Buying in bulk can save you lots of money if you do it right! Buy the wrong items, however, and you’ll end up throwing items away and spending more money than you need to. Next time you go to the store for a big haul, keep this list in mind.
You and your family member should be replacing your toothbrushes every three months. Buying one at a time can cost far more than buying a pack of 10 and saving them for when people need them.
Skip: Any perishable food
There is an exception to this: if you plan on processing and properly freezing/storing perishable goods as soon as you buy it, perishable food may be a good deal. Generally, though, produce and other perishable goods will go bad before you can use up a bulk supply.
Tip: If you do buy perishable food in bulk take care of getting it prepared for freezing right away. When you let it sit in the fridge too long you risk it going bad (believe me, I know).
Also See How To Grow and Maintain a Stockpile
Buy: Prescription medications
Even with insurance, prescription medications can be expensive. If your pharmacy allows you to get a 90-day prescription at a shot instead of a 30-day prescription, the price is often much lower than it is if you buy every month.
Skip: Paper products
Grocery stores try to get you in the door with low-priced necessity items. Unless you have a ton of space and go through lots of paper products every month, you may be better off buying paper towels and toilet paper as you need them.
Buy: Trash bags
Trash bags are the perfect bulk item. They get stored in a roll and you’ll be using them for the rest of your life. Go ahead and buy in bulk as long as you know you like the brand.
Soda is another item that’s marked down almost every single week at a local grocery store. If you have lots of space or your household goes through lots of pop, buy a 12-pack at a time and just keep an eye on the ads. In addition, soda, especially bottled does not last forever. In college I tried to stock up for my wedding and about 1/2 of it was flat when we opened it.
Buy: Dry rice and noodles
If you’re running short on a meal or you have unexpected guests, noodles or rice can make your meal go just a little bit further. Dry rice and noodles last almost indefinitely. Stock up!
Skip: Sunscreen and other facial care
Items like sunscreen, makeup, and face wash tend to go bad before you can use up a huge supply. Wait until items are in season or until you need to replace them. I just head to the dollar store, they often have name brands for only a buck.
If you do plan on stockpiling make sure you have room, find a storage rack in the garage or an unused closet and make your stockpiling pantry. Make notes of the stuff that hung around too long (and don’t buy so much in the future) and the items that run out quickly and makes sure to buy more the next time it’s on sale.
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