If you don’t approach buying in bulk the right way, you may end up spending more. Knowing what items to buy in bulk vs. buy as you go can save you a ton of time and frustration.
At first glance, buying in bulk can seem like a bargain, but if you’re not careful, you’ll end up paying more. Stores like Costco and Sam’s allow you to bring a guest so if you’ve never been to one, find a friend and tag along before you commit to buying your own membership.
The first time I went to a bulk store I ended up buying way more than I should have. Not only did I buy things that ended up going bad because I couldn’t use them quickly enough, but I also created a storage nightmare.
Before you buy, you’ll want to know the shelf life and keep the size of your household in mind. You don’t have to stock up on everything at once so take it slow and don’t go overboard.
It will be tempting to buy a ton of different items. Buying in bulk is not the time to try out a new product. If you’ve never used it or it just seems yummy at the time, shop your regular grocer and try it before you commit to a large quantity.
Make sure you’re actually getting a good deal on the items you do use. This may require a little homework on your part and some math, but it can save you later.
To find out if you are getting a better price, look at the per unit, ounce, or pound price which is generally shown. If the bulk store doesn’t do the math for you, do it yourself. Take the price of the item divided by the unit, ounce, or pound.
Compare this to how much you pay at your local grocer and you’ll know if you are getting a better deal or not.
Although you can get great deals on fruits, veggies, and other perishable items, if you can’t use them all – don’t buy them. If you don’t mind processing the items and canning them or freezing them, you can still do it -but it may not be worth your time and effort.
For meats, you can easily repackage them; however, other items like fruits and veggies will take a lot more time. Oftentimes, frozen or canned veggies and fruits are also cheaper than fresh so keep this in mind if you truly want to compare the savings.