I’ll be honest: One of my favorite reasons for buying items in bulk is that it saves me trips to the store. For me, the fact that I can save money with bulk purchases is just a bonus–albeit, a very nice bonus. While not every bulk buy is a good purchase (for example, a vat of salad dressing that will spoil before you eat it all), many large-batch purchases can save you major bucks in the long run. Ahead, you’ll find my recommendations for eight items to always buy in bulk.
Round Out Your Dinners with White Rice
White rice has a lengthy shelf life, so you can keep a large bag of it in a cool, dry place in your home for just about as long as you’d like. You may be able to save $.80 or more for every 10 pounds of rice that you buy. Note that, because it can go rancid after just a few months in storage, purchasing brown rice in bulk is not as smart of an idea.
Prep for Breakfast with a Whole Lot of Oatmeal
Like white rice, dry oats can last for a few years–two or three, to be more specific–in storage. If your family enjoys oatmeal, which can be a nutritious, fill-you-up breakfast, a purchasing a bulk bag of oats is an economical way to keep this kitchen staple on hand. Change up your add-ins regularly to keep your family from getting bored with this breakfast.
Stock Up for the Next Year with a Bag of Beans
Canned beans aren’t pricey, but dried beans are even less expensive. Cheapest of all is buying them in bulk. Beans are available prepackaged at warehouse stores and are also sold loose at stores with bulk bins. Technically, dried beans will last forever, but for the best quality, you should use them in within a year or two. Not to worry: Although that’s plenty of time for most people, if your beans are nearing the end of their ideal shelf life, you can precook them for a few months of freezer storage.
Season Your Food with Bulk Spices
Compared to purchasing small bottles, large containers of spices give you a lot more product for only a little more money. It’s easy to keep a small container in your spice cabinet and refill it from the larger jar as necessary. Some experts advise against buying spices in bulk, especially if you don’t cook often. That’s because ground spices stay fresh for only six months, and whole spices become stale after one year. However, a more economical idea is to go in on the purchase with a few friends so you can split the spices–and the savings–among the group.
Get Party-ready with Bulk Alcohol Sales
Both beer and hard liquor are often cheaper when purchased at a club store than at a grocery store. You may not even need a membership to your local warehouse store to buy alcohol from them; some states have laws against limiting alcohol purchases to members only. As for wine, buy it from a store that gives you a percent off of your total when you buy a certain number of bottles–often as few as six of them.
Stock up on a Household Essential with Toilet Paper
When you think about the fact that buying toilet paper is pretty much just throwing money down a drain, it’s hard to stomach the idea of spending very much on this household staple. Studies have shown that bulk toilet paper costs an average of $.50 less per unit than individually packaged rolls. Of course, if you’re a coupon shopper who can score free small packs of toilet paper, that’s always the best deal. But for those who want to save money without clipping coupons, bulk toilet paper purchases are often the way to go.
Stay Clean with a Large Container of Soap
Individual containers of hand soap and dish soap cost at least a dollar each. Purchasing a bulk container of soap with which to refill your small pump is a more economical way to make sure that your sinks are always well-stocked. Purchasing large containers instead of small ones is also better for the environment. You can stretch your soap dollars even further by investing in foaming soap dispensers. Refill these with just a small squirt of soap from your bulk container plus a whole lot of water.
Be Prepared with a Large Supply of Batteries
From kids’ toys to household gadgets, most families go through a lot of batteries. Keeping big packs on hand reduces the chance of running out, and it cuts the amount that you will spend per battery. Alkaline batteries have a shelf life of five to 10 years, so there’s no harm in storing them. For the best results, keep batteries at room temperature; despite what you may have heard, there’s no need to store them in the refrigerator.
Are you a believer in buying in bulk? Keeping a large supply of some of our favorite pantry staples on hand saves my family both time and money. If you have ideas for other items to buy in bulk, please leave a comment. Help your friends save money by sharing this article with them.