Monday, August 13, 2012

Institutional Sized Cans ~ Number # 10 Can

Another way I save money in my kitchen is by purchasing food in Institutional sized cans. Several types of food can be bought in these bigger quantities for less money than smaller canned goods. 

For example, I buy the following foods in Industrial size cans:

Tomato Sauce (105 ounces) - $2.98
Whole Tomatoes (105 ounces) - $2.88
Diced Tomatoes - (102 ounces) - $2.98
Crushed Tomatoes - (102 ounces) - $3.22
Spaghetti Sauce - (105 ounces) - $2.98
Pizza Sauce - (105 ounces) - $2.98
Black Olives - (105 ounces) - $ 6.25
Green Beans - (105 ounces) - $3.88
Pineapple Tidbits - (106 ounces) - $3.78
Fruit Cocktail - (106 ounces) - $4.35

The green beans work out to 58¢ for a 14.5 ounce can, so that is a money saver for me since the price of a can of green beans has went up to 65¢ or more. What I would do with this large can is open it up and add a chopped up onion and olive oil and cook that down and then serve it for dinner and then freeze the remainder of the beans into meal size portions. 

The Pineapple Tidbits work out to 64¢ for a 16 ounce can, which is also a money saver. What I would do in this case is plan ahead on how to use this up in time. I would make a Chicken Stir Fry for dinner and add some to the dish, I would plan on sending some in our lunches, and put some in individual bowls in the refrigerator for snacking, and also plan on making some smoothies and including them. Finally I would freeze some for smoothies later. 

The Tomatoes  work out to 44¢ for a 14.5 ounce can, which again is also a money saver. Anytime I am making spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, or chili I can use one of these and save money. I can always then freeze the leftovers for later use. 

The Black Olives are also a money saver at 87¢ for a 14.5 ounce can. Black olives have risen a lot in price in the last few years and now cost around $1.50 for a 14.5 ounce can. We love black olives here and include them in many dishes, so this is a good money saver for us as well. I simply transfer the olives to a big bowl with a lid and keep them in our refrigerator for a couple of weeks and we've never had any problems using them up in that time frame. Of course, it helps that I plan meals that I know call for black olives like tacos, pizza, pasta salad, etc.

Now, I know that not everyone has access to these types of canned foods, but for those who do they can be a money saver. Sometimes Walmart and some grocery stores have a small section devoted to the Institutional size canned goods, so it may be worth your time to check into this. 

However, it is important to note that sometimes you may run upon a good sale on a similar product in the 14.5 ounce canned good  size. I know I have found canned tomatoes in that size priced at 3 for $1.00 at Big Lots before, although that kind of price has been hard to find since the Great Recession. Also, some Institutional size canned goods are not a good value like the canned chili, which I have seen priced close to $9.00. So, as always, be sure to check your prices to make sure you are getting the best deal for your family. 

Today’s Bit of News:

 I was asked to sub today! My first job of the new school of the teachers said, “It didn’t take you long to get a job!” We were laughing and I said, “I know, the third day of school!" So, I’m a happy camper today because I know I’m earning money again. I have two more jobs scheduled already in this pay period, and every little bit helps as we all know.

Dinner tonight was Pork Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots. It was done when I got home from school, which was a big help after working all day. I stopped at Sonic on the way home and picked up an Iced Tea, but it was a freebie with one of the surveys/receipts. I brought my lunch from home today, I brought homemade pepperoni pizza that I made yesterday and drank water, so no money spent today at all. I had a good day and hope your day was good too.

© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


  1. So great that you're subbing already! I'm glad for you!

    I buy canned tomatoes, canned tomato paste, catsup, and sliced olives in the institutional size cans. I shop at a restaurant supply that sells to the public. The chain near us is United Cash and Carry. There's also Smart and Final in other areas. Business Costco also carries these sizes, if you have a Costco membership.

    The whole canned tomatoes are about 50 cents less per can than the diced, at the cash and carry store where I shop. So I buy the whole and run them through a food processor to chop.

    The canned tomatoes I freeze in quart containers. They freeze well. The tomato paste, if I don't use it all in a big batch cooking afternoon, like pasta sauce, then I free in quart and cup containers to use in cooking later. The catsup I transfer the bulk of it to large containers for the fridge, and refill our family bottle as needed. The olives I transfer to quart canning jars, and store in the fridge. I've never had any problems keeping these food like this. The olives and catsup will keep for many months in the fridge with no issues.

    There are just one or two canned/packaged foods I don't like to buy in the super large sizes, mayo being one of them, gets all yucky around the edges.

    Last fall I bought peanut butter in 5 pound jars. They were enormous, but my girls love their peanut butter for lunch.

    Buying these large sizes is an easy way to get loss leader prices any day of the week.

    1. Thank you, Lili. It was so good to see all the students again. Some of them came up and hugged me and a couple of them told me that I must have missed them over the summer, lol, which was true. :)

      Looks like you save a lot of money on these big sized cans too. Like you, I love saving money for my family. Good idea on putting the olives in canning jars. I hadn't thought of that. It probably keeps them fresher even longer. I don't have a Costco membership, but they built a new one in Fort Oglethorpe a couple of years ago, so I need to check it out and see what it's like.

      We love peanut butter here too. I recycle the jars into storage jars when we are done with them. I am hoping to find a back, to school sale on it sometime soon. This is the time of year for that. Time will tell. :)


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