I’m always going on about the amazing money saving abilities of buying in bulk. In a recent post I advocated for buying multi-packs of soda, I regularly buy large amounts of beans and other items and cook in large batches designed to last several meals.
Whilst buying in bulk may well be saving money it could be causing detrimental effects in the “size-of-belly” department.
Having soda on hand can and sometimes does lead to binges where a couple of sodas can be consumed in one day. Cooking up an awesome giant pot of refried beans may lead to scooping two spoons of the lovely mush into my mouth whilst only putting one spoons worth into the Tupperware for storage! And when it comes to things like home-baking brownies and such delicious treats, well, I have to admit that often no-matter how large a batch is baked they often don’t last the night! Lets just say, I’m going to have to put a brownie baking ban on in this household!
Because I buy and cook in bulk all of this comes at large savings and my food bills are minimal. Generally I actually do good at not over-consuming and illustrated the low-points in the above paragraphs. It has taken me a while to be like this and I wanted to share some tips for general good behaviour.
So how can we all avoid bulk eating and still continue bulk shopping?
Cook on a full stomach - Being hungry is one of the main reasons people raid the cupboards and fridge. So the best remedy is to eat and snack the right amount. When it comes to making large batches of food make sure you are fully full otherwise you may just do what I have done and eat half the batch.
Store snacks out of sight, out of mind, and out of reach – There is nothing wrong with having a couple of sweet treats on hand for the occasional nibble and some could argue it’s essential to staying on a mostly balanced diet. When you do have them in consider storing them in awkward places. On top of a cupboard that requires a small foot stall or ladder to get at is a good one. Or at the furthest point from the living rooms and bedrooms.
Don’t buy snacks in bulk – Of course another way, and a way I more often use, to not over indulge on bad foods is to not have them around. Build them into your entertainment budget and only have your treats whilst you are out.
Pre-plan your meals – If you know the batch of food you are buying and cooking is to be used on specific meals then you’ll have more of a conscious about munching them all up off schedule, especially if trying to stick to a stringent budget.
Freeze everything that can be – Having food in the freezer provides an extra layer of preparation and a little barrier against irrational eating. Also it’ll help make sure everything is fresh when it is the right time to eat.
Learn about portion control – We eat a lot more food than we used to. As this article from Divine Caroline illustrates pretty much everything we buy has grown in size and we also eat more at home. The limit seems to have no cap for many of us and we need some re-training. Learning about sensible meal sizes and portions will help set our mind in a way to say no to food, even if it is openly available. You can take a look at my portion size graphic to get an idea of what you should be eating.
Don’t worry about it if it is healthy – If you are snacking on extra steamed veggies or having an extra bowl of oats because you feel hungry in the afternoon then don’t worry too much about it. You may have been under-eating anyway (often a problem with yo-yo dieting). As long as you try and keep on the healthy stuff and keep on board what you have learned about portion control you should be just fine.
Buying in bulk is the sensible option for buying food so you just have to get used to the extra being around and sometimes easily accessible.
Do you have any other tips or stories to share?
Thanks a million for reading and I look forward to your comments.