Shopping Tips & Tricks: Find Restaurant Suppliers

Huge savings can be had when buying from restaurant suppliers like Cash & Carry Smart Food Service in Bellingham, WA.  They supply food and restaurant equipment to businesses from 52 locations throughout the Western US.  The good news is families can shop there and buy just 1 can or a full case of goods. You can take advantage of their offerings by applying a few tips and Tricks. 

These “no frills” warehouses Cash-&-Carryoffer unbeatable prices every day because they, and you, buy in large quantities. For example, bags of rice vary in size from 10 to 25 lbs and frozen restaurant cuts of meat are packed in 10 lb boxes. The restaurant suppliers I have visited resemble mid-sized warehouses offering fresh, dry, canned and frozen food. Paper products, cookware, equipment, tableware and cleaning supplies are also available.

picture of salad mix

Some produce is cleaned, mixed, and ready to serve.

Tip #1 Washed and chopped salad mix comes in 5 lb bags. Their iceberg lettuce mix is popular but the romaine and cabbage mixes have more nutritional value. Divide lettuce mix with friends. Cabbage lasts longer and can be used for coleslaw, soup, steamed veggies, in casseroles and taco stuffing. Broccoli can be cooked or frozen for later meals.

CCSF-deli-beefTip #2 Pre-cooked deli meats come in 5 to 16 lb bags. It can be sliced and shared with friends or cut into recipe-ready pieces, bagged, labeled and frozen.  What a great time-saver! The meat is already cooked, chopped and ready to be thrown into a slow cooked casserole, soup, stir fry or sauce.

CCSF-cheeseTip #3 Shredded cheese  can be repackaged, frozen and used later for casseroles, Tex Mex meals, pizza and Mediterranean recipes.CCSF-potatoes

Tip # 4  Potatoes can be sorted, re-bagged and stored in a cool dry place. Use the damaged tubers first. casseroles and soup can be made with potatoes and then frozen for quick planned-over meals. You’ll have plenty left over to give to your neighbors

dressingTip #5. Buy salad dressing in 1 gallon packages or jars. Dilute as per directions and repackage in pint jars. Store in a refrigerator or divide with neighbors.

  • The upside of buying from restaurant wholesalers is the money saved.
  • Also there are no items strategically placed for “impulse buying.” so it is easier to stick to your shopping list.
  • Food is rapidly sold so there is little chance of food being sold after their pull date.
  • Their compostable packaging products are environmentally friendly.
  • Many of their products are grown or made in the USA.
  • Their food is of high quality and
  • you can buy the same coffees and flavorings used by your favorite coffee stand.

The downside 

  • Fresh food is processed nationally, not locally.
  • There are only a few organic choices.
  • Brand choice is limited.
  • They do not accept Food Stamp coupons.
  • Some food in big packages might spoil before it is all used up.
  • It’s expensive to buy larger quantities at first.
  • It works best when relatives and friends shop together and divide the food. This may be inconvenient (+or make shopping more fun…)
  • Sometimes the warehouse is crowded.