I began buying base grain in bulk a few years ago. Then, I started purchasing hops by the pound and now have a decent supply, and yes, I just ordered three more pounds.
I use rice hulls and just bought a gazillion pounds. I got a good deal on Star San awhile back.
My point is once you begin looking at the value of bulk and group purchases you can get ahead of the brewing cycle and begin to expand into other areas of the consumables.