Heading to the local warehouse, stocking up on our favorite food staples and other products, and then returning home, hauling it all in the house and figuring out where to store it all: It seems like more trouble than it's worth for the typical shopper.
But most people could save themselves a substantial amount of time and money if they shopped wisely and purchased certain items in bulk.
Buying in bulk is fairly easy and only requires consumers to be conscientious of their own shopping habits. The key to buying in bulk is focusing on items you frequently use.
Here is a quick list to help you bulk up and save.
Food, Cooking Items
According to Rachel Paxton of PioneerThinking.com, items such as sugar, flour, spices, chocolate and peanut butter all have an incredibly long shelf life. Frequently bought food items such as grains, dried fruits, beans, pasta, nuts and dried vegetables can also be stored for an incredibly long time. Instead of paying $4 to $5 for a pound for meat every time you visit the grocery store, buy several pounds at a warehouse store it in the freezer. Most meat can be stored for 4-6 months.
Preserve What You Buy
Preservation is a major concern for most shoppers, especially with food. What's the point of bulking up on something if it's going to go bad?
It's a legitimate concern and one that is easy solvable. There are a number of cheap ways to preserve the freshness of your bulk items. Instead of recycling your family's plastic containers and glass jars, give them a good rinse and save them for storing. For some items, such as oatmeal, you can even re-use the original container. If you do have to crack the piggybank, a four-pack of four-cup Rubbermaid or Ziploc containers can be purchased for under $2.
Look Beyond Food
Food isn't the only thing that can be purchased in bulk. You can save yourself a lot of money stocking up on paper items such as paper plates, paper towels, facial tissues and toilet paper. Other items such as shampoo, toothpaste, hand soap, laundry detergents and deodorant can all be purchased cheaply online. When trying to save money, the important thing to remember is to always compare before you buy.
Buying in bulk can be especially helpful for new parents. With myriad baby products lining the shelves of every department store, it can be well worth sacrificing variety to stock up on basics.
Another Way To Save
Choosing to buy crates of sale items from local grocers is not uncommon. This way, shoppers bypass the membership costs of the big bulk dealers, if not the stocking fees altogether.
With labor a major contributor to items' prices, this purchasing method is worth pursuing. Shoppers who simply take the time to talk to their grocers could find themselves some real deals.
Things To Consider
Storage space: If you buy lots of stuff in bulk, you need storage space to maintain it, and this can be an issue for some. For those of us living in tiny apartments, we just don't have the room to store a year's supply of toilet paper.
Permanence: Some items don't last forever, so buying them in bulk is a poor choice if you're not going to use them frequently. This is particularly true for many foodstuffs, which simply do not last for a very long time. There's also potential concern about items in storage facing damage due to environmental concerns, such as water damage or freezer burn.