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How to save money when you buy in bulk – the things that are worth stocking up to cut costs in the long-run!
Buying in bulk is a common choice among frugal living enthusiasts because it just makes sense. If you use the same thing over and over again, you’re going to end up spending less in the long-run by buying those things at bulk prices.
However, some things just aren’t worth buying up front. Items like vegetables, fruit, meat, and beauty products are best bought fresh – with the quality really depreciating over time. Below is a list of items definitely worth the price difference when you buy in bulk – and that won’t expire before you get a chance to use them.
What to consider when buying in bulk
As a caveat, there’s two major considerations that come into play before deciding if it’s worth buying an item in bulk:
a) do you have space for it? There’s no point stocking up on any of the items below if you have nowhere to store them. Make sure you’ve organized your home beforehand to provide adequate storage space for your bulk buys.
b) can you afford it? While buying in bulk saves money in the long run, it does mean paying a larger fee upfront. Make sure you can afford that cost in your monthly budget. It may be worth spreading your bulk buys of different items across the year so you don’t have one month where you’re paying out a lot more.
1. Toilet Paper
Toilet paper is, of course, a staple in every household – and the cause for a mad dash to the shops when you discover you’re on the last roll in the house!
Toilet paper, as well as paper towels if you use them for cleaning in the house, are a great thing to stock up on in bulk and won’t ever go past any expiry date. Just make sure you have the storage space to hold them!
It’s safe to assume that most people have a number of light bulbs in their home, and safe to assume at some point, those light bulbs are going to need replacing.
If you see a bulk-buy offer on lightbulbs, these are definitely something worth stocking up on!
Batteries are another household staple that always comes in handy. How often have you bought a new gadget, opened it up, only to realise that it doesn’t come with batteries included?!
Grab a pack and keep them in a drawer ready for those emergencies or for when remotes, battery-operated lights etc run out.
4. Shampoo & Conditioner
Some shops do great deals on bulk shampoo and conditioner, and since this doesn’t have an expiry date, it’s definitely worth stocking up on.
If you have a favourite brand that you never stray from, it makes sense to buy in bulk – you could even look online to see if you can find better deals for a bulk order of your product.
Things like feminine hygiene products, razors, body wash, moisturizer, epsom salts etc are all worth buying in bulk if you use them on a regular basis (if you don’t need tampons, don’t buy the tampons, obviously!).
Again, the only thing you need to be careful of here is making sure you have enough storage space to neatly store these items until you need them. You definitely don’t want every surface space in your bathroom taken up by multiples of the same item! An over-the-door organizer can be a good option for smaller rooms short on space.
6. Laundry Detergent
If you have sensitive skin, you may be unwilling to change laundry detergents and risk causing a flare up, in which case stocking up on your go-to brand of detergent is a good idea to make sure you never run low.
Even if you’re constantly swapping brands, picking up a bulk deal when you see one is never a bad idea – we always need detergent and running out without a back up is just a major inconvenience!
7. Cleaning Supplies
If you see a 2 for 1 deal on cleaning products, cloths etc, go ahead and grab them knowing you’ll be doing your frugal side a favour.
I’m a big believer in finding multi-use products that can cover a range of areas in my home, but these are still worth stocking up on!
8. Dish Soap & Sponges
Likewise, you can never have enough dish soap and sponges. I always buy at least a 6-pack of sponges in bulk, and almost always find myself wishing I’d picked up more!
9. Medical Supplies/ Medicine
Paracetamol/painkillers, plasters, first aid equipment, bonjela for toothaches, pain-relieving heat patches and gel are all useful things to have a stock of at home. You can often get good bulk discounts on these items and since they won’t expire, it’s worth stocking up when you can.
Toothpaste is another product that you’ll often see stores doing bulk offers store, and it’s definitely worth buying several at once if you get a better deal.
11. Canned Items
Canned items like chickpeas, beans, canned fruit, chopped tomatoes, coconut milk etc are all staples in my household, and are worth buying in bulk considering how quickly they get used up!
Canned goods don’t expire (at least, not for a long, long time!), and are a cheap pantry item to keep on hand for cooking up some quick and easy dinners when you’re in a rush.
If your family tends to use a lot of rice, it’s worth stocking up on a big bulk bag to save costs and make sure you don’t run out!
Rice is a long-life grain and a cheap pantry essential that won’t go stale provided you keep it sealed correctly, and you’ll often find cheaper deals for the big bulk bags compared to smaller options. A good tip is to head to the ‘World Foods Isle’ where rice and spices tend to be cheaper than the branded options.
If you’re picky about your oil (for example, you prefer Extra Virgin Olive Oil only), then sometimes just buying oil as and when you need it makes the most sense. However, if you’re not fussy and use oil almost every day for cooking, when you might choose to bulk buy a standard cooking oil.
Provided you’re keeping your pasta sealed in an air-tight container, you can bulk buy dried pasta and it will keep for months – perfect if you’re a bit of a pasta addict like me!
Finally, nuts are another thing you can buy in bulk for cheaper prices. Again, keeping them in an airtight container or properly sealed is a must to avoid them going stale – otherwise, nuts will last for months and stay perfectly fresh!
I love using nuts to make my own homemade nut butter, but they’re also a great snack or topping for Asian curries and stir fries.