Economy Size

Bargains can bridge the gap between thrift and health, but not every grocery trip should come down to getting the biggest bang for your buck. Despite the discounts that come with bulk buying, some items are better purchased in small quantities.

  • Brown rice: If you assume that bag of grains will store indefinitely, think again. Brown rice perishes quickly in the pantry. The oils, which perk up dietary value, are unstable and can spoil in as little as 3–6 months. Keep rice in airtight containers in the fridge to prolong shelf life.
  • Nuts and seeds: Though considered a dry good, nuts don’t keep well for long at room temperature, especially after they’ve been opened. Exposure to moisture, light, and heat can turn their heart–healthy fats rancid within a couple months — reducing nutritional integrity, taste, and smell. Buy nuts and seeds in darker packaging or still in the shell, and store them in the freezer or fridge.
  • Condiments: Large jars of opened mayo and salad dressing will degrade over time — often within 6 months. Since these high–fat condiments should be used sparingly anyway, and most folks store them on the fridge door shelves — where temperature fluctuates more than inside — they’ll likely run out of freshness before you run out of them.

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