Buying items in bulk can help you save tons of money if done correctly. It’s an art that you need to master to avoid an opposite result which is to cost you more money. I’m not a money expert but just like you, I’m also on a quest to find money-saving solutions that can help me with my finances. If you want to know what I’ve learned from the experts, read on to understand how you can ace the art of bulk-buying.
1. Know the cost per unit.
Your goal here is to ensure that the cost per unit is as low as you can possibly get. Don’t just grab the cheapest bottle of ketchup. A smaller number doesn’t guarantee you the cheapest offer. According to TheSimpleDollar.com, you have to do the math – “Cost per unit requires you to figure out how many units you would actually be buying (usually multiplication). Then, you take the total cost of your purchase and divide that by the number of units.” Make sure that the cost per unit is at least 50% below what you would normally pay for when you buy it individually.
2. Never buy an item you haven’t tried before in bulk.
Obviously, you don’t want to throw away a dozen of bar soaps because it caused you or a family member an allergic reaction or throw a bunch of certain low quality items that can’t even do their job. You’ll also have to buy these items from a different brand which means that you have to spend money again. It’s not bad to try new brands but if it’s your first time, just don’t buy it in bulk just yet.
3. Don’t stock up on perishable goods if you’re not planning to consume it before it goes bad.
Not unless you’re meal planning or processing these goods immediately, then it’s better to stay away from perishables when bulk-shopping. I know, deals on fresh items can be overwhelming but if you will just be throwing out a significant portion of these goods, then you are not saving money. It’s not worth it at all.
4. Stay within a “budget”.
Just because you are bulk-buying, doesn’t mean you can buy everything and go crazy – putting yourself in debt. Follow The Simple Dollar’s approach which is to raise your household supply budget by about 25% only when you are starting out.
5. Have enough space and organize them in containers properly.
Maximize the use of your items, by making sure that you have an adequate storage space for all of them. Store them in safe and see-through containers with labels and marked with the date an item was bought and its expiration date.
6. Split up with friends or family.
If you think that you can’t deal with a certain amount (price and/or quantity) then you can consider splitting up the bulk-buys with friends or family. But before you purchase certain products in bulk, make sure that you’ve already agreed with a friend or a family member that you will be splitting it up. Don’t just buy it an assume that the other person will be okay with it or else, you’ll be wasting money.