Thursday, April 07, 2011


This article is to share what we have learned in our attempt to leverage our food preps by buying commercially and in bulk with Survival Blog readers. What works in our part of the world may not be reality in your location but I hope what we have learned will be of value to some readers.
To begin with, one of our favorite places to buy in quantitative is “cash and carry” stores. Cash and carry stores were originally set up by large food distribution firms that allowed businesses such as restaurants, bars, smaller retail stores, schools, etc to come to their outlet and buy products for resale. In years past, most such stores required that you had some kind of license such as a business license or resale permit, or a membership, etc.

Yet today, many of these stores have opened to the public with no requirements for purchase. For example in the Pacific Northwest the food supplier URM operates several stores that anyone can walk into and pay cash, use credit or debit cards or write a check.

There are outlets for the big national chain called Restaurant Depot, not far from us. I have never been in one of their outlets but would like to some day. They operate stores in 27 states but to date they maintain a reserved membership status. Their web site states that Restaurant Depot is wholesale only. To qualify for a free membership account, on your first visit you need to show a valid reseller's permit (business license) or tax-exempt certificate (for a non-profit organization) and show proof that you are authorized to purchase for said business or organization.

If Restaurant Depot was my only option for buying food wholesale, given my “don’t take no for an answer” personality I am pretty sure I could garner a membership. For example in some municipalities, obtaining a business license is easy. Or, if you know someone with a business license or have any connections with a not for profit -  A little creativity and I think this would be easily solved.

What I like about buying from “cash and carry” type stores;

1) The prices range from good to outstanding. Many of these stores run weekly specials; Food service is a competitive business, keeping an eye out for their weekly specials has allowed us to take advantage of some screaming deals.

2) Buying in bulk is what theses stores are set up for. You can typically buy food in individual units but if you want to stack up the cases of #10 cans or buy biscuit mix in a 50 lb box, this is the place. Nothing against Costco but this is a whole nether level.

3) Because of number two above, nobody bats an eye when you roll up a flat bed cart to the check out with a thousand dollars worth of groceries. It’s the $75 order that’s the exception; everybody buys in quantity at these stores. Probably just not for the same reasons that us preppers do.

How do you find a “cash and carry”?


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