Buying in Bulk: Tips on Staying on Budget and Not Overspending

Buying in bulk has it’s challenges and benefits. You can save hundreds of dollars per year, simply by changing the way you shop. Be warned, though, as not every purchase at places like Sam’s or Costco is a great deal. Here are a few tips to help you shop for bulk items with success.

Purchase Only the Things You Will Use

One hazard of shopping in bulk is the excitement in seeing so many reasonably priced items. Shoppers are usually tempted to throw extra goodies into the cart over what is needed. Unless you are going to use the larger quantity before the items expire or becomes ineffective, leave it on the shelf. Just remember to tell yourself: “It is only a great deal if I use it.”

Consider a Business Membership

If you qualify for a business, rather than individual membership, it may be worth the extra cost. Business members usually get added benefits with their membership, like eye care benefits, printing discounts, extra coupons or discount, or extended shopping hours.

Unit Pricing Comparison

Not everything at bulk item stores is a deal. Do your homework before purchasing bulk items by making a price comparison notebook with your local grocery and retail stores. Take a notepad and write down the unit size, price, and sale prices if known (you can track these in the different chart). When you have completed the list, go to the wholesale store and compare the unit prices of each item. Most bulk rate stores have unit pricing clearly marked on the sale label. If not, dividing the total units (located on the package) by the price. You may be surprised at the results. Keep track of the sales price so that you can get the lowest price per unit available, even if it is at your local grocery story instead of at the wholesale shop.

Invest in a Freezer Chest and Vacuum Sealer

Meat and poultry are often greatly reduced for quick sale on the weekends. Investing in a standalone freezer and vacuum sealer will help you have a place to store the extra large package of meat available at wholesale shops. Break down the large package into serving sizes that will be consumed by your family. Put each serving in a freezer bag or vacuum sealer to store. Pull out only what you need to use for that upcoming dinner. Cookies and breads can also be frozen for later usage.

Clear Out Space in the Pantry or Basement

Take note of what in stock in your shelves and cupboards at home before you shop. You might need to invest in storage containers and other items to neatly organize things before you need them and help maximum all the space that you might have. Get a system in place that makes it easy to restock items so you are not constantly hunting for what you need and you will always know when something needs to be restocked.