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.
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.
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.
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?