Buying in Bulk

Buying in Bulk: Does it Actually Save You Money?

The number of people regularly buying in bulk has grown significantly over the past few years. 

So, what is causing the craze for buying in bulk?

Whether it’s the desire for a sustainable and eco-lifestyle or simply to reduce your time shopping, bulk buying is often a great choice.

But, we want to know the answer to whether it actually saves you money to buy in bulk. Let’s go discover the truth, savvy shoppers!

1. Do You Really Need Three Toasters?

We all know the marketing campaigns that say you can buy more and save money at the same time. This grabs our attention since we’re always looking for ways to save money. However, what is really going on here?

Say you want a toaster. Imagine there’s a toaster commercial that says you can buy one toaster for $50 or three toasters for $120. What do you do?

Of course, by purchasing three toasters for $120 rather than $150, you’re able to save $30. Well done, you!

But, do you really want three toasters? No, you only wanted one toaster.

Instead, the seller has received $70 more from you. Meanwhile, you have two too many toasters.

Be aware of this kind of marketing campaign. Only spend on the additional items if you wanted them anyway. Don’t be sucked into buying more items than you really need. 

2. Do You Have Enough Space?

Next, what about the storage problems? 

Of course, if you’re just buying small items in bulk, you don’t need much extra space. However, if you’re thinking of buying groceries which need to be frozen or refrigerated, you may not have enough room.

You may think you’re saving money, but this isn’t always the case.

Remember, you may have to buy a bigger freezer to store your bulk bag of ice-cubes or another refrigerator for the bulk deal of cheese you couldn’t resist. You may also notice increases to your electricity bills as a result. 

Sometimes, whether to start buying in bulk comes down to how big your home is. Do you have enough space? 

3. Over-Consumption

The rate of obesity in the United States is growing. This has serious negative health effects on the human body.

Guess what? Part of the problem is consuming too much food. The more food we buy, the more we consume.

Therefore, buying in bulk is only making the problem of over-consumption even greater.

If you bought that extra sponge cake, sure you saved money. But every time you look in the refrigerator, you’re going to be reminded that you need to use it up. Doing this, you end up eating more than you ordinarily would have done.

Therefore, even though you’re only trying to save money, you could find that your health deteriorates because you’re overeating.

4. Food Waste Nightmare

You’re probably shocked to discover that household waste amounted to up to $160 billion worth of food in 2010. And not much has changed since as our food waste problem continues to grow.

It’s safe to assume that many people are buying in bulk because they think it’s going to save them money down the line. But instead, they end up throwing stuff out instead of consuming or using it. 

If you want to be a savvy spender, you have to stop throwing away food. Only buy what you know you’re going to eat.

4. What to Buy in Bulk?

The real answer to whether buying in bulk can save you money is that it depends on what you’re buying. There are some things that are suitable for bulk buying while other items which aren’t.

So, fresh bananas? Probably not, unless you’re planning on making a ton of banana bread.

But, what about toilet paper? Yes, that’s more like it. It’s easy to find somewhere to store as the temperature doesn’t matter and you can save lots by buying lots at the same time.

Let’s check out more examples of great bulk purchases. 

  • Soap for dishes
  • Shampoo and soap for body and hair washing
  • Alcohol e.g. beer or wine
  • Office supplies 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Detergent
  • Non-perishables e.g. cereal, canned food, and sodas 

The best way to save money by buying in bulk is to be careful what you’re actually spending your money on. It’s definitely wise to buy the above items in bulk, especially when you spot discounts and offers. 

5. Sometimes Buying Less and Saves You More

Sometimes, you should stop buying in bulk altogether. A lot of time you may find that you’re not saving much at all by purchasing items in greater quantities. 

By buying less of an item or searching for affordable alternatives, you may find you save much more money.

Instead of buying a 5-year supply of detergent in a single purchase, why not check out the cheaper alternatives? Can’t you manage with only a single packet of cookies this week? 

Be aware that buying in bulk can be a money saver, but it’s not always the most effective way.  

The Bottom Line on Buying in Bulk

Now you know when buying in bulk makes sense to save money and when you’re throwing money into the fire by doing so.

If you’ve got a large household, then buying in bulk could be a great answer to your budgeting problems. However, if you’re a singleton trying to make ends meet, often it’s not the wise approach to saving money.

If you want to find out more about how to save money on your trips to the grocery store, check out our blog for more articles like this one