My mother used to buy in bulk and share with her friends, buying bulk can be a real money saver, but you do have to be careful. If you have a wholesale club membership, you might find you spend a lot of money – and while some things can be a really great buy, others are not so good. So make sure you watch those unit prices when you are shopping for bulk.
You also want to make sure you have the storage and will use things before their expiration date. If you are a family of just two, buying 15 boxes of cereal because there’s a “buy one get two free” sale might not be the best idea. Because are you really going to get through those boxes of cereal before they go bad?
Do you have room in your freezer? If you have an extra freezer, then buying meat in bulk can definitely be cost effective. The family packs generally are cheaper per pound, but you’ll likely want to split up the packs into smaller serving sizes before freezing. You’ll need plenty of freezer space to hold everything.
10 items that it’s worth considering to buying bulk
1. Cereal – Okay, we know we said above that buying more than you can eat is a bad idea. But the truth of the matter is, when you find a deal on cereal you should go for it. Just make sure you use a clip to seal the bag closed after it has been opened, or have some handy Tupperware type containers to store the cereal in. Use something air tight to keep it from going stale.
2. Foil and wraps – You know this is never going to go bad and you will use this for storing things. PLus the fact that you can store it pretty easily helps.
3. Paper goods – This is another thing that doesn’t have an expiration date and that you’ll get plenty of use out of. Bulk toilet paper purchases and paper towels are especially good value. Watch those unit prices to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. The 1000-roll of toilet paper is a better buy than any labeled buy. And no, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for price.
4. Toothpaste and toothbrushes – You want to keep your teeth healthy and a great way to do that is with plenty of dental care products. Never worry about running out of toothpaste again when you buy this in bulk.
5. Buying bulk alcohol – Now, not to encourage over drinking, but when you are having a lot of company over you’ll be happy to have a well-stocked bar, that’s for sure. Buying larger amounts of your spirits like vodka or rum is just cheaper per ounce and it’s not going to go bad as long as it’s stored correctly.
6. Batteries – Everything requires batteries, especially those annoying kid toys. As great as it might be to say a toy is broken once the battery dies, if you want to avoid the waterworks and be the hero then having a good stock of batteries on hand is helpful. And it’s cheaper in the long run to buy the larger packs of batteries than the individual packs. Store them in a cool place to maximize shelf life.
7. Dried beans and pasta – Pasta can last up to two years in a sealed container and beans can last up to a year. So this makes the perfect bulk pantry staple to purchase. Keep them sealed in an airtight container. Make sure to label everything with dates so you know what to use first.
8. Canned goods – Most things in a can have a long shelf life. So stock up on canned vegetables, soups, or tuna. Another good thing to keep in your pantry and buy in bulk is rice. White rice can last up to a year, but brown rice only lasts about six months so be mindful of that in your purchases.
9. Soap and shampoo – This is another thing that won’t go bad and that you always need. If you have the room to store it, then buying soap and shampoo in bulk is a great money saver.
10. Buying bulk meat – Buy meat in bulk and store in the freezer in an airtight freezer bag. Date it so you know when you froze it. Chicken and meat are cheaper per pound the more you buy.
Buying bulk can be a real money saver, but it only works if you have the space to store it and if you store things correctly. Nothing is worse than buying a huge bag of cereal and having it go stale because it wasn’t stored properly. Or losing meat to freezer burn because you left it in the freezer too long not properly sealed. If you keep everything sealed air tight, then you will find that food dollar stretching further by buying in bulk.