When I began buying in bulk, I started out slowly because I did not have space for a lot of items and I wanted to make sure it was going to be worth the effort. I’ll never forget the first shopping trip to Sam’s. I was still teaching school and used quite a bit of convenience items when I saw the total of $380, I panicked. I could not believe I was spending so much money on items and I was still not finished with my shopping. My husband reassured me we were spending money on food items that we had planned for the next month and a half. I’m glad he felt secure with that thought because I sure didn’t.
7 Tips to Help When Buying in Bulk
After moving two and half years ago to an area where I would be driving anywhere from 150 – 550 miles (round trip) to grocery shop, leisure shop, etc., I knew I was going to have to quickly get used to buying in bulk for just about everything. Since we’ve been here, we have only been to Sam’s three times; most of my bulk items come from Albertson’s, Walmart, and online.
I don’t plan to bulk-buy every time I’m shopping. If I do find a buy, it’s because something like diced tomatoes, butter, and cheese is extremely lower than what I have bought recently.
Two weeks ago, I spent $76 on two weeks’ worth of groceries; all food items, no paper products, no health/beauty items. I even splurged on a few family favorites. How did I do that? Having bulk items already in the house and creating a meal menu that used a variety of those items kept me from spending an extra $100.
If you are just starting out with bulk buying it can be overwhelming if you let it, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are 7 tips to help you get started:
- Most used items
Start with items you use daily or almost daily and then work from there. Bathroom items are a great place to start.
- Compare prices
Some sales in your local grocery store will blow Walmart, Sam’s or Costco out of the water.
- Compare product size and price
Sometimes, it cheaper to buy 5 five-pound bags of flour than it is to buy a 25-pound bag.
- Know your budget and stick with it
If you are starting out, double-check your budget with the items you want to buy. If there is more bulk than dollar bills, cut your list down and plan for a future shopping trip.
- Don’t be a store snob
While I have found most of my bulk items at Walmart. I don’t let the case lot sale at a small local grocery store pass without picking up bags of rice and dry beans along with cans of diced tomatoes.
- Storage space
While space is a necessity, you don’t have to live in a 4000 square foot house to buy in bulk. Don’t allow yourself to overbuy unless you want to find yourself sleeping on bags of beans and rice.
- Online Shopping
While most people go to Amazon and/or Walmart first, I don’t. I shop smaller businesses like Dollar General for my tea and coffee.
Saving money with buying in bulk boils down to research: know who has the better price and pay attention to that little price per unit label on the shelves. If you are a couponer, don’t forget to watch for those sales and stack those coupons.
Here’s a list of a few of the items I buy in bulk.
Are you a bulk buyer? If not, what is keeping you from it?