The arrival in Australia of wholesale giants like Costco is kickstarting a whole new conversation about bulk buying. And while there’s no doubt that buying in bulk can lead to some great savings, not everyone who does it is successful. So if you want to maximise your savings and minimize your mistakes, stick to a few simple guidelines.
Don’t buy it if you’re not going to use it.
It sounds like common sense, but it’s amazing how many people end up throwing away bulk-bought items because they’ve expired – or are no longer needed. This can actually end up costing you money – which is definitely not part of the bulk-buy plan.
Make sure you have space before you buy.
You’ll soon get tired of sharing your living space with boxes of sticky tape or toilet roll, so consider how you’ll store your products before you purchase them. Garages or under-house areas are ideal because you’ll have the products when you need them, but won’t be tripping over them when you walk around the home.
Avoid bulk buying perishable items.
Buying perishable items in bulk can be risky, so give some thought to how you’re going to use the produce. One option is to batch cook meals and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them. That way, you get to take advantage of a bulk buying discount – but you’re not wasting products that go off before you’ve had a chance to use them.
So what are the best things to buy in bulk?
Once you start buying in bulk, it can be tempting to buy everything in large amounts. But that can backfire. Stick to things you know you will use – and only those with long shelf lives. Food items like rice, pasta and cereal are usually good bulk buys. And so too are household items like batteries, laundry powder and school supplies.
Try before you bulk buy.
It’s important to remember that not every soap will suit your skin type, and not every bin liner will be fit your bin. So it pays to test drive the product first before you buy in bulk. That way, you’ll always know you’re getting something that suits your needs.
Look at the price per unit.
Products sold in Australia will often have a price-per-unit marked on the label and these make it easy to compare the value that different sized packs offer. Generally speaking, the bigger the pack, the lower the unit cost.
Don’t get dazzled by the deal.
Bulk buying is meant to stretch your household budget, but that only works if you buy things you need, rather than things you didn’t know you needed until you saw them on sale. So stay strong – and walk past that great deal! When you shop according to the way you actually live – not the way you think you’d like to, you stand the best chance of success.