Many household items are sold in a variety of sizes, so consumers can choose how many units they want to purchase at once. Some consumers prefer purchasing one unit at a time, while others prefer buying in bulk, which means purchasing multiple units that are bundled together in a single package. The latter group of consumers argues that buying in bulk can actually save you money. But, is it true? Here’s what you need to know:
Packaging Materials Affects the Price
Manufacturers consider a number of factors when pricing items, including the cost of the packaging materials. The more packaging that is used on an item, the more the item will cost. Less packaging is used when items are sold in bulk compared to when they are sold in single units. This means the manufacturer does not spend as much on packaging bulk items, and the savings are passed on to the consumer. Therefore, the price per unit is typically lower when items are bought in bulk.
Consider the Shelf Life Before Buying in Bulk
The price per unit is lower for bulk items, but this does not mean that buying in bulk is always the right decision. You will also need to consider the shelf life of the item prior to deciding whether or not to buy in bulk. For example, avocados last for about one week when they are stored in the refrigerator and about three to four days when they are stored at room temperature. If you buy avocados in bulk, it’s very likely that you will not eat all of them before they go bad. The ones that are not eaten will be thrown away, so in this case, buying in bulk leads to wasted food and money.
However, non-food items such as paper towels and toilet paper do not have shelf lives, so they can remain in storage within your home for years. These items will not go to waste when purchased in bulk because of their extended shelf lives. As long as there is space to store these items within your home, it’s smart to buy them in bulk.
The Challenges of Buying in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money, but there are some challenges that you need to consider before you start shopping. First, there’s the storage issue. Buying in bulk means buying more, so you will need to find storage space for the items that are not used right away. If storage space in your home is limited, buying in bulk may not be practical.
Money is another issue that arises when shoppers buy in bulk. In the long run, shoppers may save money by buying in bulk. But, they must be willing to spend more upfront since bulk packages contain more units and are therefore more expensive. You might also need to purchase a membership to a local warehouse store since these retailers typically stock more items in bulk than traditional grocery stores. If you aren’t willing to temporarily increase your grocery budget, then this is not the right strategy for your household.
The Bottom Line
So, is it wise to buy in bulk? In general, it is best to purchase non-food items in bulk since they are priced lower and will not go to waste. But, this is only appropriate when you can afford to pay for the items up front, and have room to store the extra units.
On the other hand, it does not make sense to bulk purchase food items with a short shelf life, since many units will expire before they are consumed. If you purchase these items in bulk, the money you save on buying in bulk will be canceled out by the amount of money you waste on food that is thrown out instead of eaten.
It’s estimated that by following this advice, you can save up to $1,000 per year in household expenses. Keep this helpful guide handy the next time you go grocery shopping so you can remember the do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying in bulk!