A fair amount of savings can be made on your shopping budget by buying in bulk. There are some rules to bulk buying that will guarantee success, otherwise some people can find themselves out of pocket.
In this article about bulk buying shopping we shall take a look at:
- The definition of bulk buying
- Having the space to store the goods
- The danger of getting into debt by overbuying
- The importance of calculating the unit price
- The dangers of buying perishable goods
- Trying before buying
- Sharing the cost of bulk buys
- The most popular bulk buys in the UK
What does bulk buying mean?
The definition of bulk buying is when households buy shopping essentials in large quantities in an attempt to save money. This way of shopping is very popular in the US and there are many discount warehouse shopping centres where people can stock up on items that work out cheaper when they are bought in large quantities.
Bulk buys can be made on the high street as large supermarkets have the buying power to offer products at very competitive prices.
You can shop at Costco in the UK where many traders buy their stock, but you have to buy large quantities. Members of the public are allowed to shop there for an annual membership fee of 30 pounds. Bulk buys can be made on the high street as the giant supermarkets do have considerable buying power and can offer products at very competitive prices. It is important to equate the value of a Costco membership and the drive time of travelling to your nearest store against bulk buying for free on the high street.
Do you have adequate storage space to bulk buy?
Before you start stockpiling goods it is important that you have the space to store them. Kitchen cupboards are designed with enough space to hold the essentials, not 50 tins of soup! Freezer space will also be a good idea to have as many savings can be made of purchases of meat as it freezes exceptionally well.
Start to buy slowly or you will find yourself out of pocket
Some people can become so enthused by the great savings that can be made by buying in bulk that they become tempted to overspend. This can cause them to fall into debt and have to rely on payday loans to get through the month. Starting to bulk buy should be with an affordable increase to the shopping budget and built up at a pace that you can manage. You will get this money back in savings in the future from your shopping bill
So how do I find the bulk buy deals?
The important thing to remember with bulk buying is that the items are costed by the unit price, not the size of the box. For example, toilet roll must be budgeted for per meter, not per roll. It depends on how much paper is on the roll as opposed to how many rolls you are getting. The same goes for ketchup or other bottled sauces. You must check how many ounces or grams are in the bottle compared to the savings on buying the bigger packaged lot. You will have to be prepared to do some sums.
So what have we learned so far?
- Buying in bulk can save money
- You can shop at cash and carry warehouses for an annual fee
- Before you start, make sure that you have storage space
- Keep to a budget at first to avoid getting into debt
- To assess value for money you must calculate the size of the unit
Beware of buying perishable goods
If you buy stuff that you cannot use then bulk buying is false economy. Unless you have a plan in place to use it, don’t bother, as it will end up going off and will be a waste of money. There are good deals to be had as long as you have the space to freeze these items or do something with it by preserving it. Check out recipes for pickling or freezing vegetables in the correct manner before buying in bulk.
Check out recipes for pickling or freezing vegetables in the correct manner before buying in bulk.
Don’t buy items in bulk that you haven’t tried before
Although a shower gel that is on special offer can be tempting to buy, if you haven’t tried it beforehand and it doesn’t suit your skin you could be stuck with something that is unsuitable and therefore a waste of money. You may nor like the quality of any item once you have a stack of it, so it’s a good idea to only buy bulk items that you know well.
Share bulk buys with friends and family
If you see a really good bulk buy that is too big for you to purchase alone you may consider asking friends of family if they would like a share. This way, everyone is getting a bargain and you will not have to store large amounts of goods. Some people use social media sites and form groups to bulk buy their shopping.
What are the best items to bulk buy?
It is important that you consider what items to bulk buy. If you stock up on a load of unhealthy treats then you will only be tempted to eat more of them and damage your health. Here are some of the most popular items that people who buy in bulk always stock up on:
- Toilet paper (92%)
- Washing powder (68%)
- Toothpaste (43%)
- Tinned items (41%)
- Shampoo and conditioner (41%)
- Bottled beverages (31%)
- Pasta (30%)
- Soap (28%)
- Freezer food (27%)
- Bin bags (24%)
So what conclusions can we draw from shopping in bulk?
Shopping in bulk makes sense if it is done in the right way. It is a good idea to make a list before you go to avoid buying items that you don’t need. Bulk buying should be started slowly with a budgeted amount of money to avoid getting into debt and having to take out payday loans of other types of finance. Many of the large UK supermarkets have cut down on bulk buy offers in order to lower their prices overall. There are still deals to be had, but be careful of waste that can lead to false economy.