Every Thursday, GreenStar offers 10% off of all Bulk Department purchases to GreenStar owners.* If you’ve always skipped the bulk aisle (or just need a refresher), here are 10 foods (and non-foods) you can buy in bulk to save big bucks. Bonus? We’ve included recipes to help get you cooking using bulk ingredients!

  1. Grains and beans – Grains such as rice and quinoa cost up to half as much when purchased in bulk. In fact, rice is one of the no-brainers when it comes to buying in bulk. Grab some wild rice to make this Mushroom & Wild Rice Frittata or some brown rice to cook up these Rice Bean Burgers. Check out this Rice video to learn more about the varieties of rice and how to cook them. You’ll also find usual grains like wheat berries and quinoa in bulk too. The same savings are true for dried beans, including common ones like pinto and black. Dried beans also contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts, with some having no extra added salt. Check out this Beans Guide for instructions on how to soak and cook them. Once cooked, try them in these Beans for Lunch: 5 Days, 5 Ways recipes.
  2. Nuts – There’s no way around it – nuts are expensive! But buying in bulk can save you a third of the price. Plus, nuts contain oils that can go bad after just six months. So, buy your almonds, walnuts, and other nuts in small quantities, as needed. For a fun (and spicy) snack, make these Maple Chipotle Spiced Nuts. These Fruit and Nut Granola Bars use all sorts of bulk goodies.
  3. Dried fruit – For lovers of raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, mangoes, and other dried fruit, bulk is the way to go. Bulk dried fruit can save you as much as 20 percent. Treat yourself with these Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies or eat up this savory-sweet Cumin Raisin Quinoa.
  4. Granola and other cereals – There’s no cooking needed to enjoy granola. While you can eat it straight with milk, granola is also a fantastic topping to yogurt or ice cream. You can also mix it into a smoothie such as this Mixed Berry and Oat Smoothie with Granola. Steel-cut oats and other cereals make great hot breakfasts. Check out the article Beyond Instant Oatmeal to read up on how to cook them and other unusual hot foods for your morning meal. Granola is still pricey, even in bulk. You’ll save a tenth of packaged prices when you buy bulk granola.
  5. Snacks – Whether you’re hankerin’ for some trail mix or a fist full of chocolate covered almonds, you’ll save up to 12 percent when you buy snacks in bulk. This is one of those items that simply doesn’t need a recipe. Try some of of the Tex Mex Mix on your next hike or chocolate covered ginger.
  6. Baking products – Flours, sugar, chocolate chips, oats, yeast…all of these baking ingredients and more are available in bulk. Give this Honey Whole Wheat Bread a try. (Never baked bread before? Read up on techniques in Bread-Making Basics.) Cook up some chili and bake up this Roasted Sweet Corn Bread.
  7. Seeds – Chia, pumpkin (pepitas), hemp, and more seeds can be yours at a slight savings in the bulk aisle. Buying seeds in bulk means only buying what you need, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad before you can use them. Try this Baby Greens and Beet Salad with Lemon Chia Dressing. Looking for an energy-packed breakfast? Make this Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie Bowl.
  8. Nut Butters – If you love a good nut butter, there’s nothing better than freshly ground. You can grab either peanut or almond butter in bulk at a savings of up to a third. Try some freshly ground peanut butter in this Peanut Sesame Noodles dish.
  9. Oils and vinegars – These two condiments can be featured in a smooth salad dressing or add flavor to a cooked dish. Taste the freshness in this Lemon Vinaigrette.  Drizzle on the flavor in this Sweet Onion Panzanella dish. Break out the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) for this Grilled Vegetable Antipasto.
  10. Mixes – No recipes needed for these soups and side dishes! We’ve got dehydrated refried and black beans, soups, and falafel and hummus mixes. In most cases, you just need to add water. Check for the instructions on the bulk bins.

Bonus Bulk Buys: Buy body and haircare and cleaning products in bulk to save. Plus, you get to use your own containers and stop accumulating plastic bottles!

*Some restrictions apply — the discount cannot be used with other discounts or sales or for case sales.

Thanks to our friends at Chequamegon Food Co-op for the blog post!