Where to Buy Bulk Foods 

by JohnyMac

I read The Gray Man’s excellent article here on American Partisan titled STORING PINTO BEANS, LONG TERM and wanted to take a minute to address where is the safest and best place to acquire the beans, rice, wheat, et cetera you wish to store. This is always the number one question I am asked when facilitating a preparedness class. Let’s look at the options available with some cautions for each.

The internet is a natural place to go to buy your bulk items. Buying bulk items from the internet is easy and if you belong to a program like Amazon’s Prime, shipping for most orders will be free. If you buy bulk items from the internet or a company that specializes in emergency food like My Patriot Supply, the bulk items come ready to put onto your shelf – No buckets, Mylar bags, or oxygen absorbers to buy.

Then there is your local feed store. Wheat (hard & red) along with barley, corn, and other grains are readily available. When we first started putting up bulk items, I went to my local Agway store. Before I started putting bags of grain on my cart, I spoke to the store manager about what I was doing. Her suggestion was not buying any grain sold in their store for human consumption. The reason was their bulk grains were for animals only. Apparently when packaged for the store the quality control was minimal so there will be gravel mixed in with the grain along with different levels of poisons to control bugs and rodents. With this written, if you know a farmer that grows feed for sale, I am sure they could accommodate your needs.

Big Box Wholesale stores can be a good place to start however what they carry in bulk items depends on what part of the country they are located in. If your wholesale store is located in a more rural setting, you will see more bulk items like, salt, sugar, rice, et cetera then if your store is located in an urban location. Our Sams Club is in the latter; Consequently, we only buy coffee beans at this store.

One of my favorite places to buy bulk items is your local restaurant supply warehouse. Your local restaurants buy most of their goods from these warehouses. Prices are good and it is where we buy items to fill in the blanks like; gallon cans of olive oil, dark chocolate by the pound, and baking supplies like, baking soda, baking powder and yeast.

Last and one of my favorite places to buy bulk items are the many Bishop warehouses maintained by the Church of Later-Day Saints (LDS) located around the country and Canada. The Bishop warehouses are open to church members and gentiles alike. Even though many accept credit cards, I always paid cash. Back in 2011 when buying a large order for neighbors and myself the director of the warehouse and I had a long discussion on several topics of preparedness. He shared with me that earlier in the week, two FBI agents were in his warehouse asking if there were any folks – not church members – that were buying large amounts of bulk food. He replied negatively and the two men gave him their business cards and requested if it did happen to save any credit card documentation and give them a call.

For comparing purposes, I picked out five items that would be part of everyone’s basic food preps as listed below. All prices are by the pound.

All Prices By Pounds Red Wheat Rice Salt Sugar Powdered Milk
Internet $1.15 $1.71 $1.12 $1.72 $5.54
Feed Store 33¢ N/A 20¢ N/A N/A
Big Box $1.15 $2.05 32¢ 55¢ $4.10
Restaurant Supply N/A 37¢ 39¢ 52¢ $4.37
LDS Bishop House    40¢ 79¢ N/A   88¢ $2.57


Again, this is just a small selection of bulk items that you may put up. You can see that the best deal would be LDS Bishop warehouses as long as one is close to your AO. Also, if you bring up the list of what the LDS Bishop warehouses carry, that list is the basic year-round inventory. Most carry a lot more items in bulk. As an example, the warehouse near me carried salt in 25-pound bags while it is not listed on their standard inventory list.

Again, as mentioned earlier, the internet offers items already packaged and ready for the shelf; Consequently, you will save money on gas, Mylar bags, buckets and oxygen absorbers. For MrsMac and I, we preferred doing it ourselves and the little bit of travel we had to do was not an issue.

A few closing comments…If you are going to put wheat up make sure you buy a good quality food mill like the Country Living Hand Grill Mill. DO NOT use oxygen absorbers with salt and sugar. You will be able to use those items, but they will be like a brick and you will have to chip away at the block to use. Make a list of what you need keeping into account calories and carbohydrates for what an active person will use in a grid down situation. Typically, 3,000 or so calories for a male and 2,500 calories for a woman. Your bulk preps should include; wheat, rice, dried beans, sugar, salt, oil (we like olive oil), baking soda, baking powder, both white & apple vinegar, dark chocolate, coffee, tea, and canned protein – Meat for you Marianne Williamson supporters. As we closed up each bucket, we threw in a handful of hard candies on top of the sealed Mylar bags as a surprise when we or someone else opened the bucket.

Since we are in the beginning of the Fourth Turning again, you need to plan for the worse and pray for the best. Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Freedom Through Self-Reliance®