With the necessities of everyday life on campus, it's hard to even find time to fit in a weekly market run. I'm someone who would never risk getting a food-caused illness. Therefore, I throw away any foods that require insulation (vegetables, meats, dairy, etc.) as soon as I think they're spoiled, no questions asked. After I throw away food, I immediately regret it because that's just a waste. The key is not to buy perishable items in bulk.

However, there are some foods that you can and should buy in bulk. I often have these items stored on my shelves for months without feeling the need to throw anything away. 

1. Oats

cereal, wheat, corn, groats, porridge, pasture, sesame seed
Nancy Chen

Unprepared, unflavored oatmeal can last in your cupboard for years at a time, and is so much more than just a mundane breakfast food. Buy it in bulk to add to cookies, smoothies, or granola– or make it savory for a change. My favorite brands are Trader Joe's Rolled Oats and Quaker's Old Fashioned.

2. Nuts and Nut Butter

Buying nuts and nut butter in bulk will save you time and money. Nuts are easy to grab on the go and can be used in all kinds of recipes. My favorite products include Kirkland Signature Almond Butter and Good & Gather Omega-3 Trail Mix

3. Pastas 

spaghetti, pasta, basil, macaroni, sauce, fettuccine, tagliatelle, carbohydrate, vegetable
Jocelyn Hsu

Pasta is probably the simplest thing you can cook, second to toast. A pound of dried pasta can last you several years. Some options, for those with gluten intolerance and without include Barilla Spaghetti and Banza Chickpea Pasta

4. Popcorn

Popcorn is one food that comes in all shapes and sizes. It's sold in its original kernel form in large jars, which make well-over 25 servings of popcorn. You can also find single-serving packs sold in sets of 12, or large family-sized bags in every flavor imaginable. And don't forget everyone's favorite two-minute convenience: microwavable popcorn. I recommend Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn Kernels, Skinny Pop, Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn Individuals, and Kirkland Signature Microwave Popcorn.

5. Cereal

cereal, candy, sweet
Kristine Mahan

Although cereal gets a bad rep for not giving us the substance we need for the "most important meal of the day", it still deserves some credit for its versatility. It makes for a great midday or even midnight snack, and most cereal can stand on its own without the milk. Oh, and did I mention the fact that it'll stay fresh in your pantry for at least 8 months?  Some of my favorite options include Honey Nut Cheerios (GF!) Giant Size, and Nature's Path Heritage Flakes 

6. Dried Fruit

Perfect for a long day of hiking or a quick self-preserving snack, dried fruit can be great alone or side by side with your favorite nut mix. It'll make you feel healthy because it has fruit in its name, but it tastes almost as good as candy (yeah, I said almost). Some options include Sun-Maid California Raisins and Sweetened Banana Chips

7. Grains 

cereal, wheat, rye, barley, flour, pasture, corn
Sarah Silbiger

Some of the easiest ones to work with as the base for your next home-cooked meal include quinoa, rice, polenta, and farro. These grains have been being utilized for hundreds of years, therefore predating any sort of preservation. Store them properly and they'll last a decade (or more!). I recommend Kirkland Signature Quinoa.

We all know the pain of buying food at the supermarket just to have it go bad five days later. But there are some foods that can be bought in bulk that will bring down your monthly grocery spending. And why try just one option when you can have them all on your shelf?