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Does Buying in Bulk Really Save You Money?

A man fills a grocery cart.
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On the surface, bulk buying seems to be a great way to save some cash. But is that massive box of toilet paper or paper towels really helping you cut any costs?

As it turns out, there are times when it doesn’t really save to buy in bulk, but the initial savings might not be the most important factor.

It’s true that nearly everything you buy in bulk can save you at least a few cents. Over time, this can add up to significant savings. However, when you’re considering making that larger purchase, there are some unrelated things besides the cost to consider.

First, if you purchase food in bulk, you should remember the expiration dates. While large families are likely able to finish perishable items, if you have a smaller household, there’s a chance those additional ounces or packs could spoil before being used, ultimately cutting into the savings you made buying them.

Outside of perishable food, though, you should also consider the space in your home. Do you have room to store 48 rolls of toilet paper? Will that 82-ounce container of laundry detergent fit on your shelf? Think about whether or not your purchases have space in your home before buying them.

If you do decide to pick bulk items up, be careful not to overuse them. If you have extra shampoo on hand, you could be prone to use more come shower time. By consuming more than usual (because it’s at your disposal), you could be lessening your savings.

While there’s nothing wrong with purchasing groceries in bulk, you should consider more than just the initial cost. Yes, there are general items that are better than others for bulk buying. Toiletries, household cleaning goods, and dry goods are all items that can be worthwhile to purchase in large quantities.

When it comes to expirable items, products that could take up excessive space, and things you might be prone to overuse, you might want to think twice about bulk buying to save money.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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