Inexpensive Canned Food: Stocking Your Pantry with #10 Cans

Those huge #10 cans of food use to look so huge!  Not so anymore!  Now, I’m buying more #10 cans to stock my pantry with.  They are super cheap compared to the little cans.  Unless I can get a super deal on the smaller cans, it’s almost always cheaper to buy the #10 can. 

While I wouldn’t suggest only eating a diet of canned food, canned food is a great item to stock your pantry with.  I love to can my own food, but logistically, I’m not to the point where I can CAN the amount of food our family requires…so buying #10 cans helps me achieve my goal of building a pantry for less. 

For me, the best places to buy #10 cans are at Sam’s Club or Costco.  GFS has #10 cans but I’ve found them to be more expensive and have a greater amount of additives than the other stores.  Here are some of the latest Sam’s Club prices on some #10 cans I bought recently:

  • $3.27 for #10 can of Bush’s Pinto Beans
  • $3.36 for #10 can of Bush’s Chili Beans
  • $2.74 for #10 can of  Hunts Tomato Sauce
  • $2.98 for #10 can of Del Monte Green Beans
  • $3.68 for #10 can of Del Monte Corn
  • $4.78 for #10 can of Del Monte Peaches
  • $5.48 for #10 can of White House sliced apples

I use the pinto beans and chili beans for making convenient fast meals.  These #10 cans are very useful with cutting time and costs on Once a Month Cooking meals as well.  I appreciate that these beans do not contain high fructose corn syrup and other strange additives like I’ve found in the cheaper discount store beans (Aldi and Sav-a-Lot) and they are much less in price per unit / per ounce than the smaller cans. 

I use the plain tomato sauce to make ketchup, bar-b-que sauces, pizza sauces and spaghetti sauce.  It is much cheaper than buying premade sauces and spaghetti sauce too. 

For our family, a #10 can is much more economical for us and we are able to use it without waste.  For other families, it might take 10 meals before one can is used up…so it probably isn’t as economical as smaller cans are.  I’ve read that #10 cans contain 25 servings, which I think it about right based on our usage. 

I also use a sharpie marker to mark the date I purchased the cans on so I am able to keep my pantry inventory straight and use oldest purchased first. 

Here’s a link to a chart which shows can sizes and the amount of food in each size:  How to Interpret Can Sizes 

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  1. Holly says:

    I was reminded again recently that even if you think it’s healthy food to check the labels! I purchased Kroger brand kidney beans and happened to look at the label as I was dumping them into a pot of chili—high- fructose corn syrup!! I guess they figure we won’t eat it if it isn’t sweet.

  2. Claire says:

    What a great idea!! It never occurred to me to break those giant cans up into freezer meals.
    How many frozen meals do you generally keep in the freezer?

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