15 Things to Buy in Bulk RIght Now. (2023)

In today's global environment and economy, it's more important than ever to prepare your household for food and supply shortages. One way to do that is by stocking up on items when they're on sale.

Recently I’ve been getting emails from our subscribers almost weekly about how to prep for food shortages. That's why I wrote this post on 15 items to buy in bulk right now.

Why You Should Buy in Bulk

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Our family lives a long way from a big city. And the prices at the supermarket in town are high.

Also, for many years we were a large family at home, although now it’s just our two youngest children at home with us. Yet Dan still bulk buys when he can to stock up the pantry at our off grid home.

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money on everyday basics. In addition, bulk packages save the manufacturer money on packaging and transportation. To encourage the sale of bulk packs, the manufacturer passes some of these savings on to the consumer.

If you have a bulk foods store nearby, you could buy products in smaller amounts with your reusable packaging to save more money. And to reduce your waste. And this is a great way to save money by buying at bulk prices.

Where to Buy in Bulk

And by the way, have you had a chance to check out Lehman's Hardware Store ? This is one of our favorite sites for quality, Amish-made homestead kitchen supplies, tools and more at great prices!

In today’s world, most stores offer bulk packages of everyday basics. However, selection can be limited in traditional stores and supermarkets.

If you have a bulk store in your community, it can be a great idea to take the time to explore and compare prices. However, it’s just simpler to shop at Sam’s Club and or Costco in most cases.

These large, big box stores are designed for everyday consumers and stocked with products that consumers often buy in bulk.

In our case, the closest big box store is an 18-hour drive away. Seriously. And we do know of people in our area who make the drive twice a year with a van to stock their own pantries and cupboards.

We do not. Dan shops the sale flyers, and we also order items through Amazon. We watch out for warehouse sales.

I should also point out that we are working hard to reduce our dependency on the grocery store. We garden, raise homestead animals, forage, hunt, fish, can and preserve our food as much as possible.

Bulk Buying On Sale

Buying food and household goods from the store in bulk can help you save money in the long run and get the most value at the grocery store. But be sensible.

Bulk buy the items your family uses often and quickly. However, if you’re new to shopping in bulk, you may wonder just what areas to focus on for stocking up.

There’s no point in buying ten things on sale. Only buy what you KNOW your family will eat/use. Then, start a system to use it before that. Otherwise, you’re wasting money.

One way to do that is with a yearly pantry or freezer challenge. We do this each January to clear out our older food items.

Note: some people also buy in bulk by learning how to buy Target liquidation pallets. These liquidation pallets can be full of treasures to help you stock and prepare. However, they might also contain a bunch of junk. So do your research carefully!

Stocking Up When Inflation Rises

Here’s a surprising fact: One of the best times to bulk buy is when inflation is rising. This is because retailers will more likely offer discounts on items to eliminate excess stock.

People tend to buy less when prices increase, so retailers offer discounts to clear out their inventory. This is an excellent time for stocking up on non-perishable items like canned goods, paper products, and cleaning supplies.

Bulk Buying When a War Is Coming

If you think a war is coming, focus on stocking up on essentials. Food, water, and medical supplies should be top of your list. If you have the space, buy extra ammunition and firearms for hunting and self-defense.

In an SHTF or Emergency Situation

If an SHTF (that’s “sh*t hits the fan” and refers to times of chaos) or emergency occurs, having a stockpile of essential items is critical. Don’t wait for the problem to occur. Start prepping now.

This includes stocking up on food, water, medical supplies, ammunition, and firearms. It's also essential to have backup plans for things like heating and electricity.

For example, we have a diesel generator and solar panels to power our home because we live off the grid.

However, we know many on-grid country homeowners with gasoline or diesel generators. They have a generator to power their home if the grid goes down due to storms or other problems.

Still not sure exactly what to buy in bulk right now?

Don't worry – we've got you covered. Check out our list of the top 15 items you should stock up on now.

