Buying food in large quantities, considered bulk shopping, is a great way to fill the fridge and pantry while cutting down the food cost. Some items are highly discounted when purchased in bulk, which makes it a cost-effective way of shopping. Bulk items that can be frozen or non-perishable items are best to buy. Be careful purchasing large quantities of things that can go bad quickly. Below is a list of foods that everyone should have in bulk. These items have a long shelf life or can be frozen and used later.
Dried Beans And Lentils
This term shelf-stable applies to foods to be stored at room temperature for an extended period before going bad. Storing lentils and beans can lead to the degradation of several nutrients over time. Many studies have shown some beans can remain edible for more than ten years. Lentils and beans are high in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, making those a healthy bulk shopping choice. They are in an enormous variety of dishes, like stews, soups, and curries, salads.
Though nutritious and delicious, fresh berries are highly perishable and expensive. Thankfully, frozen berries are like fresh berries’ nutritional values, and you can purchase them in bulk at a low cost. Harvesting and quickly freezing the berries can prolong the shelf life and maintain the nutritional content of fresh berries. According to USDA, you can safely freeze fruit for up to six months. Adding berries to your diet will benefit your health in various ways and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, mental decline, and certain cancers.
Frozen Meat And Poultry
Frozen meat such as steak will last in the freezer for almost 12 months, while a chicken breast will last for about nine months. Freezing the protein sources shortly after its purchase will extend the usability so that you won’t have to go to the store every time you require poultry or meat for a recipe.
Like berries and different fruit types, fresh vegetables can spoil quickly, even when appropriately stored. Because of that reason, stocking up with frozen vegetables such as butternut squash, broccoli, and spinach, is an excellent idea because they can be in the freezer for about eight months. People who have a higher vegetable intake hold a much lower risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease than those with lower amounts of vegetables in their diets.
Oats are not only a healthy and versatile grain, but these also happen to hold a long shelf life. Fresh oats are stored for up to four months. Freezing oats in the airtight containers may further elongate the shelf life, bearing an extra four months to the expiration date. Oats are rich in vitamin B, zinc, magnesium, and a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which can help lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar levels, and enhance fullness feelings.
Dried fruit is extraordinarily nutritious and includes an adequate amount of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. What’s more, this is a healthy pantry item with a very long shelf life compared to fresh fruits. Dried fruits such as apricots, mangos, and cranberries are edible for more than six months. After opening, storing them in the refrigerator can allow those to last additional six months. Dried fruits are higher in the number of calories and sugar than any fresh fruit. Choose the unsweetened dried fruit whenever it is possible to limit extra sugar intake.
Nuts In The Shell
Nuts in shell last a lot longer than the shelled nuts, making them an excellent choice for long-term storage. In many cases, purchasing the nuts in a shell can extend the shelf life. Consider buying nuts such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts in the shell. Then crack them with the nutcracker as required. One of the added benefits of nuts in a shell is that it can take extra effort and time to prepare those than the shelled nuts, making you eat slower and reducing calorie intake.
Certain Whole Grains
Some whole grains like quinoa, farro, amaranth, and wild rice have surprisingly high shelf lives. For example, uncooked quinoa will last for more than three years when stored accurately in the pantry. Whole grains create excellent additions to every meal, which provides a vital source of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and the potent plant compounds that benefit health.
Whole kernel popcorn bought in bulk and can last for more than two years at room temperature. The packaged instant popcorn contains many unhealthy ingredients such as unhealthy fats and harmful additives. Not to mention, preparing your popcorn is a lot of fun and will allow you to control every ingredient added to it. Also, popcorn is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, fiber, zinc, phosphorus, and manganese, making it a very healthy snack when consumed in moderation.
Shopping in bulk can help you save money. Make sure to buy items that you will often use to ensure nothing goes to waste. Bulk items that need to be frozen should be portioned and stored in an airtight container. Instead of freezing meat in the container from the store, consider putting the meat into a separate container or ziplock bag. Having frozen and non-perishable food around the house will ease your worries if we go into another lockdown.