The Kitchen Tool You Absolutely Need If You Buy Food In Bulk

Buying in bulk can be a game-changer for your wallet. The Balance states that buying in bulk is a cost-effective way to shop, depending on the product you're buying. On average, a package that is 10% larger reflects a 5% decrease in the unit price.

Wholesale retailers such as Costco, BJ's, and Sam's Club are the perfect place to shop for bulk products, including meat, canned food, coffee, and other non-perishable, shelf-stable food items. According to The Food Institute, there's been a rise in bulk buying since the pandemic, with a 26.6% increase when compared from 2019 to 2021. What once was driven by fear of food shortages has now become a habit for many.

But buying in bulk takes up space in your kitchen, and finding creative ways to store items can be challenging. One way many people save space is by storing their food in airtight containers that they then store in a basement, pantry, or cupboard. If you find yourself doing the same, you're going to want this overlooked kitchen tool to help you get the job done.

You should use a funnel when storing bulk food

According to Epicurious, when it comes to storing bulk groceries, such as flour, grains, beans, spices, coffee, oil, etc., you're going to want to invest in a funnel. If you're storing bulk items in canisters, Mason jars, or even plastic bags, having a vessel to help pour them efficiently is a must.

Carefully scooping the material into a jar one spoonful at a time can be time-consuming (not to mention, you run the risk of spilling it and potentially wasting food). With a funnel, you can easily transfer items and not have to worry about making a mess (per America's Test Kitchen). This especially comes in handy when you need to pour liquid into a small opening, such as an oil dispenser or a swing top glass bottle. You'll also find the funnel useful for refilling spices and sweeteners.

Investing in a kitchen funnel will be the gift that keeps on giving. You may even want to buy a few different sizes to have on hand. Funnels come in all different colors and sizes — typically in a set of three (large, medium, and small), with materials varying from plastic, silicone, or stainless steel.

Why store bulk food items in a separate container?

You might be left wondering why you should store food in a separate container to begin with. If you have the space and want to store it in its original packaging, what's the harm? How Stuff Works says that to preserve food and reduce the chance of spoilage, you'll want to get food out of its original plastic packaging and transfer it to a more durable storage solution.

Many bulk food items come in cheap, thin plastic bags, which are prone to breaking. Plus, once they're in a pantry or basement, critters can easily chew through it. Airtight glass containers and hard, food-grade plastic containers are your best bet for storing bulk food.

Simply find a cool, dry place to store the containers, such as a basement, pantry, or cupboard, so the items don't become moist and harbor bacteria. With the proper storage and room temperature, you can maximize the shelf life of bulk dry goods.