We’ve all heard that buying supplies in bulk can save you lots of money! Buying in bulk can also reduce the amount of packaging used. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should run out and just start buying everything in large quantities. Some things just aren’t worth buying in bulk and sometimes you’ll end up spending more than you normally would have. For families, this is a great way to save money for sure. For households of two or less, some of that stuff might lie around for a while or never even get used at all!
My husband and I both love going to Costco! You can eat an entire meal there via samples, and it’s fun to look at what they have available. We usually end up going once or twice a month to stock up on items. Mostly we buy items that we use regularly. We live in a one bedroom apartment, so space is definitely an issue. We can’t really just buy large hulking packages and leave them lying around. Sometimes it’s better to buy the smaller items also because we don’t use it much.
Bulk retailers like Costco can save you money if you shop smart. It seems like a lot of people end up buying things just because it’s so cheap! Take a step back before you buy it and really think about whether you need that much. Will you be able to use all of it before it goes bad if it’s food? Do you have the space for it? Lastly, do you actually need, it or are you just buying it because its cheap?
Earth-friendly or not
Technically, bulk items are generally more earth-friendly because they use less packaging. A larger container will use less plastic than 6 small containers that equate to the same size. Some items though, are wrapped up together in plastic wrap or a larger cardboard container which adds more packaging waste. Items like laundry detergent save on materials used. Items like a 6 pack of pasta will actually use more packaging. Best thing to do is just be aware of the packaging of the product and try not to buy over-packaged items. If you still need the item, make sure to recycle the packaging!
Only buy items that you use up
Buying a big pack of salad and then throwing out half of it doesn’t save you money. Perishables are the biggest items you need to watch out for. There’s only so much that you can eat. Plus you might just get tired of eating the same thing over and over again. When it comes to bulk perishables, only buy it if you have a large family or a big party.
When it comes to other items that will keep longer, you still need to think about how much you actually use it. Once a year? Not worth it to buy in bulk. Daily usage, then yes!
Make sure you have space for it
We buy the ALL brand of detergent that is 3x concentrated. It takes us over half a year to use that anyway. While the big version at Costco is cheaper, we don’t have the space for it, and in the long run, it doesn’t save us much. Bulk items are always big and will take up lots of shelf space. Do you really want it languishing on your shelves for a year or more?
Don’t buy it just because
Great deals always have the potential to suck you in and buy just because it’s so cheap! Take a step back and think before you toss stuff into your cart! Is it an item that you would normally buy at the store? If so, then it’s probably a good deal you will use. If it’s not something you would normally buy, then put it back!
Buying better quality items
Not only can buying in bulk save you money, but sometimes you can find better quality items at Costco for the price of the lower quality equivalent at the store. Yeah!
Just recently, my husband came home with a 6 pack of assorted pasta that he bought from Costco. Each pack is 17.6 ounces each and the entire thing cost $6.99. Barilla pasta at the store can sometimes be found on sale for $1 each 16oz box. By buying bulk, we only paid a little more for much higher quality pasta. The brand turns out to be one that many people ask visitors to Italy to bring back for them! The texture and quality is definitely much higher! We cooked it a bit past al dente but it still tasted wonderful. Higher quality pasta is much more forgiving when it comes to cooking times. Cheaper pasta brands become too mushy when overcooked.
The crazy thing about Costco is that it can be mayhem in there. They give you huge carts to push around that people end up slamming into other people because they’re too busy looking the other way. The lines are long and no one ever lets you in front of them, even if you only have a few items. Even so, if you give yourself plenty of time it can be an enjoyable experience. Make your way around the store and try out all the different samples. If you are only there for a few items, don’t even bother with the cart. It just slows you down. Try going in the morning or just before closing time to avoid the crowd. I love all the good deals I find there!
Are you a lover of Costco? Is your home stacked up with bulk items?