4 Ways to Shop in Bulk

Many people have been victim of “Costco mentality” before where something just looks like such a great deal it can’t be passed up. However, do you really need a lifetime supply of mustard? Technically, “the more you buy the more you save” is true in many instances, but remember that the “real estate” of your home also comes with a price and you’re wasting it if it’s all spent housing economy sized items you’ll never get through. It’s all about balance in both life and bulk shopping.

Want to maximize your shopping as well as your living space? From scoring hardware tools and accessories to foods and goodies, bulk buying options are widely available. This is your ultimate how-to guide for buying in bulk so you never have buyer’s remorse again. Make sure to match the tips to your own personal needs:

Create a list of your most-used items

Some people go through toilet paper like nobody’s business (literally) while others have a near-addiction to pickles. Write down what products you think you “overuse” and focus on finding those in bulk. Anything that’s occasionally or rarely used doesn’t deserve real estate space on your shelves. Instead, focus on what matters for you.

Actually calculate the side by side comparison

Are you actually saving that much to buy the ketchup that’s twice the size? Look beyond the sticker price and calculate the cost per ounce (or other unit of measurement). It’s why it’s included on every shelf sticker, and you might notice that the savings are negligible. If you don’t enjoy at least a 10 percent savings, it’s not worth it unless it’s a high use item for you.

Calculate membership costs into the budget

You might save $10 per year buying a bulk product at an economical-sized store, but don’t discount membership fees and the inconvenience factor. If you have to drive an extra 10 miles out of the way, you’re wasting gas, time and might be overpaying for that membership fee. Think of it like a budget: Calculate the actual costs (not just the savings of the product) and ask yourself if it’s worth it.

Check expiration dates

Many items have expiration dates that you might not even think about (even when kept sealed). Worse, sometimes those bulk items are closer to that date than you think. Be realistic about when it will be used, and don’t sign up to store expired items.