This is part of the Saving Money on Groceries series.
Some people love it, some people hate it. I have one friend who nearly refuses to buy anything that’s not at Costco because he doesn’t like to spend the time and effort to go to another store. I think it’s great, but you need to be careful.
1. Make sure you’re really saving money:
- Make sure the membership fees aren’t eating all your savings.
- Probably the most important thing: Have a good working knowledge of unit prices for the items you buy. Use that calculator to compare costs between stores! Truly, many “deals” are not really deals at the warehouse.
2. Have a place to store the items:
- Bulk items are, well, bulky. Store them in different containers, in the garage, shed, closets, under the bed, etc.
- Consider a chest freezer. Check craigslist. Use your savings to buy one. Do the calculations to make sure that keeping it running won’t negate the savings of buying in bulk. It’s always saved me money, but it’s worth making sure for yourself.
3. Actually use what you buy:
- Are you likely to use it all before it expires? Such a waste to throw out that nearly full gallon of mayo (ew, right?).
- Since you’re storing stuff all over the house, don’t let yourself forget about it entirely! Keep a running inventory or draw up a quick one every month or two and use up what you have before buying more stuff.
4. Don’t limit yourself to Costco (or other major warehouse stores):
- Stock up on sale or coupon items when it saves a bundle. These are often the best deals you can get anywhere – free or super cheap!
- Check out the other stores in your area. For me, I’ve been wanting to check out Cash N’ Carry. I think about Grocery Outlet occasionally, but I have a bad habit of buying brie when I’m there. 🙂
- Find co-ops or other bulk savings opportunities! Look them up on localharvest.org. Also, once people know you’re into saving money and always looking for deals, they’ll start to let you know of opportunities.
Here are a couple good sources of information. Feel free to share your tips or recommendations!
Next Post: Coupons and Stocking Up – Does it Pay Off?