Given the current time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of buying groceries in bulk may sound like a logical move. You might be thinking that you are saving both time and money while reducing frequent shopping trips to the supermarket. Unfortunately, not every item is meant to be purchased in bulk, which in turn, can contribute to unnecessary wastage. Below are the 8 Things You Should Avoid Buying In Bulk.
1) Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Let’s start with the obvious: fresh produce regardless of fruits or vegetables should be bought in small quantities. Or more appropriately, the quantities that you really need to finish them before they turn bad. Which is why fresh fruits and vegetables fall under the perishable food category. So the next time you are out for grocery shopping, make a weekly list on how you plan to prepare the veggies to avoid unnecessary wastage.
Eggs are no doubt a kitchen staple made versatile enough for different kinds of food. Omelette, scrambled, poached, fried… you name it, having a few eggs in the fridge sure comes in handy. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to buy them in bulk. Unless of course, your meal consists of eggs three times a day from breakfast to dinner. Here’s what you need to know: Eggs, especially the fresh ones, typically last about 5-6 weeks if refrigerated properly. You wouldn’t want to consume bad or expired eggs since you might end up risking yourself with salmonella poisoning, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
Spices like thyme, oregano, cumin and rosemary do come in handy to boost the flavour of your home cooking. They typically come in small containers too, making them easier for storage and do not take up much space either. But here’s the thing: Spices, particularly the ground ones can generally last for 2 or 3 years, even though most professional chefs recommend they should be used within 6 months. The reason? Spices can lose their flavour and potency when they get older. While it’s tempting to buy all kinds of spices available in the supermarket, it’s best to stick to only those you will use regularly.
4) Nuts & Seeds
Unless nuts and seeds are part of your daily diet, it’s best to buy them in small quantities. Here’s why: nuts and seeds contain lots of natural oils. These natural oils, in turn, are the major culprit that can make them turn rancid within a couple of months. Even so, to ensure they do not go bad quickly, always store unopened packages of nuts and seeds in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dark place.
Sure, condiments like mayonnaise and thousand island dressing may contain lots of preservatives. But that doesn’t mean they can last for years. It doesn’t matter whether you buy them in a jar or bottle, they are typically good enough for a few months. For instance, it is recommended to use mayo within 2 months of opening, and be sure to store it in the fridge too!
No doubt a kitchen staple, bread can be eaten at any time of the day regardless of breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper. Buying them in bulk may sound like a good idea but they can go bad rather quickly. Typically 3-4 days, to be exact, under room temperature. Sure, you can choose to keep the bread in the freezer to prolong its expiry date up to 3-6 months. But they won’t taste as good and fresh as you bought them in the first place. If that’s the case, you can consider turning them into bread pudding or croutons.
7) Cooking Oils
Having a bottle of cooking oil is practically a must-have kitchen item for frying, roasting and sauteing. Unless you have a large family to feed and you do a lot of cooking using oil, it is never a good idea to buy oil in bulk. They can go rancid within a few months and even lose their nutrients. For instance, vegetable and olive oils are best used within 3-5 months after opening.
Unless you know you are regularly using the flour for baking or thickening sauces and soups, it’s best not to buy them in bulk. This is especially true for the whole wheat varieties since they contain oils, meaning they can easily go bad within a few months. How bad? Let’s just say they smell rancid and off-putting. Even other flours like self-rising and all-purpose varieties usually last up to 6-8 months.