Save money on buying large quantities of walnuts by looking out for sales and comparing prices among retailers who sell the unshelled nuts in bulk quantities. Buying nuts that are still in their shells usually costs less than buying unshelled nuts.
Buying walnuts in bulk at discount stores can cost less than buying smaller quantities, but be careful not to negate the savings by not using the nuts before they spoil. Unshelled walnuts go rancid within two to four weeks if they are stored in the pantry, but they can be frozen for up to 12 months.
It you buy your walnuts already out of the shell, compare the prices for walnut pieces versus whole or half-nuts. Broken pieces of walnuts are often less expensive than whole nuts or even halves.
If you have access to a walnut tree or know someone who wants to get rid of walnuts that have fallen on their property, you can get your nuts for free, but you must remove the tough outer husks before you can shell the nuts. De-husking and shelling walnuts is messy work, but if you grow your own nuts or get them for free, the savings could be worth the added effort.