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In my area we had a new store open in the last 6 months that I finally got to go in this past weekend. It’s a US Foods Chef’s Store, geared towards restaurant supply. The fun part is that anyone can shop there, you don’t need to show any ID and there is no membership fee! There are only 3 Chef Store locations right now (Columbia SC, Charlotte NC, and Oklahoma City) but something similar in other areas would be a Gordon Food Service (locations in FL, TN, and great lakes states).
Normally I’m not a fan of buying in bulk because you really aren’t getting the savings you think you are (buying smaller items on sale with coupons is 99% of the time a better deal). However… the big exception is produce and meat! If you can handle bulk sizes then I encourage you to check out a store in your area!!
What is the difference between this and Sams or other Warehouse Clubs?
- No Membership Fee.
- Warehouse clubs sell large quantities of smaller sized products. For example you can buy 12 cans of hunts tomatoes. Restaurant Supply stores sell large sizes only. So a 1 gallon can of hunts tomatoes.
What is the savings like?
You really want to just focus on meat and produce. Most families don’t need a 5 gallon bucket of soy sauce or 5 lbs of mayonnaise.
I grabbed a few prices as I walked around the store. To help compare it better I’m showing you the price per lb or per item since that is how your brain is used to processing produce. I’m also comparing it to the farmer’s market in my area and the grocery store. Farmer’s Market prices are based on buying in bulk too, not by a small basket.
|Chef’s Store||Farmers Market||Grocery Store|
|Pineapple||$2.21 ea.||$2.33 ea.||$2.99 ea.|
|Red Grapefruit||57¢ ea.||45¢ ea.||74¢ to $1 ea.|
|Tomatoes||73¢ lb||64¢ lb||99¢ lb|
|Navel Oranges||29¢ ea.||26¢ ea.||49¢ ea.|
|Bananas||40¢ lb||45¢ lb||59¢ lb|
These are in large boxes, so you’ll want to go with a friend and split it up between a few families or start canning some tomatoes!
For meat, the prices are much better than the grocery store and even beat Zaycon prices (where we normally get most of our meat).
90% Lean Ground Beef, 40 lb box, $2.83 lb
Boneless Whole Pork Loin, $1.89 lb
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, 40 lb box, $1.32 lb
Salmon, 10 lb box, $7.10 lb
Obviously, you’ll need a freezer if you bought all this. If you aren’t sold on price then think about the math to go and buy the ground beef or chicken in smaller packs at the grocery store. On average a 40 lb box of meat lasts my family around 3 months…
40 lbs of Chicken
Bought over 13 weeks at an avg. of $2.49 a lb = $99.60
Bought in bulk = $52.98
(savings of $46.62)
40 lbs of Ground Beef
Bought over 13 weeks at an avg. of $3.99 a lb = $159.60
Bought in bulk = $113.21
(savings of $46.39)
Remember neither US Foods nor Gordon Food Supply has a membership fee, so you might at well swing in and check it out. Oh, and in case you are wondering… they don’t take coupons.
Does any one know of anything similar in other areas?