Buying in bulk is something you always hear that will save you money. But will it…. although it can be a good thing – it comes with many pitfalls. The purchasing power of bulk items is that you buy many items for less cost. There are a few things to consider though….
Will you use it?
Bulk item savings are only really savings if you actually use them. Items like toilet paper, tinned tomatoes, toiletries etc are great. But there is no point in buying 10 loaves of bread on sale if there is nowhere to store it – the bread will go mouldy and that’s money down the drain. Consider your purchases carefully before handing over your cash!
What items should you buy in bulk?
Well items that you use – that don’t go out of date, and that you have room for! Think tinned soups, toiletries, pasta and noodles.
Where will you keep it?
Another dilemma…. Nappies for example are great to buy in bulk – but where can you stash 10 boxes of nappies…. Now is the time to learn to be creative. Suggestions include:
- Under the bed
- The bottom of the pantry
- On top of cupboards
- In the roof space (be careful it doesn’t become a fire hazard)
- The shed (watch out for rodents and the damp)
Is it Really a Saving?
Now that unit pricing is mandatory in Australia – it makes our job easier of deciding if buying the larger box of cereal is truly cheaper than smaller boxes. Unit pricing means displaying the price of the grocery items for a certain unit of measure, in addition to the item’s selling price. You will find the unit pricing cost listed on the label in the supermarket. It makes our job easier of comparing the price and value of siilar types of products when shopping for groceries. It calculates for you what is better value – for example:
When comparing the price of a 2.5kg container of Washing Powder costing $7.62, or a 1.5kg container of Washing Powder costing $5.74.
Price label 1: Washing Powder X 2.5L $7.62 = $3.05 per litre
Price label 2: Washing Powder Y 1.5L $5.74 = $3.83 per litre
So Washing Powder X is the better value for money – because it is cheaper by the litre!
Shopping centres typically offer bulk savings to encourage you to buy more!
Advantages to YOU the shopper
Well the price is the obvious one, but there is also less packaging – and more food or product. this reduction in packaging and waste helps protect the environment and reduces your family’s carbon footprint! It also means fewer shopping trips for you!
Getting more out of your Bulk Buy:
Items like meat are great to buy in bulk – but to get the most our of your purchases – there is some work it it for you – make sure you freeze meal size portions (with a label). There is no point in freezing a 5kg packet of mince – once is defrosted you will need use it all – that’s a lot of mince to get through!
So buy in bulk if you can – but think wisely!
Bruce Devereaux is the hilarious author behind ‘Big Family, Little Income’ and lives in Gympie with his wife Tracey and their seven children.