What to Buy in Bulk: 15 Items to Starting Stocking Up on Now

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Now that you know when and where to buy bulk, let's look at some of the items you should start stockpiling now. Note these include food and non-food supplies.

Here are the top 15 items for bulk buying.

Paper Products

Paper products like toilet paper and paper towels come at a significant discount when purchasing them in bulk.

Look for bulk packages of the store brand or buy the larger bulk packages from a club store for the best deals.

Paper products are useful in any household, but if you're like my family, you may be trying to reduce your waste. So you need to prep with other options.

These may include beeswax wraps, cotton bread and grocery bags, and alternatives to toilet paper.

Cleaning Supplies

It's always a good idea to have a stock of cleaning supplies on hand, especially in an emergency. If you prefer store-bought, then go ahead and buy them on sale.

If, on the other hand, you prefer natural cleaning supplies, stock up on those. These may include

  • Vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking powder
  • Citric acid

Bottled Water

In any type of emergency, it's crucial to have access to clean drinking water. Stocking up on bottled water is a quick and easy way to ensure you're prepared.

Our water situation is a bit different from most homes. We pump our water from the lake behind our off grid home all year round.

We have a water filtration system on the tap in our kitchen so we always have access to clean drinking water. Additionally, we have a Big Berkey filter system on our kitchen counter.


If you or a family member takes regular medications, if possible, it's a good idea to stock up on extra doses in case of an emergency. However, talk to your pharmacist about the shelf-life of these medications.

Also, keep an eye on the expiry dates of over-the-counter medications in your stockpile. If possible, look for natural alternatives you could grow or collect yourself.


We harvest a variety of dried and fresh herbs for food and medicinal use. Our “stocking up” involves gathering and dehydrating them each summer.

I have a whole library of books about herbs. And my daughter just signed up for an online herbal remedy course (affiliate link.)

Although we still buy our favorite essential oils through Young Living, we’re experimenting with making our own oils and tinctures to be less dependent on outside sources.

After all, in an SHTF, war, or other emergencies, shipping may be an issue.

Pet Food

If you have pets, you’ll want to start stocking pet food for an emergency. Bulk buying canned or dry pet food is an option. And you could save money by picking up larger bags.

To get the most of your bulk pet food, move it to an air-tight container to keep it fresh and protected from pests.

However, another alternative is to find ways to make your own pet food. For example, in our area, we know of several families with sled dog teams. And many of our friends and neighbours fish the lakes around here regularly. These families feed their dogs fresh fish and dried fish. Berries, and other “household” food is also an option.


Ammunition is a valuable commodity, so it's a good idea to stock up on extra rounds if you have the space.

Hygiene Products

It's always a good idea to have a stock of hygiene products on hand, especially in an emergency.

Stock up on feminine hygiene products for the women in your household. Better yet, consider switching to reusable cloth menstrual pads. You’ll find free patterns online.

Another option is a menstrual cup.

Soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and deodorants are other items to buy in bulk as they have long shelf lives. These personal care products often get used daily, and buying in bulk can save money.

In addition, bulk buying personal hygiene supplies help reduce the plastic waste your family produces by using fewer bottles.

Or forego buying these items and make your own.

Recently, the girls and I have been experimenting with making soaps, bath salts, deodorant, lip balms, lotions, and shampoo bars.

If you decide to try this, you’ll want to put in a good supply of soap-making materials.

Meats and Proteins

Bulk family packs of meat usually offer the best meat deals available at the grocery store. In some cases, bulk buying meat cuts your costs by half.

Buy the bulk family packs of meat and freeze the remaining meat for later to get the most value at the grocery store. Or look into buying meat directly from a local farmer for more savings.

Favorite Herbs and Spices

If you use herbs and spices regularly in your cooking, try purchasing them in bulk. To find the best deals on bulk herbs and spices, check the ethnic food section.

