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How to Buy in Bulk

When you buy in bulk, you may walk a fine line between getting more bang for your buck, and buying in excess. And as these warehouses grow increasingly popular, it's important that you separate the value of a 48-pack of toilet paper from the unnecessary gallon jar of mayo. Here, we'll help prepare you to navigate through those super-size aisles like a pro, as well what you should do before you even go to the store.

How to Buy in Bulk
  • Make sure you have storage. Is there enough room in your freezer for a 25-pack of chicken? Do you have storage space for a lifetime supply of paper towels? You need to make room for all the bulk items you are about to acquire before you even set foot in the store.
  • Consider buddy shopping. The value of bulk, without the bulk? It's the perfect plan if you have a buddy who needs or wants all the same bulk supplies. Buy multi-pack items that you can divide equally, and you can enjoy the price per unit savings without the worry of where to store it all.
  • Leave room in your budget for the unexpected. Most smart shoppers make a list of exactly the things they need, because it's an excellent way to stay on budget. But realistically, you are going to be tempted by a sale you just can't pass up. If you allot 10 percent of your food budget for the unexpected, you can take advantage of bonus deals without blowing your budget.
  • Buy perishable foods with caution. No matter how good the deal, you are taking money out of your own pocket every time you throw away unused food items. So even if there is an excellent deal on things like eggs, yogurt, cheese, or fruit, consider how much you can actually eat before the expiration date.
  • Buy foods you can freeze. Warehouses do offer quality meat, so if you have the freezer room it's a great item to buy in bulk. Also great are frozen pizzas, frozen vegetables, and basically anything else you can stick in the freezer and thaw when you are ready.
  • Buy foods with a long shelf life. If you can't freeze it, make sure it will last a long time in your pantry. This includes foods like rice, canned foods, dried fruit, coffee, pasta, and even alcohol.
  • Price compare. This is an important rule to remember. Just because it's bulk, doesn't mean it's a better deal. Do yourself a favor and calculate the price per unit cost, and you might be shocked to realize which things are actually cheaper to buy at your regular grocery store.