Could Bigger Mean Better?

With the advent of warehouses such as Costco, buying in bulk is no longer the rarity it once was. These clubs were originally designed for corporations and businesses, but now more and more households are choosing to use these shops as their main source for groceries. Of course you want a good deal, but do be careful: you don't need three gigantic ketchup bottles for a household of two or 80 pairs of tube socks for when you are only buying for yourself.

woman pushing shopping cartSix tubs of mayo

When shopping at these fabulous warehouses, bare in mind what you want and what you really need. Most items in these shops are offered in big quantities -- and sometimes, enormous quantities.

Think before you buy


Do you really need a five litres of mayonnaise? Could you even fit it into your refrigerator? Maybe this purchase would be better made at a regular supermarket where you can buy smaller quantities.

Watch out for this catch-22 on many products you would typically buy [particularly those that have a limited shelf life]. Bulk options that work best include salt and pepper, granola, canned goods and any other items that you use on a regular basis.

Spoiled spinach

Bulk prices for fruits and vegetables are some of the best you will find anywhere. But before buying, put some thought into it. Can you cope with eating eight spinach meals a week or 40 apples in a fortnight?

Getting food at discount prices is all well and good, but throwing it away really isn't. Use caution before buying items that spoil easily. If you are throwing a big dinner party, shop for the perishable goods shortly before the event to make sure nothing goes bad. Be especially careful during warmer weather or if you are in a humid climate. Fruits and vegetables will begin to turn moldy very fast, and the mold can quickly spread to other food items.

A house full of paper towels

One of the greatest problems of buying in bulk is storing all your new goods. If you happen to have a backup freezer in the shed or garage, then go ahead -- buy all your meats, pre-made meals and other frozen products. But if you don't have extra space for frozen foods, don't buy too many foods that require refrigeration. Meats and sauces will only survive for so many days before going bad.

Conversely, goods such as toilet paper, kitchen rolls and other household paper items are excellent products to buy in bulk -- just make sure you have a place to store them. No one wants to visit your house and have to sit next to 30 rolls of paper towels. Only buy what your house can hold, not just what is easiest on the wallet.

bulk food aisle rice and grainsRice and grains

Many shops offer items such as rice, pasta, grains, nuts, granola and other non-perishables in whatever quantities you desire. You simply scoop out however much you want. Although you do need to store the goods properly so they don't spoil. Try Ziploc food bags or air-tight containers for good preservation. Dry goods bought in bulk are among the best bargains because you will not need to pay extra for the packaging.

More shopping tips

More money saving bulk buying tips

Tags: buying in bulk discount club shopping frugal living shopping tips warehouse club shopping

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