Every week in 2013, I’m sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.
You can save at least 20% off the price of many staple products by buying them in bulk. If you’re going to be using the bulk amount of something over the course of a year and it can be stored for a long period of time, you might as well purchase it in quantity at a discount, right?
Where To Find Bulk Deals
There are many places to check for bulk deals, here are a few of the best places to look:
1. Warehouse stores
This is sort of the default, but it’s worth mentioning. I save around $27 per year by buying yeast from Sam’s Club instead of at the grocery store. However, I don’t find it is worth it to pay for the membership. Instead, I just go in on the get in free days that they have a few times per year.
Be aware that not all warehouse packages are a good deal. In fact, many times, you’ll pay more per ounce for buying the large package than you’d pay if you bought multiple smaller packages when they are on a great sale at the grocery store.
2. Local farms
You can often purchase large quantities of produce seconds for great prices from local farms (check LocalHarvest.org to see if there are farms near you that sell to the public). And if you like high-quality meat, you’re almost always going to save at least $1 per pound by buying it in bulk.
If you don’t have freezer space for large amounts of meat or products, consider splitting a bulk order with a few friends. That way, you all get the discount, but none of you have to buy a new freezer to store it in!
3. Azure Standard or Other Health Food Co-ops
3. Health food stores and grocery stores
If don’t find great sources for buying in bulk from health food co-ops and Azure Standard doesn’t deliver to your area, check and see if your health food stores or grocery stores would give you a discount for buying in bulk. It never hurts to ask!
You might also just buy in bulk by practicing the Buy Ahead principle — buying multiples of items at your grocery store when they are at their rock-bottom prices!
What To Buy in Bulk
What you should buy in bulk will vary from family to family. I recommend looking at what you already purchase a lot of that has a long shelf life or would keep in the freezer for six months and see if you can find sources for purchasing it in quantities at a discount.
These will usually be things like grains, beans, canned goods, and meat. But it could also include other items like toilet paper, diapers, or cleaning supplies.
When Not to Buy In Bulk
You can save a lot of money by buying in bulk, but there are a few pitfalls you want to be aware of:
1. Don’t buy things you won’t use up in time
There’s no point in buying a big bulk package of something if you’re just going to end up throwing it out because it goes bad. Kind of like my cappuccino mix. Ahem.
If you want to buy a big bulk purchase but you’re not sure you’ll use it all up, see if a friend or two will split the order with you.
2. Don’t buy things you don’t already know that you love.
If you aren’t 100% sure your family loves it, don’t buy a bunch of it. Because no matter how inexpensive it was, if you’re not going to use it, it wasn’t a good deal for you.
3. Don’t store your bulk items carelessly.
If you buy grains, make sure you store them properly and check them often. The last thing you want to do is find your big bag of oats is bug-infested!
And do not make the $614 mistake we did and buy a bunch of grass-fed meat from a local farm, stick it in your freezer in the garage, and then leave town for two weeks. That is a lesson we hope we never have to learn again!