Most of the time…
Buying your groceries in bulk sizes saves money, however there are times when this isn’t the case. One should always compare prices per ounce or pound. Sometimes the bigger size actually costs more! If you’re a couponer you’ll find that with the use of a coupon the smaller sizes are more cost effective.
Some stores, for instance Sam’s Club, does a good job of listing the cost per ounce right on the price sticker. Of course, sometimes when you’re comparing two different brands one sticker will list cost per ounce…. and the other cost per pound. That’s OK. That phone you carry around with you has a calculator on it. Use it!
Before buying in bulk, remember to make certain that you have ample room to store large amounts AND that it’s something you know you’ll use up long before the expiration date.
For instance, when there’s a sale on breakfast boxed cereal and you know your kids go through a box a week…. buy several. You can keep open cereal fresher long with the use of a chip clip, a big binder clip or even a clothespin. There are also storage containers specifically made for easy storage and serving of breakfast cereals.
I tend to buy foil, parchment and other paper goods during the holidays when they go on sale. These things last and last so why not buy them when they go on sale? I store a huge amount of paper plates in an old lidded stockpot. They won’t get dusty, and there’s no chance of anything crawling on them. (I like to be prepared… you know… just in case.)
Find a bargain on toothpaste? Get it and stash it. (I keep those little plastic organizers with drawers under the bathroom sink. There’s a drawer for bars of soap, one for toothpaste and toothbrushes…. you get the idea.)
Batteries go on sale during the holiday season too. You know you’ll need them so stock up. (Also look for bargains on batteries at stores like Harbor Freight…)
The holiday season also gives us sales on baking goods. November and December are the perfect time to stock up on a years worth of flour, sugar and the like. If you keep your unopened flour in the freezer it’ll kill any bugs that might be in there from ever hatching (trust me-they’re there) and will keep fine for a really long time.
We’ve already discussed stocking up on canned goods especially ones you use all the time. If you can’t stock up all at once just buy an extra can of spaghetti sauce, pork n beans, (or whatever) with each grocery trip. While I love my homemade ‘from scratch’ pork and beans that doesn’t stop me from grabbing a can or two of Van Camps everytime I walk thru the store!
You should also stock up on meat when you find a bargain. As long as you have freezer space, just go for it. You can then plan you meals around what you have in the freezer versus buying meat at regular price.
Buying in bulk doesn’t have to mean big old 20 lb bags of rice and beans, or #10 cans from Sams (although those are bargains if you have room for them AND will use them) it can mean just buying a lot of what you already use or know you’ll use in the future. Now, don’t go hog-wild on canned beets if noone eats beets! Don’t buy meat for the freezer if it’s something you don’t know how to use as it will end up staying in there until freezer burn takes over.
Organization is key. Label everything that goes into the freezer. Rotate canned goods by expiration date even if that means organizing your pantry so that all the green beans are together… all the corn together… … Organization is key to using your bulk purchases wisely and being a good steward of your resources.