I ask this because I have had about every bulk food store membership and have really found myself drowning in food bills and even worse, my food choices were way too limited.
There are lot’s of bulk food stores. Are they really worth it? what are you really getting?You can find some good deals at these stores and in the summer, I do find some fruit and vegetables well worth my while. Like any other produce department, the rest of the seasons typically have less then perfect produce and buying a bag of apples or oranges may leave with you with half of a bag of nasty tasting fruit that you throw away. In the off season I do like to pick out my fruit one-by-one for this reason as I feel my odds are better at getting better produce.
If you are spending a lot at these stores is there a chance that you are limiting your other grocery shopping and not buying as healthy as you could be? Why is this? It’s simple, bulk choices are mostly processed food. You may spend a portion on the bulk items like condiments, boxed food etc but then you walk out spending more then half of your grocery money on things you won’t be able to make a truly healthy meal with or a full meal at all.
The meats can be a great buy too but we like to see those nicely pre-flavored items in bulk and do you really need an extra family size of pre-flavored sodium chicken or could you buy some fresh chicken, at lower quantities, and flavor it yourself and save a lot of calories?
A treat is nice every now and then and I don’t mind splurging and buying a small candy bar or something like that but, do you really need that extra 5 boxes of cupcakes or the second jar of sugary ketchup…just to name a couple.
I used to be a SAMS shopper and I could walk out of that store easily spending over $300 and I still needed to go to the grocery store afterwards.
If you are very limited in how much you can spend on grocery then maybe rethink the bulk food idea. It may be nice to have a full pantry, but what is the pantry full of?
I have been guilty of buying less quality food to save a buck in the past. If saving money if more important then eating healthy then that saddens me…a lot. I like these bulk food stores for their soap, baby products, and other things but not so much for the food.
Is it really worth saving a few bucks to add a few pounds to our waist line and therefore taking a few more precious years off of our lives with our families? Do we really need the over sized family bag of chips and dip and the two gigantic sugary ketchup bottles?
This is just my opinion, of course everyone has to decide what is best. I have a hard time agreeing with someone that says to me “I have limited grocery money and can’t eat healthy as it is too expensive,” when I see them buy a large cart full of crap food at these stores and spend over $300-$400 at a time.
You CAN buy healthy food there. There raw meat is cheaper a lot of the time. If you put a little effort in flavoring it yourself with lower or no sodium flavoring (fresh herbs and Mrs. Dash) then buying meat can be worth it.
Now I do not have any memberships. I know many that do, so when I want the trash bags and body wash I simply go when they go and pick it up then. It lasts me so long that a membership for me is not worth the money.
If you have followed my blog for awhile you will notice that many times I have found myself saving at the grocery and buying healthy food. You just have to think outside of the box and not go into it with the attitude that you can’t afford to eat healthy. We CAN afford to eat healthy, all of us. We just have to give up eating like crap first! Some may think that is too blunt but until I figured this out I was guilty of making the same unhealthy choices.
Have a healthy day!