Shopping Bulk = Maximizing Graduate Student Dollars

It is no se20150328_125418cret that graduate students make ZERO DOLLARS. Living in Los Angeles, California on a graduate stipend further complicates this precarious situation. Over the past four years, I have been discussing with several friends and colleagues the various kinds of financial gymnastics we do in order to get bills paid and keep food on the table. And I must say, Corey and I have it extremely well! Many students are not living in dual income households, or may even be using their stipend to support other family members beyond their own personal monthly expenses. No matter where one finds themselves in the financial struggle of pursing a PhD– one sure way to stretch funds a bit further is to BUY FOOD IN BULK. If you are not in graduate school but are interested in saving some money AND practicing waste-consciousness– bulk buying is a good place to start. Even at places like Sprouts and Whole Foods, bulk food buying can be cheaper than prepackaged options. Let me show you…

Don’t forget to bring your bags and re-usable packaging when you go shopping!

Here are some of the options near me that offer and/or support bulk food buying and self-packaging: 

  1. Whole Foods
  2. Sprouts20150328_125554
  3. Grand Central Market
  4. SuperKing Market

There are many more around L.A., but these are the ones close to us and the ones we frequent most often.

Here are some of the things I regularly purchase in bulk:

  1. Steel Cut Oats
  2. Granolas
  3. Rice
  4. Beans
  5. Nuts
  6. Trail Mixes
  7. Peas
  8. Flours
  9. Salt
  10. Peppercorns
  11. Spices
  12. Sugar
  13. Couscous
  14. Chocolate
  15. Dried Fruits
  16. Popcorn Kernels
  17. Oatmeal
  18. Oat & Wheat Bran
  19. Dried Fruit

Here is what I bought today and about how much things cost:

*Also, I usually try to buy things when they are on sale or in season




Long Grain Brown Rice ($0.99/lb)

Total Paid: $2.57





Steel Cut Oats ($0.99/lb)

Total Paid: $1.85




Unsalted/Roasted Cashews ($8.99/lb)

Total Paid: $8.81





BBQ Seasoning/Rub ($7.84/lb)

Total Paid: $1.01






Italian Seasoning ($15.84/lb)

Total Paid: $2.05




Broccoli Crowns ($0.98/lb)

Total Paid: $1.56

Green Beans ($1.69/lb)

Total Paid: $1.22


20150328_125146 20150328_125158







2 thoughts on “Shopping Bulk = Maximizing Graduate Student Dollars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s