Buying in bulk isn’t old news when it comes to saving money on everyday items ranging from food to household goods. In fact. bulk buying has gained popularity as more and more people are signing up for bulk warehouses like Sam’s Club and Costco in droves.
Not only can buying in bulk save you money on the unit cost of your everyday purchases but it makes it easy to buy several months of your essential items creating a stockpile that can act as an inflation hedge as the cost of just about everything rises by the day.
Where to Buy in bulk
When you think of buying food and home goods in bulk odds are you are thinking about Sam’s Club or Costco the two most common wholesale warehouses. The good news is that these are not the only options. You will find a few other club stores like this in including BJ’s but also some membership-free stores like Gordon Food Service that allow the public to shop.
Some communities have bulk food stores like those run by LDS churches and the local Amish community where you can save a lot of money on everyday basics like rice, beans, flour, and dried milk that can help you feed your family for less.
Don’t count out your everyday grocery stores for bulk packages as well. From shopping the family packs for discounts on meat to walking the isles for #10 cans and bulk packs of your family’s staple items. Grabbing the big bags of flour and sugar can cost much less per pound than the smaller ones when they are not on sale.
For my family, we shop at Sam’s Club as well as spend time looking at the sales ads for deals that we can get on bulk buys or simply buying a bulk amount of an item that is on sale to build and maintain our stockpile to avoid paying full price on things our family needs.
Common items to buy in bulk
When we buy in bulk I make a point to buy items that we go through a lot of in bulk. At Sam’s Club, we can get essential items like trash bags and baby wipes for half of what we pay when we stop by Aldi where we do the majority of our grocery shopping.
Because the Aldi brands of these are so inexpensive it is easy to look at the prices we are paying and have the true cost go right over our heads but when we do the math you can see that the Member’s Mark brand at Sam’s Club is around half of the cost of buying at Aldi.
For items that are only available in name brands like my husband’s favorite shrimp scampi, purchasing at Sam’s Club gets him larger packages and saves 20 to 30% over purchasing the same amount at Walmart or Kroger. If you like any name brands you should check the prices compared to your local grocery stores. For the most part name brands will be cheaper in bulk.
What to avoid buying in bulk
When we buy in bulk we compare the prices to Aldi. This is because Aldi has their own store brand that is lower cost than name-brand items. This means for us buying things like canned vegetables, tuna, and cereal in bulk doesn’t tend to save us much or anything at all. This store allows us to stock a lot of the basic pantry staples and even butter for less compared to items that only have name-brand versions at bulk prices.
How to use buying in bulk to save money
Compare prices – Always compare prices before buying the bulk package, particularly at the regular grocery store. Most people know that buying in bulk is a great way to save money and stores tend to exploit this by marking up the larger packages to make more of a profit.
Compare the prices of each package to find out how much each unit (ounce, pound, serving) costs to see if the bulk package really is a good deal after all.
Shop bulk sales – Not only can you get discounts by buying in bulk but sales can increase that discount dramatically. Take the time to check the sales at the stores you typically bulk buy. When sales meet bulk discounts you can often get items you need for rock bottom prices.
Repackage bulk purchases – When you buy perishable foods in bulk you are running the risk of food spoiling. Learning how to repackage and preserve the food you are buying to give it a longer life span is one of the best things you can do to get the most value from your bulk buying.
You can do this with freezing, dehydrating, and canning. From freezing cream cheese to making extra fruit into jams and jellies the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to saving money with old-fashioned preservation skills.