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Save Money by Buying in Bulk

Updated on February 17, 2010

One of the best ways I have found to save money on all sorts of household items as well as food is to buy them in bulk. I am not just talking about heading to your nearest warehouse club and stocking up. That is frequently not going to save you money. There are plenty of ways that buying in bulk can save you money though.

When you think of buying in bulk what do you think about? There are a couple of thoughts that come to my head - buying a huge container of something or buying many small containers of something. Both of these ways will help you save money and I frequently purchase in bulk both ways. I am not just talking about food though. When I buy toilet paper I will buy 50 rolls. Any household item from batteries to oil for the car can be bought in bulk.

When buying flour for example, I will purchase a 25 pound bag of it. It is much cheaper per pound to buy flour this way, than to buy it in five, five pound packages. (Make sure you will use 25 pounds of flour before you buy such a large bag though.) The warehouse clubs do help you save money in this instance, as well as a few others. I buy five pound blocks of cheese there as well and it is much cheaper than buying it one pound at a time.

Most often though, when I buy in bulk, I just buy large quantities of items. For example, when pasta goes on sale for $1 a box and I have coupons that make it free, I will buy 20 boxes. I purchase coupons off EBay to allow me to shop this way. If I can get something I use a lot of for free or almost free, then I will buy it in bulk. This saves me so much money over buying two boxes of pasta at full price each week.

You do have to be careful when buying bulk quantities of items. Check expiration dates and only buy what you will use before they expire. I do not bulk buy everything. Some things go on sale frequently enough that I don't buy many of them. Some items are perishable and won't keep for long enough to buy a lot. Some things I just don't use that much of. You need to evaluate your situation and choose which items will work for bulk buying. Then look into the best way to buy that item in bulk. If you do not have extra freezer space, there is no point buying 10 loaves of reduced bread for example. Figure out what will work for you and then buy it in bulk to save money.


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    • profile image

      Becky 7 years ago

      "You need to evaluate your situation and choose which items will work for bulk buying."

      I cannot emphasise this enough. There's good general guidance available on the internet about the dos and don'ts of wholesale buying but you have to look at your own individual situation. Me, I've got a large loft, so storage space for toilet paper and kitchen roll isn't a problem. But not everyone has enough storage space to store bulky items like that.

      With CostCo and Sam's Club and the like, you need to look at the price you pay for membership against what you save. And obviously, the cost of getting to and from the warehouse. If you consistently save more than the membership fee, it's worth it. If not, then you're wasting money. Of course, it can still be worth your while buying some items wholesale, but it's probably worth getting someone else signing you in as a guest on a card. I don't know if that's possible with CostCo and Sam's but it is possible with Makro. (

      And regarding what to buy wholesale, again, that depends on your situation. Toothbrushes are a good idea across the board IMHO, as you'll always need them, always need to replace them and they're small and don't have an expiry date. Sugar is good if you do a lot of baking, as it lasts a long, long time. And if you've got pets that don't go off one type of food after a few months, bulk buying pet food is a good idea.

      It always depends on the individual.

    • askjanbrass profile image

      askjanbrass 8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Ah yes, the beauty of stores like Costco, BJs, Sam's Club, etc. Sometimes, it may seem like your spending more when you buy in bulk...but it lasts so much you really are saving a great deal!

      Thanks for posting on such a great topic!

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is a great idea to buy in bulk with reduced money but it requires careful storing.

    • shazz01109 profile image

      shazz01109 8 years ago from Western Massachusetts

      Great advice, especially buying bulk for non-food items. I didn't know about the ebay coupon thing either!

    • Cedar Cove Farm profile image

      Cedar Cove Farm 8 years ago from Southern Missouri

      My wife came home today with five containers of virgin coconut oil (very expensive) for $2.49 each! She can stretch a dollar bill until the eagle looses it's feathers! Good info in this hub, great job. Not only can you save money, but it helps to have in case of unforseen circumstances.

    • garcilazoand profile image

      garcilazoand 8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I completely agree. Great stuff.

    • fishtiger58 profile image

      fishtiger58 8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Great advice. I do buy some things in bulk. It's a great way to save money.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      This is certainly the greatest advice I have ever read. Thank you so much.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Good advice. Some of us live in small houses or apartments with little storage space, but could save money by shopping with a friend to pick up bulk buy savings and split them.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 8 years ago

      Sound money saving advice. Thanks


    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I love buying stuff this way and wish more people made themselves aware of it. I've long held that the biggest savings people can enjoy are on food or in the grocery store in general. I also think its very important to break prices down to ounces or feet. For example, toilet paper is VERY misleading. At Sam's Club the Member's Mark had more rolls of toilet paper than the Quilted Northern I compared. The price for the Quilted Northern was also MORE than the Member's Mark toilet paper by nearly $2. You figure, more rolls, lesser price...Member's Mark is the one. Until I looked at how many feet of paper I got in the Member's Mark package vs. the Quilted Northern. In this case the brand name was cheaper per foot of paper, and even though it had less rolls than Member's Mark, it had more paper. And the price per foot was cheaper.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 8 years ago from Virginia

      Great advice Jennifer...and with so many Costcos in the area!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Great idea, Jennifer. When I was in college, I bought everything bulk (usually at the warehouse clubs) before beginning a new semester at college. I'd usually by non-perishable such as toilet paper, soap, pasta, and the like. I'd buy my meat, dairy, and produce when I got to my off-campus apartment. You outlined some awesome tips here. I especially liked the idea of buying coupons via Ebay. Thank you.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 8 years ago from Canada

      Its so expensive sometimes to buy in bulk, cheaper in the long run but you have to have the money to put out for large purchases. Sometimes its good split it with a friend.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 8 years ago

      You're so right.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      I buy certain things in bulk, but giant jars of mayo just don't work for me.

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 8 years ago from Canada

      Bulk buying is definitely the best way to save money, and if it's on sale, even better. Bulk buying can also be done through stores that carry dry goods in large bins whereby you purchase your item by weight. Generally, the price per ounce or pound is much cheaper than buying the packaged product at the grocers. Thank you for sharing your tips for saving money through bulk purchases!