If you’re looking for money-saving tips, you might hear the advice to buy less. However, when you buy in bulk, the price per unit tends to fall. Buying in bulk can be intimidating, especially if you try to stick to a budget. When you buy something in bulk, you purchase a large quantity of it all at once. For example, you can buy ten boxes of batteries at once and often pay a small fraction of what they would cost if you bought them separately. Your main goal should be to keep the cost per unit as low as possible. Keep reading to avoid wasting money or food by making the right choices when bulk buying.
What to Buy in Bulk
When purchasing in bulk, the goal is to save money. Following this goal, you will also want to reduce waste to the greatest extent possible. Some items are ideal for stockpiling; paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, dish washing liquid, sponges, aluminum foil, toothpaste, canned goods, frozen foods, beans, rice, sugar, flour, and non-perishables are examples of items to consider. On the other hand, fruit and vegetables spoil quickly, so if you don’t plan to eat them within a week, you should avoid buying them in bulk.
Sticking to the rule of only purchasing what you need can help you avoid overspending. You should also buy products that you are familiar with. It can be infuriating to purchase a product that you are eager to try only to discover that it falls short of your expectations. It could be a brand of soap you thought you wanted or trash bags that don’t fit in your trash can.
How to Buy in Bulk to Save Money
Keep Your Budget In Mind
It is critical to stick to your budget even when purchasing in bulk. While it’s easy to believe that the more you buy, the more your savings increase, you’ll eventually hit a level of declining returns. This is because people frequently overestimate their ability to use or consume things.
Bulk purchasing may save money per unit, but it is more expensive upfront. It’s easy to overspend on bulk things and not have enough money for other necessities. Keep a close eye on your budget and set a spending limit for each bulk-buying trip.
Keep Track Of What’s In Your Pantry
It’s easy to forget what’s in the pantry. Keep a careful inventory of what you have and go through it before shopping. This will help you avoid purchasing items you may already have.
Plan Your Meals Before You Shop
Making a meal plan will help you avoid buying goods on sale that do not fit into your well-planned food calendar. Instead of wasting time shopping around, it can also help you concentrate on certain food items to check if there are bulk savings.
Look At Price Per Unit
The simplest method to tell if you’re saving money by buying bulk is to look at the pricing per unit. Many grocery stores put the price per square foot or similar units on the price tag in tiny print, but it’s pretty easy to calculate the savings yourself. Simply divide the price of a product by its quantity, whether it’s a certain ml. of shampoo or square feet of toilet paper.
Keep Coupons Organized and Handy
You can save a lot of money when you buy bulk and use coupons too. It’s also a sign that you planned and didn’t just buy something because it was on sale. Have your coupons ready, but don’t use them until there is a sale.
Be Weary of Expiration Dates and Perishable Items
Don’t buy perishables in quantity unless you’re preparing a big picnic. They’ll take up a lot of space in your fridge, and you’ll almost certainly toss out a lot of the food when the use-by date arrives. Instead, the best strategy to maximize savings is to stock up on products you use frequently.
The Pros and Cons of Buying in Bulk
- The most obvious advantage of buying in bulk is that it is always cheaper per unit. When you buy something in bulk, you almost always save money on each use of that item. This may be a minor difference, perhaps only a few cents, but if you use the item frequently, those cents add up quickly.
- Buying in bulk also means fewer trips to the grocery store. You not only save time and money on gas, but you also reduce the possibility of impulse purchases.
- One of the best things about buying in bulk is that it cuts down on the amount of carbon and energy used to package the items.
- While buying in bulk might save you a lot of money, it isn’t an option for everyone. To be able to buy in bulk, warehouse membership fees are frequently required.
- Lower-income households may lack the storage space, transportation, or financial means to get the benefits of bulk purchasing.
- When you have a lot of something, you’re prone to overusing it. For example, if you have a lot of paper towels in the cabinet, it appears to be less of a problem to overuse them. When you have a large jug of body wash in the shower, it’s easy to overuse it.
- Items purchased in bulk may linger over their expiry dates. While many things have no expiration date or very long shelf life, certain items you may consider buying in bulk may expire or go past their “best if used by” date. If you’re not certain, you’ll use an item by the given date, avoid the bulk purchase.
Mistakes to Avoid When Buying in Bulk
As with all shopping, there are a few things to keep in mind. Recognize that more is more. When you have an abundance of anything, it’s all too easy to lose track of how much you’re using, which can lead to overuse. Exercise restraint, and don’t be tempted to consume too much of what you have.
There’s also the issue that if you have a poor income and a lot of debt, you might not be able to afford bulk products over their smaller and less priced single-use counterparts. In this case, rather than buying in bulk to save money, you should figure out ways to reduce your debt. One large buy might wipe out your weekly budget. You can’t afford bills or debt payments if you spend a lot of money on a mega-pack of toilet paper.
Buying in bulk requires more money upfront, which might be difficult if your budget is limited. Don’t be tempted to charge purchases to your credit card because you’ll be charged interest if you don’t pay it off immediately.
It’s critical to consider where you’ll keep your haul. Before you run out and buy an extra freezer or shelf system to keep your extra goods, consider unusual storage, such as vacant closet space or a section of your garage for items that don’t need to be kept at a specific temperature.
Author’s Bio: This guest post was written by Lyle Solomon. Lyle has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. Since 2003, he has been a member of the State Bar of California. In 1998, he graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group in California. He has contributed to publications such as Entrepreneur, All Business, US Chamber, Finance Magnates, Next Avenue, and many more.
Hey there. My name is Bob Haegele and I'm an expert at frugal living and saving money. I’m also an EV enthusiast and have recently become mostly-vegetarian. Another thing I started doing recently? Dog walking. I’m working toward financial independence making money via my own ventures. Interested in starting a blog of your own? Check out my post on starting a blog.