Buying in bulk definitely has its benefits—providing you’re picky about your purchases and you have sufficient storage space.
There are many reasons to opt for industrial-sized items over their smaller “standard” counterparts. Following are just a few:
- Bulk is better for your budget. Buying bulk goods can typically save you money on a cost-per-item basis. It can also result in less frequent trips to a store or website, which may mean lower gas or shipping costs, not to mention fewer spontaneous purchases. Cha-ching!
- It’s often healthier. If you always have wholesome ingredients on hand, you’ll be more likely to prepare healthful meals from scratch and skip the sugary, salty, pre-packaged processed and fast foods.
- It reduces waste. Bulk goods typically use less packaging than the equivalent number of standard-sized items (although individually portioned bulk items are an exception). That means less “trash” is headed to the landfill on your watch!
Smart stuff to stockpile
Items with shorter shelf lives, such as eggs, olive oil and fresh produce are not typically the best bulk buys because they may expire before you can exhaust your supply. Some smart bulk purchases, on the other hand, include:
Alcohol. The next time you go to grab a six-pack, keep in mind that the more expensive 24-pack will actually save you money in the long run. Plus, you’ll be well stocked for your next get-together.
Batteries. You never know when you’ll have an emergency that requires them—especially if you live in an area that’s prone to power outages!
Butter. Frequent bakers will recognize that many recipes call for a stick of the stuff. The most decadent recipes call for at least two.
Cereal. The general rule when it comes to cereal: The bigger the box, the greater savings. Plus, you don’t want to run out of this no-brainer breakfast food!
Feminine products. Sanitary napkins and tampons are a necessity for many women. Buying them in bulk can help prevent those late-night trips to the store.
Laundry detergent. Running out of laundry detergent can be aggravating—especially when you’re staring down your kiddo’s dirty sports jersey. Keep large amounts on hand to save money and your sanity.
Liquid hand soap. You use it daily, and it stays good for up to 18 months. So why not keep an industrial-sized container of liquid hand soap under your sink and refill your smaller soap dispensers as necessary?
Nuts. If you frequently snack on—or bake with—nuts, supersizing your supply could be your best bet. Just be sure stash them in the freezer if they’re nearing their expiration date!
TP and paper towels. These non-perishable necessities can last for years in your linen closet. Can you ever really have too much?!
Pasta. This pantry staple boasts a shelf life of up to two years when stored in an airtight container. You’ll always have it on hand when you need to whip up a satisfying meal in minutes.
Rice. This versatile grain pairs perfectly with any protein. Keep a steady supply in stock for easy, convenient dinners. Note: Brown rice, which has a shorter shelf life than other varieties, stays good for about six months.
Shampoo and conditioner. You want your hair to look and feel its best at all times. Stock up on liter- or “value”-sized bottles of your favorite products—especially when they’re on sale!
Tea. Is this soothing beverage part of your daily ritual? Buy it in bulk and store it in a sealed, airtight container away from heat and direct sunlight, which can damage the leaves.
Trash Bags. You don’t want to ever find yourself without garbage bags! The good news is their compact size means they won’t take up too much storage space in your home.