- Personal Finance
5 Good Reasons Not to Buy in Bulk
There has been a big push in the past twenty years to buy in bulk as a way to save money. We are encouraged to look for bargains on the grocery shelves and in the fridge compartments or even at the local fruit and vegetable store. But there are downsides to bulk buying; overstocking the pantry or fridge and running up excessive debt on credit to make those purchases. Instead of saving money on bulk purchases it is possible to lose more than the initial few saved.
5 Good Reasons Not to Buy in Bulk
1. Going into Debt to Save on Bulk Buys
Using a credit card or going into overdraft on your checking account to buy in bulk makes no sense. By saving a few dollars on the product you could be wasting many more dollars on additional interest if you don’t have the funds to cover the bulk purchase.
2. Food That has a Use-by Date
Buying canned or packaged goods in bulk that won’t be eaten before the use by date is a waste of money not a savings. Let’s say I walk up to a tray of cheap goods at the grocery store marked at fifty per cent off. I think to myself, now that’s a bargain price for those noodles! They have a use-by date that is only a few days away. I could buy 20 packets for thirty cents and save thirty cents per packet which gives me an overall savings of six dollars. But unless I know for a fact my family will eat those 20 packets in the next few days I am actually out of pocket six dollars.
- Keeping the Family Budget on Track
Going shopping is easy with a credit card in your wallet but the day of reckoning comes and the money in the bank can't cover the repayments. Keeping the family budget on track is easy, if you know how.
3. Over-stocking the Fridge or Freezer
Meat and poultry are regularly put out on special with a bulk-buy price. More than a few dollars can be saved on a tray of meat by choosing the bulk option instead of the two or three cuts needed to feed the family for the evening meal. But over-stocking the freezer with meat, fish and poultry can mean having to throw out those savings if the food isn’t used in good time.
The same is true for items that need refrigerating. After all, there is only so much margarine or butter that a family can eat.
4.Fruit and Vegetables Going Cheap
Bulk buying fruit and vegetables on special, means nothing if it has to be thrown away. Perhaps the reason for the produce being put out cheap is because it will only be edible for the next day or two. Buying vegetables in bulk is sensible if it can be used within a few days or turned into soup. A bag of apples or other fruit that can be cooked up and used for desserts or juice is thrifty shopping. Thinking ahead when shopping can save money if the food on special is not going to end up as garbage.
5. Info-commercials Offering Two for One Deals
It sounds like such a good deal. The info-commercial channel rattles off all the benefits of an appliance at a bargain price and throws in the cost of shipping. But wait, there’s more. The offer is extended to include another at a fraction of the price of the first one. Unless a friend or relative needs the gadget as much as you do, there are no savings here.
The best advice came from my father when I was ten years old. We had been to a hotel that offered a smorgasbord lunch, an all-you-can eat deal for very little money. He pointed to the people who would go back to the table and load their plate time and again. At the end of the lunch there were dozens of plates of left-over food. So many hungry people who thought they needed more. The waitresses spent the next ten minutes scraping those plates into the rubbish bin. My father said, “The man who walks away from something he doesn’t need, even though it costs nothing, is a man who shows strength of character and great control.” It sounds so simple.