Around this time last year, I read an article in Martha Stewart Living about buying olive oil in bulk. I thought this was just for people who cook an insane amount, or who have really big families. But Martha advised me to buy the big container (nearly a gallon), decant some into a bottle that's a more useable size, and store the big container somewhere cool.
As long as you use it up within 10 months or so, you should be fine.
So I did what she said.
And we used it up in about 6 months.
We were buying olive oil about once a month before. We could sometimes find a 12 oz. bottle for $7ish dollars, but usually for $8something.
We had just run out when I read the article, and we were gearing up for our no-spend adventure!, so we went for it.
We bought nearly a gallon of olive oil for around $25. We bought the second one a few months ago for $28.
Yes, we are apparently the kind of people who will spend $50 a year on olive oil. Be quiet. Unless a recipe specifically calls for vegetable oil (and sometimes in spite of that), we use olive oil.
Healthy hearts and good fats and all that business.
BUT: I did the math at the end of the year and discovered we could have spent $96 on olive oil if we'd stuck to our standard shopping methods. And then we would have had 11 more glass bottles to throw in the trash.
So. In conclusion, buying in bulk can work if you tend to cook in bulk; olive oil is great; my husband apparently cooks a lot; and even Martha Stewart thinks being cheap is a good thing (see what I did there?).
I will be buying more.
In case you're curious, the tins are usually on the bottom shelf directly underneath all of the bottle olive oil. They're usually not on sale, but they're usually still a better value.
PS: In keeping with the whole domestic-cooking-frugal-living-etc. theme, here is a picture of some tomato sauce.
We went to the grocery store Sunday night and Cody felt too tired and overwhelmed to pick out a jar of spaghetti sauce, so he went home and made his own after buying a couple of peppers and a little can of tomato paste.
I think it would have been cheaper if he had just bought a jar of Kroger's Ragu knock-off.
And I wouldn't have had to wash the skillet or cutting board.
But it probably wouldn't have tasted as good.
And we wouldn't have had a quart left over for spaghetti later in the week.