WTF in bulk

I suppose I’m hopelessly naive, and everyone else has always known better, but I thought the whole idea of a bulk foods section in a grocery store was that if you don’t need the packaging, you can save money.

I’m not sure what came over me today, but after visiting bulk foods to get some nuts and trail mix ingredients, I decided to check the prepackaged foods. In every case I found the same thing cheaper in prepackaged — a lot cheaper.

I suppose if you just need, say, two ounces of peanuts, it’s cheaper to get it in bulk. Which sounds oxymoronic but is true. But who the heck buys two ounces of peanuts?

Dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
Prepackaged 40 oz $4.49 = $1.80/lb
Bulk $2.49/lb

Roasted whole cashews, unsalted
Prepackaged 10 oz $4.49 = $7.20/lb
Bulk $8.49/lb

Prepackaged 24 oz $2.99 = $1.99/lb
Bulk $2.79/lb

Prepackaged 25.2 oz $5.00 = $3.17/lb
Bulk $4.49/lb

(Oh… as for the trail mix…

1 pkg chocolate morsels (12 oz, $1.99)
1 pkg peanut butter morsels (10 oz, $2.69)
1 pkg M&Ms (14 oz, $2.50)
12 oz dry roasted peanuts ($1.35)
12 oz raisins ($1.49)

Makes 60 oz at $10.02 = $2.67/lb. Target sells a 36 oz jar of the same thing for $6.99, or $3.11/lb. That’s actually not as big a markup as I was expecting, but mine’s still cheaper.)

(Gaaah… fixed some errors.)


4 thoughts on “WTF in bulk

    1. … yep, I come out with $3.35/lb using bulk M&Ms, peanuts, and raisins. (Also, for those paying close attention, there’s a discrepancy in the M&M prices above, because the 12.6 oz package is temporarily 14 oz. “10% more free!”.) (Error fixed. Sheesh.)


  1. It’s a religious thing. You pay for the virtue of not using that nasty packaging stuff. It’s like the markup on organic foods – way beyond the differential in cost of production.


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