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I’m always looking for small ways to save money and, lately, one of those small ways has been to buy more food and household items in bulk.
It may not seem like it, but even the smallest change can make a big difference over a period of time.
Is buying in bulk really cheaper?
In order to find out if a certain food or household item is really cheaper to buy in bulk, there are two main things to look at:
What does the math say?
Divide the price by the total weight/amount of items to find out if the larger package is really the better deal.
Here’s a real-life example:
Let’s say we have two choices on the shelf for the same brand of paper towels. One is $2.54 for 2 rolls and the other is $5.74 for 6 rolls. Which is the better deal?
2 pack: $2.54/2 rolls = $1.27 per roll
6 pack: $5.74/6 rolls = Less than $1 per roll (about 96 cents)
The bigger pack of 6 rolls of paper towels would be the clear winner, right?
I do this all the time when I’m shopping! It only takes an extra minute to pull out your phone and see which is the better deal.
Will you use it before it expires or goes bad?
The second thing you want to consider is will you actually use the extra items?
If you get a box of bananas for a steal, it’s only a deal if you’re actually going to eat 20 bananas or have room in your freezer to freeze them for later, right?
What items are best to buy in bulk?
Here are a few items we always try to buy in bulk because it’s almost always cheaper in the long-run and we’ll actually use these things up.
Meat is always cheaper to buy in bulk. Recently, we have been buying the larger packs and separating them ourselves into freezer bags (these reusable bags are perfect) for later.
Paper Towels and Toilet Paper
Every time I’ve done the math, paper goods like paper towels and toilet paper are always cheaper when you buy the bigger packs vs. the singles or smaller packs.
Diapers and Baby Wipes
For the longest, I always bought the smaller pack of diapers vs. the box because it seemed cheaper to spend $8-$10 instead of $20+, but it really is much cheaper to buy the larger box.
Let’s break it down.
If a pack of 19 diapers is $4.97 and the box of 124 diapers is $24.94, the smaller pack breaks down to 26 cents per diaper and the box breaks down to about 20 cents per diaper– Cheaper to buy the bigger container.
My favorite eggs are the cage-free brown eggs and the largest container they come in is 18 eggs.
If you’re not picky and you’re okay with buying the regular large white eggs, I have seen them come in containers of 60 eggs for dirt cheap.
Laundry detergent is another one that seems like it would be cheaper to just grab the smaller container, but in the long run it’s usually not.
It’s cheaper to make your own snacks at home, but if you have kids, you’re probably buying some pre-made snacks at least some of the time.
The larger containers will help you save more. You can also skip the individuals altogether (if that’s an option) and pre-portion them out yourself to maximize your savings.
You’ll pay less per bar of soap (or container if you use body wash) if you buy the packs of multiples or the larger containers vs. the smaller ones.
Trash bags are another one I used to always skimp on when it came to buying the bigger containers.
You can also save on trash bags by choosing the store brand and skipping the scented bags with the ties. (Add a drop of essential oil if you want it to smell great!)
We cook a lot of stir fry as I’ve said in other posts. Our favorite rice is Jasmine rice and we were going through a lot of it. Recently, we’ve started buying the 5 lb. bags.
They last forever and are much cheaper per serving!
Finally, we always try to buy the bigger container of vitamins and other supplements– It’s always cheaper!
Those are the top things we always buy in bulk. But remember– At the end of the day, it’s only cheaper to buy in bulk if you’ll actually use it!
What things do you typically buy in bulk to save money?