and essentials, and a couple of opportunistic bargains, and one modest treat.

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Don’t you just get a thrill of excitement when you see that great open space stuffed with savings?

The key is, not to get carried away. Bear in mind things like (obviously) your budget, the reality of whether or not you’ll use that fantastic bargain there, whether it’s going to be good for you, and perhaps most importantly, where you’re going to store your plunder. I mean, I’d totally buy a pallet of soy milk but I’ve just got nowhere to put the sodding thing.

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In the end we settled on a carton of tomato paste in the practical squeezy containers, a giant tub of washing powder to replace the one that had just run out after 18 months, a carton of Indo Mee “Spicy Beef” (yes it’s vegan) noodle packets (the modest treat) and 48 rolls of toilet paper. About 18 months’ worth, if my calculations are correct. There were a few other treasures (the pastry keeper for the freezer got me very excited) but those are the bulk buys of note.

It’s worth saving outside your usual food budget for trips like these as by sucking up a big spend once a year or so you could end up saving hundreds of dollars, if you plan right and follow through on your plan. Be prepared, take your time, and think about every purchase. These places hold treasures untold.

Do you buy in bulk? What are your secrets and staples? How do you store them?

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