Special Report

Buying These Foods in Bulk Will Save You the Most Money

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Americans are dealing with inflation that’s raging at a pace not seen since the first Reagan administration more than 40 years ago. The consumer price index rose 8.3% before seasonal adjustment for the 12 months ending in April. The food portion of the index, one of the two most volatile areas, along with energy, climbed 9.4% for the same 12-month period, with the sub-category food at home soaring 10.8%. (These are the states where families pay the most for food.)

Shopping to feed your family has become a stressful – and increasingly expensive – experience. One way to save money at the grocery store, however, is to buy some foods in bulk. To determine the foods that are most discounted when bought in bulk, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on price discounts from the coupon tracking platform CouponFollow. Food items were ranked based on the percentage difference in price for one unit of food purchased individually versus one unit of food purchased as part of a bulk order. CouponFollow collected price data from Instacart between April 1 and 7, 2022, using Instacart’s Safeway channel for individually priced items and its Costco channel for bulk-priced foods. The unit discount on each of the 15 items on our list is at least 65% – and as an added plus, most of the items listed are considered healthful food choices.

Click here to see how to save money by buying these foods in bulk

Among the foods one can buy in bulk to save money on are nuts – macadamias, walnuts, and almonds. According to Healthline, nuts are a healthful food packed with nutrients and antioxidants; are an aid for losing weight; can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and are beneficial for Type 2 diabetes. (These are the 20 groceries driving up your food bill the most.)

Organic mangoes, ginger root, uncooked tortillas, and brown rice are other healthy food candidates that can be purchased in bulk. Chicken drumsticks and skinless chicken thighs, top loin pork chops, and salmon and tilapia filets are good protein sources that won’t bust a family’s budget if bought in bulk.

15. Dry roasted almonds
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -65%

Like other nuts, almonds are a healthful food rich in Vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant. They reduce bad cholesterol and support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria – and make a delicious, healthy snack.

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14. Minced garlic
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -65%

Garlic has been in humanity’s diet for at least 5,000 years. It was given to athletes competing in the original Olympics in Greece to improve their performance. Garlic contains organo-sulfur compounds and that has been identified as an effective agent against brain cancer. Studies in China showed frequent garlic eaters have a lower risk of developing cancer.

13. American cheese slices
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -66%

Kraft was the pioneer in cheese slices, but today the Kraft originals have robust competition among brands such as Sargento, Tillamook, Belgioioso, Cracker Barrel, Boar’s Head, among others. This is one item on this list that isn’t a particularly healthful food choice; a Kraft single has 60 calories with high amounts of sodium and fat.

12. Romaine lettuce hearts
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -66%

Romaine lettuce is thought to have originated on the Aegean island of Cos (it’s also called cos lettuce). The hearts, heads of romaine with the coarser outer leaves removed, are lighter in color, ranging from a faint lime hue to a translucent greenish-white, and have an appealing crispness.

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11. Organic mangoes
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -66%

Organic produce is gaining more interest from retailers, and a vigorous market has developed for organic mangoes from Peru and Mexico. Peru’s growing season ends in late winter and early spring, just as Mexico’s production cranks up, so the fruit is available much of the year. Organic mangoes have a low sugar content and high levels of antioxidants. Their high nutritional value helps your body combat diabetes and cancer.

10. Organic uncooked tortillas
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -70%

Mexican food has exploded in popularity in the U.S., and tortillas are an essential for south-of-the-border cuisine. Tortillas are usually made from corn or flour, and both kinds can be healthy options – especially the former, made from nixtamalized (alkali-treated) corn.

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9. Chicken drumsticks
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -70%

Chicken drumsticks may not be the most popular cut of chicken, but they are cheaper than breasts and thighs and very versatile for cooking – great for grilling, frying, and roasting, and contain just 20 grams of protein per serving. Drumsticks also have niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, and potassium.

8. Organic ginger root
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -71%

This gnarled and knotted root is versatile, and especially popular in Asian cooking. It is used in many forms, including grated and ground. The root is packed with antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage and prevent disease. It’s also effective in combating nausea and an upset stomach, and aids digestion, the immune system, and bone health.

7. Walnuts
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -71%

Walnuts are a good source of copper, which helps immune function and blood-vessel development. Experts say eating up to two ounces of walnuts a day reduces risk factors for conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.

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6. Organic brown rice
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -77%

Brown rice has climbed in popularity in recent years. It is a super whole grain with high nutritional content. The nutritional portion of the grain is in its bran and germ layer. This has been helpful against conditions that include obesity, diabetes, and heart issues.

5. Dry roasted macadamia nuts
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -78%

Macadamia nuts have a buttery texture and elevated levels of healthy fats and nutrients such as vitamin B1 and manganese. They can also cut bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

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4. Atlantic Salmon filets
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -79%

Salmon is the third-most popular seafood in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries of the United States report, behind only shrimp and canned tuna. The fatty fish contains key nutrients, including selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

3. Tilapia filets
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -83%

Tilapia, a name used for several varieties of lean freshwater fish, has risen in popularity in the U.S. On average, Americans ate 1.07 pounds of it in 2020, making it our fourth-most popular fish, according to NOAA. Native to the Middle East and Africa but now widely farmed around the world (most of all in China), tilapia can be fried, grilled, or baked. Though not as rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids as salmon, tilapia does contain omega-6, which helps control cholesterol.

2. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -87%

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are hailed by cooks for their versatility, whether they are grilled or baked. They work well with spices and marinades and are considered an easy cooking option, as well as being cheaper than chicken breasts. Chicken thighs are low in calories and sodium and are packed with low-fat protein.

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1. Top loin pork chops
> Unit discount from bulk purchase: -91%

Pork chops are leaner than steak and are delicious on the grill, pan-fried, or baked in the oven. There are 24 grams of protein in a three-ounce portion. Protein is an essential nutrient for repairing muscles after exercise and keeping your immune system strong. Pork chops also are a source of zinc, whose deficiency can lead to a diminished immune system.

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