Should you buy in bulk?

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. For many runner staples, bulking will save you money and allow for some creativity (DIY trail mix, for example). Before you load up your cart, find out what’s better in bulk.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruits, such as raisins, cranberries, apricots, and cherries provide quickly-digested carbs that can energise you before or during a run—in fact, dried fruit makes for a great, all-natural substitute for more expensive energy gels and chews. Scoop your favorite varieties and then stash some in a small bag to take with you on your run. Dried tart cherries are a particularly smart choice. They provide anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce post-run muscle soreness.


Peanuts are typically the least expensive nut you’ll find. With plenty of protein, fibre, healthy fat, and loads of key vitamins and minerals, they’re a nutritional bargain, too. But for an even bigger savings, shop for walnuts—these nuts can cost nearly twice as much when pre-packaged. Another reason to buy them: walnuts are one of the richest vegetarian sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Buy in bulk to get your fix of vitamin E.

Granola and Trail Mix

Granola and trail mix provide an ideal blend of carbs, fibre, protein, and healthy fats for runners. Many aisles are stocked with multiple varieties of both snack mixes. Since you can scoop as much or as little as you want, you can test out new flavour combos without spending a lot of money. Try a handful of trail mix or granola for a pre-run snack, or keep some in your workout bag for a recovery snack on the go. Just watch your serving size, keeping it to one-quarter to one-half cup max, since both trail mix and granola are kilojoule-dense.


Many seeds, including pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, are typically cheaper in bulk. These seeds are also a healthy bet—one ounce of pumpkin seeds provides nearly a quarter of your daily iron needs, while sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, which many runners don’t get enough of. But be sure to compare prices on more specialty items, like shelled hempseeds and chia seeds. Both are a great addition to any runner’s diet (hempseeds, like walnuts, provide omega-3 fatty acids, and chia seeds are loaded with hunger-taming fibre). But the cost savings on these seeds may be minimal, and sometimes they are significantly more expensive in the bulk aisle than when pre-packaged.

Beans and Lentils

Lentils and beans are an excellent source of protein, carbs, and fibre—making them one of nature’s perfect packages. The dried versions of both are typically cheaper than canned and produce tastier results. Unlike dried beans, lentils have the advantage of cooking up in just 30 minutes or so—with no additional soaking or prep time required. Check for less common or organic varieties, including red and yellow lentils and black beluga lentils.


Never tried amaranth before? Have a recipe that calls for spelt berries? It’s loaded with less common whole grains, which means you can give these nutrient-rich varieties a try without having to buy a large bag that might end up going to waste. No matter where you buy them, whole grains are packed with carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy for your runs, plus a wide range of B vitamins.

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