Buying in bulk could save you a small fortune, with 50% savings common on certain items such as toilet roll and non-perishable foodstuffs. It’s also a great way to save time as you’ll have a fresh supply waiting when you run out, and who wouldn’t prefer a short trip to the cupboard instead of a long drive to the shop?
As with any money-saving strategy, there are a few things you need to watch out for to make sure this approach works for you.
Now that we all carry a mobile phone that doubles as a calculator and price checker, there’s no excuse.
For most products it’s the cost per kg (or unit) you need to worry about, not the cost of the item itself. If this isn’t displayed in store you can always figure out the weight and do the maths yourself. For example, a bigger jar of peanut butter will typically cost more than the smaller jar, but the cost per kg should be lower. Sadly it doesn’t always work out like that, and that’s why it pays to check.
Use your smartphone to price check against other shops, including online retailers such as Amazon, and be sure to factor in any possible delivery cost.
Bulk buying mistakes
If you find you’re spending more than you otherwise would, here’s what you might be doing wrong.
Don’t use more because you have more
So you have a couple gallons of your favourite lemon and tea tree body wash and you’re applying the stuff with reckless abandon, because you’ll never run out. Not true, and now you’re on the express train to financial ruin. It’s easy to overindulge because you have a seemingly inexhaustible supply.
Don’t buy perishable items
Perishable foodstuffs in particular are best left alone unless you’re confident you can get through them before they go bad. Also, bear in mind that your confidence may be misplaced: bulk buying and eating the same thing every day for weeks is a sure way to grow tired of something you used to really enjoy.
Watch out for offers
Even where you’ve found a product available in bulk at what seems like a good price, remember to look around for offers which may be favourable. For example, while Costco sells dishwasher tablets in bulk at a consistently low price, other shops often have great deals that work out better.
6 Things You Should Buy In Bulk
It’s possible to save up to 50% on toilet roll by buying in bulk, so get yourself stocked up (assuming you’ve got somewhere to store it all). The same applies to kitchen towels and facial tissues.
If you’ve got the space to store them, buying cleaning products and other household supplies in bulk is a no brainer as they’re non-perishable and available cheaply when purchased in larger bottles or in packs containing several units.
This is a great one because not only is toothpaste available in bulk at very favourable prices, it’s also easy to store vast quantities of the stuff. And it’s not a product people tend to get fed up of, with many people sticking with the brand of toothpaste they used as kids.
Rechargeable batteries probably aren’t a great bulk purchase, but single-use alkaline or lithium batteries can be extremely expensive when bought in small quantities. Buying high-capacity batteries in bulk is a sure way to save money and this is another item that’s easy to store.
A staple in many households, there are great savings to be had on rice if you buy the 10kg sacks. Pasta is another option, and legumes such as lentils keep for years if stored appropriately.
Remember what we said about not overindulging because you have a seemingly inexhaustible supply… but alcohol is almost always cheaper purchased in higher volume. Larger bottles of spirits tend to have much lower cost per ml than the smaller bottles, and cases of wine can work out much cheaper than buying bottles individually.
Why stop there? There are countless products that are ideal bought in bulk, from tinned food and cereal to light bulbs and bin bags. Just make sure you do your research to see the financial benefit, and don’t fall into that trap of thinking you have an inexhaustible supply so it’s okay to use twice as much of everything!
- Fewer trips to the shop so less petrol used, saving money and helping to protect the environment.
- Less trips to the shop may also mean less spontaneous purchases!
- Larger but fewer containers means less plastic, which is better for the environment.
- Buying bulk whole foods is better for your health as whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined.