There’s no way around it – life is expensive. But unless you plan on moving deep into the countryside and surviving on your own electric grid, you have to grit your teeth and accept the costs of our modern lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can use to minimize unwanted out-of-pocket costs, from shopping for your clothes out of season to buying certain household items in bulk. When you buy in bulk, you don’t just buy one or two; you buy enough to last your busy family a few weeks or months.
Here are 10 common things that’ll it benefit you to buy in large quantities, both from a financial and a convenience standpoint.
If there’s one thing that parents learn quickly, it’s the painful price of diapers. It might be tempting to purchase the smallest bag possible to minimize the total on your receipt, but it’s actually wiser to stock up all at once.
Look at Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers as an example. An 84-pack of Size 2 diapers costs $18.00 at Walmart, which comes out to about $0.21 per diaper. But the same diapers in a 222-count box only costs $25.00, which comes to $0.11 per diaper.
You don’t need to be a mathematician to notice that the bulk size diaper box costs about half the amount per diaper!
Toilet Paper and Paper Towels
You always need toilet paper and paper towels and, since these supplies can’t go bad, you don’t have to stress about expiration dates. Stock up when you see a good sale at Sam’s Club or Costco, and you’ll be set for months.
Just like toilet paper and paper towels, you never have to doubt your need for trash bags in the future. However, unlike paper products, trash bags offer the benefit of being compact enough to store without hogging too much cabinet space. Consider buying trash bags in a few different sizes and colors so that you’re covered for any wastebasket or for storage or transport needs.
Soaps and Shampoos
Personal care products aren’t known for being affordable, but buying in bulk when you find a good sale on such staples as Hand soap, body wash, and shampoo can help you score significant savings. Just make sure to take a peak at any expiration dates to make sure you have more than enough time to make full use of your purchases.
This isn’t a wise bulk purchase if you live in a family of tea drinkers, but most households fly through ground coffee quickly. Consider buying your favorite java blend in a large quantity and freezing the portion you won’t use within the next month to ensure freshness.
Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
As long as you stay within the expiration date, it can never hurt to have extra toothpaste on hand. You can also save big bucks when you opt for the three- or six-pack of toothpaste instead of the single tube. The upfront cost is more, but you end up spending much less than you would for six individual tubes over time. Brushes won’t go bad at all, especially if you keep them wrapped up.
Until you live with a 15-year-old boy, you won’t believe how quickly a single person can eat a full bag of Doritos. Head over to Sam’s Club, Costco, BJ’s, or your favorite bulk store to grab such crunchy snacks in major quantities. You’ll save significantly compared to single container pricing, and you’ll keep your kids satisfied… at least for a few days.
You always need the type of batteries you don’t have lying around in your junk drawer, right? Buying batteries in bulk ensures that you’ll always have the AA or AAA that you need for new toys, TV remotes, and anything else. As long as you store batteries in a cool, dry place, they have a decent shelf life.
Washing clothes is enough of a hassle, so the least you can do for yourself is always have laundry detergent on hand. Buy your favorite brand in bulk to simplify your life and save a few dollars.
Cereal never goes out of style, but it does go bad, so make sure you only buy your family’s favorites in bulk. Open one bag at a time and keep your extras stored away in a cool, dry place. Bulk cereal prices, especially when you’re willing to buy a generic brand, can help you score major savings.
Read about micro-investing and how to get started with our complete guide: Micro-Investing: What It Is, Why It’s for You and How to Start.