Even better? Grow your own herbs indoors or in pots. Try growing basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, and sage in an Aerogarden or vertical garden on your patio. Dry them for winter and store them in a dark, cool cupboard.

Rice and Beans

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For the past thirty years, I’ve always had kept a good supply of everyday basics like rice, beans, lentils, and other legumes in our pantry.

Dan buys the dried legumes whenever they go on sale, especially the bulk packs. Not only do you save money by buying the bulk packs, but you don't have to worry about running out of a simple staple you can use to bulk up your meals.


If you like to do a lot of cooking and baking, buying flour in bulk at a lower price will save you money. Remember to store it in the freezer or in mylar bags/pails to keep it fresh.


In many cases, sugar is a staple for everything from baking to your morning coffee. In the past, sugar was rationed because of its importance.

Buying sugar in bulk is a great way to lower your cost. We also stock up on molasses and honey when it’s on sale.

Growing stevia and keeping honey bees could also be options for adding natural sweeteners to your pantry supplies.

Canned Goods

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One of the simplest ways to get started buying in bulk to build your prepper pantry involves purchasing cases of canned goods.

Canned soups, vegetables, and fruit make for inexpensive and convenient meals in a hurry. They have a long shelf life, but take note: they may also be very high in sodium (salt.)

Our pantry includes a combination of purchased canned goods and homemade canned, preserved, and dehydrated items.

Flashlights and Batteries

In an emergency, a flashlight or headlamp can be a lifesaver. Make sure you have a few extra on hand, just in case, along with matches, lighters, and extra batteries.

Get Started Now

The best way to start preparing for a potential emergency is to stock up on the right items. While food is an integral part of any stockpile, there are other things you should consider buying in bulk too.

With a bit of preparation, you can have all the supplies you need to ride out any type of storm - natural, economic, or political.

Ready to get started? Start by saving and sharing this post!

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15 Things to Buy in Bulk RIght Now.? ›

The Bottom Line

Dried beans, oats, frozen poultry, peanut butter and frozen fruits and vegetables are some examples of nutritious items that have long shelf lives. These foods can be stored in the pantry, freezer or fridge for many months, which is why purchasing them in bulk is a smart choice.

What groceries are worth buying in bulk? ›

The Best Foods to Buy In Bulk
  • Bread. We all want fresh bread for our morning toast or lunchtime grilled cheese. ...
  • Cereal. Cereal has long been established as something that is shelf-stable and lasts a good amount of time. ...
  • Bulk Proteins. ...
  • Parmesan (and other hard cheeses) ...
  • Butter. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Olive oil. ...
  • Broths and Stocks.
Jul 29, 2023

What foods should I buy for the week for bulk? ›

The Bottom Line

Dried beans, oats, frozen poultry, peanut butter and frozen fruits and vegetables are some examples of nutritious items that have long shelf lives. These foods can be stored in the pantry, freezer or fridge for many months, which is why purchasing them in bulk is a smart choice.

What do I need to buy in bulk? ›

Groceries and Food Storage Supplies
  • Coffee. Buy in bulk while still staying caffeinated year round. ...
  • Milk. If you're living frugally than you should be well acquainted with the many different ways to use milk. ...
  • Cheese. ...
  • Olive Oil. ...
  • Aluminum Foil. ...
  • Ziploc Bags. ...
  • Baking Products: Baking Soda, Flour and Sugar. ...
  • Pet Food.
Jul 22, 2022

What should I not buy in bulk? ›

11 items you should never buy in bulk
  • Fresh produce. Most fruit won't stay fresh for long. ...
  • Eggs. Don't do it unless you're a big breakfast-for-dinner fan. ...
  • Cooking oils. ...
  • Bread and bakery items. ...
  • Ground spices. ...
  • Condiments. ...
  • Whole grains and nuts. ...
  • Anything you won't freeze or eat before it goes bad.
Mar 8, 2018

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