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  1. #1
    **Coupon Queen** sweetnlow30's Avatar
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    I ran out of coffee creamer the other day so I figured I would go to the Bulk Barn and buy a bag of it to refill the container. It ended up costing me almost $8.00 for the bag of creamer. I did the math by weight and it is actually cheaper to buy the no named creamer at its regular price at the grocery store Now I am wondering if I am overpaying at the bulk food store and if I should just wait until the same items come on sale at the grocery store. For the past three years I have been buying my nuts, coconut, chocolate and basic ingredients for Christmas baking at the Bulk Barn but I always walk out with at least a $40 bill. I figured it was because baking is expensive, and it is! Now I am second guessing whether I saved any money I know it is good when I only need a pinch of some spice I won't use much, but for heavier ingredients, I am not so sure now. Has anyone done the math and compared costs of baking ingredients, specifically at the Bulk Barn?

    On a side note, be careful with some ingredients at the Bulk Barn! I bought a mixed grain to make sprouts for my parrot and I found small black grain bugs in the mix. We never had these bugs before and now I can't seem to get them out of the house I have to seal everything in the cupboard in plastic bags. I freeze all of my grains overnight when I bring them home now.
    This thread is currently associated with: Bulk Barn
    I am looking for quick trades for my pre-surgery stock up!

    Updated TL/WL HERE




  2. #2
    Smart Canuck
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    It's good if you can use the discount coupon for your purchases. The best deal would be on the spices. They are a fraction of the price of the bottled jars at the grocery store. Baking items would probably be cheaper on sale at the grocery store, especially during discount days or with coupons. Bulk Barn is good for buying small quantities...I buy wheat bran, panko crumbs, spices, etc...I used to buy these items in large bags and they would go to waste.

  3. #3
    Contradiction in progress sweet sparrow's Avatar
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    I've always just bought things on sale at the grocery store, unless you need something out of the ordinary. I find that you can even make the fancy spices out of spices you already have with a simple internet search. So far, I've made italian seasoning and plan to make herbs de provence.

    I used to compare all the prices of things I needed to buy at the Bulk Barn. In an entire year, the only things I bought were whole oats, and specialty items like bulk candies (for a wedding), cake trays, and cake boxes. For me, I never really saved much there, even with the $3 coupon.

    Just recently, I saw baking soda on sale and my mom as well as another baker told me to go to the Bulk Barn. I called ahead and he told me the price was $0.72 per 100 g. I bought a 500 g box for $0.60.

    Someone also mentioned that when they refill the boxes, they always refill from the top so there may be bits on the sides and bottom that could potentially have been there for years.

    My sister shopped there to be more environmentally conscious, thinking there was less packaging. One day, she came while they were refilling the cereal and they opened the little boxes to dump into the big bin!

    But, if you're looking for something specific, like silver candy balls or gummy tarantulas, I don't think there's as much variety anywhere else than the Bulk Barn.

  4. #4
    Senior Canuck
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    sugar and flour is often cheaper in the grocery stores when it is on sale, but you wont get the variety of flours and such...

  5. #5
    Smart Canuck mckbutterfly's Avatar
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    I like to get spices at Bulk barn because the variety. I hate to buy a 4.00 bottle of turmeric at the grocery store when all I need it a teaspoon. It's not a spice I frequently use so buying the smallest bottle at the grocery store is even wasteful sometimes as spices don't stay savory for all that long.
    My kids like to go to bulk barn for the variety of bulk candies and I really like that I can get 1 specific flavour of jelly belly jelly beans without buying a whole box to pick out the ones I like.
    I always stay away from the nuts section there. If I ever buy that type of product there Im always shocked at the final price when I pay.

