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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thrifty Thursdays - Buying In Bulk

Some of you may use bulk buying to purchase items, some may not. I see several benefits to buying in bulk. I will also discuss some of the drawbacks.

  1. Generally there are price discounts (volume discounts) when buying larger quantities of items.
  2. You won't be paying for as much individual packaging, as with smaller quantities.
  3. You won't run out as often and need to run to the store to purchase more, often at an inconvenient time. I do the bulk of my shopping (what we don't produce ourselves) once a month through our food coop (buying club).
  4. Buying in bulk in conjunction with sale pricing, brings down overall cost of the item.
  5. It allows you to help out a neighbor, who went to bake and realizes she is out of flour and lives 15 miles from the nearest store, or lives in town, but has an hour to get her baking done before she goes to work and has no time to run to the store.
  6. It allows you to practice charity - those canned veggies you bought by the case can be used to dontate to the food drive at your church or school function. Also you have something on hand to whip up goodies for the afternoon bake sale that your little darling forgot to tell you about until this morning's breakfast.
  7. Buying in conjunction with others generally allows you to share shipping with others if not purchased directly at the store.

Drawbacks:

  1. Buying bulk might require a larger initial outlay of cash than you would otherwise, which may be a strain on your budget.
  2. You may not have a lot of storage space available. This may mean a pantry area, extra closet, storage totes or a freezer, depending on the type of item.
  3. You may not have proper storage containers to accomodate large quantities, which will need to protected from bug infestations, humidity, etc. in the case of food purchases.
  4. Some items may not store well.
  5. You may not have a need for large quantities of items (you are single for example).

There are many items that can be purchased in bulk, primarily food products, but also toiletries and other household goods, also school supplies. To be even thriftier when you are stocking up on food and toiletries, try to combine manufacturer's coupons with store coupons or sale prices. If you have the time to watch these things, you can do really well. My friend Laura's blog regularly has stories of the money-saving ventures. She does really well. Unfortunately for me, I tend to not buy the items that usually have coupons for them.

I grew up about 15 miles from the nearest town, so we didn't run to town every day when we needed something. I lived in the city during college and for 3 years afterwards, but again moved to the country when I married, again living 15 miles from the nearest town where I could buy food and other supplies. So for me, buying in bulk is a habit instilled by my mother, who I know still has plenty of food on hand to feed us all when we come home for a visit/holiday (except it is not my parents and us 4 kids - it is now my parents, us 4 kids and our 4 spouses and 8 (soon to be 9) grandkids).

Buying in bulk can be a great strategy to stretch your buying dollars.

1 comment:

Melody said...

I've had to watch carefully, though. For example, I like Ceresota unbleached flour, when I use white flour. At the store where I buy it, the 5 pound packages are actually cheaper per pound than 10 pound package. The 25 pound package is cheaper than both. I've also seen this with dish detergents, laundry bleach, and toilet paper. It can be a real aggravation to "think" you're saving money, and find you're NOT.