Buying items in bulk is almost always less expensive per unit than buying a single item. But a great deal in bulk is only a great deal if you eventually save money and spend less. Think of it as a long-term project instead of instant gratification. Here are 5 ways to make buying in bulk work for you.
1. Buy What You Need
When you’re spending more money on things you don’t need, you’re not really saving money. The problem is that some things are items you only need one at a time. The trick is to buy things you’ll eventually use. Things like bath tissue, household cleaning supplies and pens and pencils will eventually be used. If you’re buying a large amount of products for the same price or slightly higher than you’d pay for a single item, it’s probably not worth your trouble. Also be sure to avoid things that look cool but have no place in your home.
2. Share the Load
Buying birthday party supplies or paper products is a good example of something you might not need a lot of often, but still use with regularity. Try sharing the load with friends or family. Maybe you don’t need 72 paper plates that say “happy birthday” on them and 72 cups to match. When split in half, that’s 36 apiece though. It’s manageable for one or two parties a year. Grab a friend and put your heads together. Make a list of what you both need, then split the cost in half. You’ll both have what you need and spend less doing it.
3. Organize Storage Space
One reason why most people don’t buy in bulk is because they’re spending a little more money up front, so they feel like they’re not really saving money. The reality is though that you won’t have to buy it again for weeks or months and the unit price will be substantially less. So what are you supposed to do with the extras until you need them? Get organized. Set up some shelves or cabinets in a place that’s out of the way; perhaps the basement or the attic. Be conscious of your inventory and use it before you buy more.
4. Use Special Offers
Look for specials and shipping discounts. If you’re serious about saving money, do your homework and take advantage of special offers. They’re out there. Some stores offer a free ship-to-store feature or contests and giveaways for shoppers who sign up for their value clubs.
5. It’s Not As Big As You Think
When most people think of bulk products, they think of giant cartons of hundreds of products. Not everything comes in giant cartons so look at the packaging or order information. There may be a unit price with a minimum quantity involved that suits you. Do the math and see if it fits your needs. For help compiling an efficient list, it might be best to consult with someone who has a masters in project management.
Buying in bulk might take a little more effort, but when you shop wisely and plan ahead, it can cut down on your shopping budget. Only you can determine what works best for your household so be selective.
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Nikki is an independent writer for DollarTree.com. Dollar Tree offers great deals on office supplies, party supplies and more.