  6. #6
    Smart Canuck pac182's Avatar
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    I usually only shop at the bulk barn when I want chocolate wafers, then can get as much or as little as every colour I want or for road trips when I want a big of variety in snacks. I took a cake decorating class and everyone was like just buy your stuff at the Bulk Barn it's cheaper. I bought some icing sugar and it was so clumpy it took forever to sift and just drove me nuts
    One by one, the penguins slowly steal my sanity

  7. #7
    Hooked! slayer_glade's Avatar
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    Next time you go, just write down the unit costs. That way, when you go to the grocery store, it'll be very easy to compare.

    I buy spices at the Bulk Barn since I prefer smaller quantities. And candy when I want some but not a whole bag like at the grocery store. I do like buying grains there since they have items I can't find elsewhere (or easily). Same goes for the no sugar added and unsweetened products.

  8. #8
    **Coupon Queen** sweetnlow30's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help I am just going to stick with buying spices and sprinkles from the Bulk Barn for my baking this year. Now if I can only find a good sale on butter since I need 4 large sticks!
    I am looking for quick trades for my pre-surgery stock up!

    Updated TL/WL HERE



  9. #9
    Hooked! slayer_glade's Avatar
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    I read the grocery list thread and it seems a lot of places in ON have butter at 2.77/2.88. It's not super amazing, but still a good deal.

    I stocked up a few weeks ago when they were 2 bucks (have 10 in the freezer lol).

  10. #10
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    Well actually it depend on what you want to buy. If you are buying grocery then you can buy it in a bulk means for 2-3 months. But some items like fruits, breads we can not have it in a bulk.

  11. #11
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    Bulk barn has many great deals when buying in bulk, however I've noticed lots of things are more expensive.

    Best Prices I've noticed are on stuff like:
    Spices
    Brown Sugar, white sugar, icing sugar are very reasonable.
    Oatmeal
    Raisins
    Chocolate chips (on par grocery store 1kg bag)

    Worst prices:
    Flour, about double compared to a good sale in the store.
    Spaghetti
    Cereal
    Coffee

    They've also been coming out with some great coupons in their flyer which really make a difference. Every couple weeks a new coupon comes out, spend $10 save $3, we use to keep stocked up on mostly baking supplies.

  12. #12
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    i only shop there when they have coupons. I buy one bag (not bulk) of my wheat free oats and then top it off on dog biscuits or spices to the ten dollar mark and use the coupon....i am very good at getting very close to the ten dollar mark...

  13. #13
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    Yeah, with the Bulk Barn you really do need to know your prices (and use the coupons). Some things are a better deal but a lot of things aren't. I write down the unit price of everything I would normally buy and compare it to other stores. Spices, whether you buy them in small amounts or enough to fill a spice container, are pretty much always a fraction of the cost you would pay for them anywhere else.

  14. #14
    Boo Radley Conspirator roseofblack25's Avatar
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    It depends on what you buy and sometimes it's better to buy if it is on sale. My sister told me it was cheaper to buy pasta at the bulk barn if the boxes of pasta weren't on sale at the grocery store. It's about a .10 difference between bulk and boxed though. She also buys loose leaf tea there. It's way cheaper to get a huge bag of tea leaves than to buy bagged tea in a box. The leaves are light so we always get a ton of different bags with different flavours and each bag costs very little compared to bagged tea. Plus we don't have to commit to buying a whole box of tea in bags just to find out we don't like it.

    We get different kinds of flour at the bulk barn because it's the only place that we can get the different kinds we need to make bread. We get a lot of spices there too or things to add to our bread when we make it. If you only need something for one recipe it's way cheaper to just get what you know you need. We bought caraway seeds at the bulk barn and it was like .20 for what we needed for the couple of caraway rye loaves we made.

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  15. #15
    Made In Canada velizabethwhite's Avatar
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    I been feeling the pinch at the bulk barn as well, especially with nuts and christmas baking supplies. I was wondering the same thing, actually, if the bulk really is more cheaper or not, and I'm not seeing the savings at all. I will say the prices are good on spices, though, and some specialty candy as a treat. Sprinkles are cheaper than the store-bought kind as well.

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