Tips for Buying in Bulk

tips for buying in bulk, meredith rines, merelynne, buying in bulk, sams club, costco

Do you buy in bulk from any membership stores? We love Sam’s Club at our house (not that we have anything against Costco, but they aren’t as close to us). I’ve been a member since college thanks to my Dad’s office extending me a card. These days my purchases are much different than at 22 (which usually consisted of wine, chips, and sorority necessities for any events).  Nowadays we like to buy meat when they have it on sale, bread for lunches and any other frozen meals that are a good deal.  We also stock up on dog bones a few time each year.  

Watch the video online or down below for some of my best tips for buying in bulk:

We’ve learned with this whole budgeting thing that it’s best to buy certain items at wholesale clubs, but you have to be careful. Some items are more costly per unit and the expiration dates make it hard to use in time. Here are a few of my favorite tips for buying in bulk:

Buy Non-Perishable Items

We love buying toilet paper, paper towels, detergent and so on in bulk. If there isn’t an expiration date then sign us up. Most food items we tend to not buy in bulk. Since our little guy doesn’t eat a lot, it’s just the two of us consuming majority of the food.  Now while I love a good bag of pretzel crisps, it doesn’t mean I need 2 giant bags that size of my head in my cabinet.

In contrast, if you have a larger family and you go through 5 gallons of milk in a week then by all means buy in bulk.  You need to know your family and what is best for you. If they have a really good deal on fruit, but you know your family won’t eat it before it goes bad then don’t buy it (but you can freeze it and make smoothies out of it).  You just need to know what works and what won’t work. 

Compare Unit Prices

Most prices on store labels will have a unit price or a price per pound on it. Make sure you compare those to the ones at your local grocery store. Just because it’s in a bigger package at Costco or Sam’s Club doesn’t mean it’s always a good deal. 

Don’t Buy On Impulse

This is one of the worst mistakes you can make at a wholesale club. Just because it looks like a good deal and you get excited about it, doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Make sure you think your purchases through.

Have A Plan

This tip goes with the previous one. Before you step foot into any store have a list of what you need. If you don’t have a list it’s like you’re going in blind and with no direction. You end up putting things in your cart that you don’t need nor really want, which means you spend more money. That money could go to other parts of your budget, so make sure to stick to your list.

Shop Around and Know The Prices

Do your research. Before we go to the store I will search for the bigger, most expensive items we want to buy online. I will compare the unit prices from Sam’s Club to Amazon to Walmart. That way I know without a doubt I am getting the most inexpensive item possible.

Split With Someone

If you find an amazing deal on a case of toilet paper, but couldn’t imagine going through that much then split it. Find a family member or a friend to go in with you. I used to do this in college.  I would go in with a friend on some toilet paper and paper towels every few months.  We would split the cost and the items. That way we had enough to last us and didn’t have to hid extra toilet paper under our bed when it wouldn’t fit in the cabinet.

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Meredith Rines, a budget and financial strategist helping fans pay off debt and live the life they've always wanted.

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