Buying in bulk can be a great way to lower your household expenses. If you can reduce the unit cost of what you want to buy, then it makes sense to do so. You can stock up on large quantities when you do your supermarket shop or buy goods from specialist bulk retailers such as EatBig.
What You Need to Know about Buying in Bulk
- Buy at a Low Cost Per Unit. That's the most important thing. You need to be sure that you are actually getting something cheaper if you buy it in a larger quantity. Most supermarkets show the cost per unit on the price display. It is easy to see if you're shopping online too. If you are buying food, for example, it will tell you the cost per 100g or kg. Make sure that the price is cheaper if you buy a larger amount before you go ahead and buy in bulk.
- Don’t Buy Perishable Items. If you buy a lot of something and then end up throwing away, that's money wasted. Although you can get good deals on food if you buy in large quantities, make sure you are going to be able to eat it all before it goes off. Some things can be frozen - meat, for example - but the use-by date of food should always be considered. Checking the date doesn't only apply to food either. Batteries, for example, can only be stored for a number of years.
- Don't Buy Things You Might Use More Of. If buying more of something than usual will cause you to consume it more than usual, then that's probably a bad thing to buy in bulk. You may get packets of biscuits cheaper if you buy them in large quantities, but then if you have lots of biscuits in the house, you may end up eating more of them.
- Don’t Buy Things You Haven’t Bought Before. You should only bulk buy things you know you like and are good quality. Having boxes of something that isn't so great is just a waste.
- Make Sure You Have Enough Space. You can only buy large quantities of something if you have space in your home to store it all. We have space in our garage, some people have a spare room. If you don't have a place to put it, you can't really buy in bulk.
- Don’t Buy Everything At Once. If are going to buy a lot more of something than you usually do, it's obviously going to cost more. Don't go crazy and buying everything you need in huge quantities because it will just be too expensive. It's better to buy one thing in bulk one month and then something else the next month. Spread out the cost over time.
What is Good to Buy in Bulk?
- Baby Nappies & Wipes. Best to buy nappies when your child has just moved into a new size. Take into account when they are going to move up a size, so you don't buy too much.
- Toilet Paper. You’re always going to need it and it's not going to go bad.
- Dishwasher detergent. You always measure about a certain amount with each load of clothes so you won't overuse it.
- Toothpaste. Easy to store and again you tend to use the same amount each time.
- Dry Rice and Pasta. Lasts for a long time.
- Oatmeal. Good for making healthy breakfasts.
- Shampoo. Keep a big one in the cupboard and refill small bottles to avoid overuse.
- Light bulbs. You’re always going to need to replace them eventually.
Where Can You Buy in Bulk?Online retailer EatBig offer free UK delivery on all orders over £40. They stock a range of items including coffee, tea, rice, pasta, pet food and cleaning products. To find out more, check out their website.
Picture: Paul Townsend via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0