Thursday, April 10, 2014

Would You Buy 25 Lbs Of Flour?

Costco sells 25 lb bags of bread flour. People look at you funny when you leave there with a huge bag of flour and your kids in tow. I know. I bought one. People looked at me funny. I even heard the jokes about how many cakes I must be planning to bake. I guess only businesses buy those bags of flour. Maybe so, but the $7.19 price tag won me over.

I never before thought we went through so much bread flour! I had previously been buying my bread flour at Albertsons - three 5lb bags at a time for $1.99 each. That was the store brand and was the cheapest I could find (Walmart was the only other store in this area that carried a generic bread flour).

Buying it that way, in 5 lb bags, it didn't seem like a ton of flour, but when you add it up over the course of several months, it is. About 12 weeks after I purchased our first 25 lb bag, out supply had dwindled down to only about 2 pounds. It was time to get more.

I don't store my flour in it's large bag. I divide it into smaller, more manageable packages. The first time I split up a bag, I use whatever was available. That meant half-gallon jars, quart jars and gallon ziploc bags. The gallon-sized bags held more than my large half-gallon jars but I didn't want to keep having to buy more bags. I was trying to save money with this bulk flour purchase. I also wanted to find a low waste/zero waste solution. I decided to use only the large half-gallon jars.

To make things easier, use a canning funnel to fill up your jar.

Each half-gallon jar holds at least 2 1/2 pounds of flour - more if you spend time tamping it down (which I didn't do. That means, for one 25 lb bag of flour, you would need ten jars.

I only had eight jars available but I also had to fill up our main container in the kitchen.

These containers are made by Snapware. They have silicone seals to keep them airtight. These are the older models with the flip top. I absolutely love them!

Once all the jars were filled, I capped each one and rotated them through the deep freezer for a few days each to discourage any bugs. I've heard a bay leaf can accomplish the same thing but I haven't tried it and I didn't have any bay leaves on hand.

Since I knew we would use up this flour within about 3 months, I didn't bother prepping it for long-term. If it will take you a long time to use up your flour, you may want to place a couple oxygen absorbers in the top of each jar before sealing them.

This may seem like a lot of work just to save a few dollars, but over the course of a year, saving a few cents or a few dollars here and there with multiple products really adds up to a lot of money!

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Joy said...

I buy two 25 lb bags of organic all-purpose and one 50 lb bag of organic sprouted wheat flour from a mill on the other side of Greensboro every 6 months. Even though it's a 1.5 hour round trip drive, I spend just under $50 for 100 lbs of flour and it lasts me 6 months. Totally worth it, in my opinion! We store it all in the bottom 2 shelves of our garage freezer. I just pour it from the bag into my flour container as I need it.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me Mrs. LH, but how were you able to get 25 lb (or more) bags at CostCo?

I would love to do the same thing and have checked their online catalog, but on the Costco Wholesale site, the only flour items available are two different disaster prep bins and an almond flour bag; I'm full aware that CostCo Business has huge, 25-50 lb bags of flour selling at rates below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average price (~$0.50/lb), but you have to register as a business in order to be a CostCo Business member. Did you have to register as a business owner, or do stores actually have these 25-50 lb items in stock for regular members to purchase?

Trish said...

Hi Acacia,

I purchased mine in the Costco store. It was in the baking aisle with the large bags of sugar, regular flour, baking soda, etc. I also only have the Gold Star Membership so it is definitely something regular Costco members can purchase.

Unknown said...

I have had no problems getting 25# bags of flour at Sam's club and they deliver