Do you buy in bulk? If you like to shop at warehouse clubs, then you probably do. Sometimes not having enough storage could prevent you from buying in bulk, and, as I’ve found, sometimes it’s actually cheaper to buy items on their own.
Perfect example: I had a $.85 coupon off one roll of paper towels. My supermarket will double that coupon to $1.70, which I could have applied to a multi-pack of paper towels and saved $1.70. But I still would have paid about $5 for that six-pack of paper towels. Instead, I picked up a single roll of paper towels, which cost $1.99 each, but with my coupon, cost me only $.29.
You see for me, stocking up and creating a stockpile is important, but spending the least amount possible on the things I buy is even more important. Nonetheless, sometimes it is best to buy in bulk, and I’m quoted in this recent story on buying in bulk on Main Street.com. Based on that story–but not always my advice–here are the top 10 items to buy in bulk:
- Toilet paper
- Bottled water (if you need to buy for a group)
- Dog food and treats
- Laundry detergent (with the laundry detergent shown above, I was able to get six bottles of this Extra detergent for $.18–total! Now that’s extreme couponing!)
- Meat (when chicken or meat is at its cheapest, I’ll buy 20 to 40 pounds of it, divide into meal-sized portions when I get home, and pop them into the freezer)
- Storage items (paper, plastic, aluminum foil)
- Personal care products
- Paper plates and plastic flatware (dollar stores are great for these if you need them for a party)
Tell us: What are some of your must-buys in bulk?
Leah Ingram is the founder of the Suddenly Frugal blog and the author of 14 books, including Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Adams Media, 2010) and Toss, Keep, Sell: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Clearing Out Clutter and Cashing In (Adams Media, 2010). Leah appears regularly in frugal-living segments on the “10! Show” on NBC10 in Philadelphia and is a blogger for the NBC Universal website Home Goes Strong. Recently, Leah launched a new frugal venture called Philadelphia on the Cheap. This site focuses on deals, discounts, and freebies in the Philadelphia area—where she lives with her husband, two teenage daughters, and dog. Follow her on Twitter @suddenlyfrugal